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Sharjah International Book Fair featured keynotes from IPA President, Michiel Kolman, and President-elect, Hugo Setzer, alongside panels on freedom to publish and educational publishing. Setzer’s message was that local, regional and international cooperation are essential to the future of our industry.

Michiel Kolman used the opportunity of his keynote to present the vision of a modern, dynamic industry that he has seen during his presidency of the IPA and the need for publishers to raise their game amid the increased competition for readers’ time. He also underlined the need for clear data on the publishing industry to help make informed policy decisions. 

Hugo Setzer followed up on Dr Kolman’s speech underlining the common challenges he has seen publishers facing across the world and the need for publishers to work together at national, regional and international levels to overcome these challenges.

hugo setzer sharjah 2018

IPA also featured during two panels at the fair with Vice-President-elect, Bodour Al Qasimi, moderating a panel entitled Freedom to Publish in Peril: Threats and Emerging Challenges. The panel featured Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, alongside Razia Rahman Jolly, the widow of this year’s IPA Special Award Recipient, Faisal Arefin Dipan, and Prix Voltaire nominee and IPA guest blogger, Azadeh Parsapour. They discussed the increasing challenges to freedom to publish with government interventions now complemented by pressure on authors and publishers from religious, social and business groups.

freedom to publish session sharjah 2018

IPA Secretary General, José Borghino introduced a panel on educational publishing where he was joined by Wilmar Diepgrond, Chair of the IPA’s Educational Publishers Forum, Jaume Vicens the Forum’s Vice-Chair and Rashid Al Kous of the Emirates Publishers Association. They made the case for better collaboration between governments and educational publishers to meet governments’ educational policy objectives and the importance of local publishers as part of this work.

The strong IPA delegation was also able to meet local ministers during their stay and reinforce the message that local publishers are a valuable partner within an international publishing industry.
Sharjah will be in the spotlight in 2019 as it takes over from Athens as UNESCO’s World Book Capital City.

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Azadeh Parsapour
12 December 2018
Publishing industry
Iran celebrated its national book week from 15 to 22 November this year with the slogan ‘The Great Joy of Reading’. The book week is the second major book related event in Iran after Tehran international book fair that is held in May every year. Ther...
James Taylor
30 November 2018
Publishing industry
IPA’s President-elect, Hugo Setzer, virtually opened the last day of SCCR 37 in a video prepared by the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC). Hugo spoke eloquently (in Spanish, with English subtitles) about accessibility issues as they affect his native...
James Taylor
29 November 2018
Publishing industry
Following yesterday’s exceptions and limitations marathon, today was a much shorter affair as the SCCR raced through the agenda. The morning session kicked off with NGOs asked to comment on the progress (or, in the eyes of many civil society organisa...
James Taylor
28 November 2018
Publishing industry
Following yesterday’s surprise close to discussions on the Broadcasting Treaty with a Chair’s revised consolidated text, today’s proceedings moved onto Exceptions and Limitations (E&Ls) and the civil society NGOs in favour of E&Ls kicked off ...
James Taylor
27 November 2018
Publishing industry

The first day of the SCCR37 closed with ‘informal’ discussions about the Broadcasting Treaty amid much interest about whether the Argentine and American proposals would lead to a breakthrough or the continuation of the current deadlock.

James Taylor
26 November 2018
Publishing industry
If you’re not a regular WIPO-watcher you could be forgiven for having forgotten what happened back in May when the 36th session of WIPO’s SCCR confounded expectations and appeared to make progress on the Broadcasting Treaty. Back then there was even ...
Azadeh Parsapour
20 September 2018
Freedom to publish
The first time I encountered a self-published book in Iran was about 10 years ago. My blogger friend tried to publish his first collection of short stories and faced a dead end with the book office censors. The whole book had a dark comedy theme and,...
Hugo Setzer
30 August 2018
Publishing industry

From 21-24 August I had the chance to attend the Beijing International Book Fair on behalf of IPA.

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