(Photo: ICORN city of refuge Molde's guest writer Nada Yousif, center)
ICORN was present at the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair, which ran from the 10th to the 14thof October. Our network, presented together with the Stavanger2008 European Capital of Culture project "The Arts of Hospitality", manned a stand opposite the event venue of the International Centre, in Hall 5.0.
From the day of the opening, our presence at the fair allowed for many scheduled and spontaneous meetings with writers, coordinators, partners, sister networks, publishers as well as people promising to spread the news about ICORN. Maybe the most important meetings were between ICORN and representatives for a great number of cities contemplating or actively planning to join ICORN.
Working with ICORN's Frankfurt partner, the International Centre of the Book Fair, ICORN organized a series of events throughout the fair, which included literary encounters involving a different ICORN writer each day. The Iraqi writer Nada Yousif, the ICORN guest writer in Molde, Norway since August 2007, opened the series on the 10th. She was followed by the former guest writer of Trondheim Musa Mutaev on the 11th.
The events all focused on exile: how writing is influenced by persecution, and by having to build a new future - often far away from home.
ICORN's guest writer in Barcelona Salem Zenia, a Berber/Algerian writer, took the stage on the 12th, in dialogue with the Catalan writer Maria Barbal. The 13th was "Africa Day" at the International Centre, and featured the Sierra Leone writer Syl Cheney-Choker, who currently lives in the US. On the 14th , a large audience attended the closing literary encounter, which featured Frankfurt's own new ICORN guest writer Carlos A. Aguilera from Cuba.