Guadalajara, Jalisco, July 02, 2020
About the 34th edition of FIL Guadalajara
2020 promises to be an unforgettable year for FIL Guadalajara in more ways than one. On the one hand, it will be forever the year in which our efforts—authors, publishers, booksellers, organizers and university students—earned us the Princess of Asturias Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in the world. But, on the other hand, it will also be the year of the pandemic, the year in which we have seen loved ones get sick and even die, the year in which the world economy entered into an unprecedented—at least since the Great Depression—crisis, in which we have had to learn to live, survive and grow according to brand new paradigms we barely understand and that might transform our planet.
This dual situation–happy on the one hand, sad and complex on the other– leads us to announce to the public the following criteria regarding the 2020 FIL:
1. The Guadalajara International Book Fair is an initiative of the University of Guadalajara (UDG), an educational institution that has worked together with the government to respond to the pandemic in the State of Jalisco. The UDG played a significant role in setting government's policy that the period of confinement and the closure of activities begin in Jalisco the second week of March (much earlier than in the rest of the country). With great regret, we decided to postpone the Guadalajara International Film Festival, another of the major Cultural events of the year and also an initiative of the University, at a time when, in other parts of the country, massive events were still going on.
2. Since the confinement began, FIL Guadalajara’s Organizing Committee has periodically met with the epidemiological specialists of the UDG to outline the different scenarios for our Fair, scheduled from November 28 to December 6. Likewise, we have been in close contact with representatives and members of the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry (CANIEM) to understand their concerns as well and work accordingly.
3. The realization of the Fair during the scheduled dates is one of the possible scenarios—the best—in the face of the pandemic. We have worked hand in hand with health authorities from Expo Guadalajara and representatives of the publishing industry in defining strategies and protocols that mitigate risks in the current health situation. With the information we have, and beyond the strict observance of government regulations at all times, we have developed the following procedures:
a) The number of visitors to Expo Guadalajara may not exceed, at any time, the percentage indicated by the health authorities.
b) The creation of two venues: the usual and emblematic one in Expo Guadalajara and a second one in the UDG University Cultural Center. This will minimize the density of attendees at Expo, to comply with the sanitary directives of both the venue and the state government, thus accommodating a greater number of attendees. In this second venue, as in Expo, the occupancy limits defined by the authorities will be respected.
Another scenario is the realization of a virtual Fair during the scheduled dates or simply to postpone our 34th edition.
4. The General Rector of the University of Guadalajara, Dr. Ricardo Villanueva Lomelí, has made it clear since the pandemic began that the university will collaborate with the health authorities—the most respected experts in the field—with the premise that the most important thing is to preserve the safety of people. Any decision made will be based on this and the development of the pandemic.
5. Since its founding in 1987, FIL has actively worked and supported the publishing industry in Mexico and Latin America. This is what we did a few years ago by working with Mexican publishers to establish a set book price and we do it again by reporting that, five months from our inauguration, we have not yet decided if the Fair will be held. With this in mind, we are working along with what so many of the participating editors have told us: that it is better to have the FIL than not to have it. We do not believe that a unilateral cancellation of FIL Guadalajara 34 will help improve the conditions of the Mexican publishing industry.
6. The Organizing Committee is completely attuned to the development of the pandemic and will continue to monitor its evolution. If our University and state officials indicate to us in the following months that it is not feasible to hold a face-to-face fair, we will act accordingly and implement alternative plans that we began to design since last March. We continue to work, as we have duly informed all exhibitors and publishers, in a committed spirit of protecting our visitors, guests, exhibitors and participants.
7. FIL Guadalajara’s Organizing Committee will continue to work to be a platform for promoting reading and for the development of the national publishing industry of Mexico and Latin America.
For further information contact:
Press Office and Publicity General coordinator, Mariño González at the phone number (52 33) 3810-0331, ext. 952