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Guadalajara, Jalisco, October 03, 2023

The European Union presents its programme as Guest of Honour at the FIL Guadalajara 2023

Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, together with the European Union, building a community of sense and understanding for a fairer, more inclusive and inspiring future for all


The European Union (EU) is the Guest of Honour at the 37th Feria Internacional del Libro (International Book Fair) (FIL) of Guadalajara, to be held from 25 November to 3 December 2023. The EU will be in Guadalajara with the aim of creating new areas for collaboration and strengthening its relations with Mexico and the whole of the Latin American and Caribbean region (the ALC region). This gathering will build upon the EU’s great wealth of cultural and linguistic diversity, on which its history and its present are based, as well as intercultural dialogue with Mexico and Latin America.

               As well as being the largest book fair in Latin America and one of the largest in the world, the Guadalajara FIL is an important cultural event that embraces all forms of artistic expression, cultural events and exchanges among civil society and academics. The FIL is a social and media event that attracts more than 800,000 visitors, has more than 15 million followers on its social media, and is covered by more than 2,000 media and press professionals and journalists.

               The EU will participate in the Guadalajara FIL under the slogan ‘Building a Union of Cultures,’ which pays homage to the diversity of cultures, in the broadest sense, in the EU and the ALC, as well as their potential for uniting our different nations. 

               The EU’s literary programme, as Guest of Honour at the FIL, involves participation by more than 70 writers from the EU’s 27 countries and from Ukraine. These writers will reflect Europe’s cultural plurality and diversity of literary genres and styles. Among the authors present will be Dacia Maraini, who will open the literary salon, Tatiana Țibuleac, Lídia Jorge, José Luis Peixoto, Pascal Quignard, Nina Yargekov, María Dueñas, Andréi Kurkov, María Cecilia Barbetta, Tadgh Mac Dhonnagain, Colm Tóibín, Mária Ferenčuhová, Judit Berg and András Forgách. The activities of the EU’s literary programme at the FIL are designed to provide arenas for dialogue, both among European and Latin American authors and with the public attending the FIL. The EU’s programme also extends to the sections FIL Joven (Youth), FIL Niños (Children), FIL Ciencia (Science) and FIL Pensamiento (Thought). Within those arenas, the University of Guadalajara also invites speakers – intellectuals, academics, scientists, politicians, authors, civil society actors – from the Member States of the EU to take part in debates together with speakers from the ALC and other continents. The subjects and programme are drawn up by the University and will be announced in due course.

               Activities for professionals from the publishing industry and the book sector are an essential component of the EU’s presence at the FIL: more than 50 publishers and professionals from the sector, from the 27 EU countries, will take part in a programme designed to facilitate and promote mutually enriching partnerships with the Mexican and Latin American book industry and its professionals.

               Together with the guest writers, musicians and artists they will form part of an extensive programme that includes musical and dance performances, a cycle of European cinema, various exhibitions of visual arts and a gastronomic programme. The programme for the nine nights of the Foro FIL (FIL Forum) will reflect the many regions and countries present, the diversity of artistic expression, European co-creation and cooperation with artists from Latin America and dialogue between cultures. In particular, there will be performances by the European Union Youth Orchestra, a European Jazz Festival, an Adriatic Balkan Party, a Nordic evening, contemporary dance with Sasha Waltz, electronic music concerts, a night of rap and a Spain-Mexico festival. The Museo de las Artes (MUSA) of the University of Guadalajara will show various exhibitions, including an exhibition of immersive digital art. The Museo Cabañas will host an exhibition on the history of mosaic, while at the Paseo Chapultepec in Guadalajara there will be a photography exhibition dedicated to Latin American and European writers.

               By participating in the FIL Guadalajara 2023, the EU seeks to promote dialogue, encourage cultural exchange, enhance mutual knowledge and establish long-term artistic and professional collaborations and co-creations.

Literary Programme

More than 70 authors from the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU) and from Ukraine will take part in the EU’s literary programme as Guest of Honour. The authors have been selected on the basis of proposals from the EU Member States’ national institutions responsible for their book and literature sectors, and with a view to ensuring diversity of genres, the presence of emerging authors, and representation of Europe’s linguistic and social diversity. Contemporary and young writers, as well as graphic novelists, illustrators, and writers of literature for children and young adults, are represented in this literary programme.

               The authors have been invited to take part in roundtables and debates, public readings, poetry meetings, the presentation of European anthologies, literary dialogue, exchanges with the public, and activities relating to reading and the promotion of literature. Twenty discussion panels entitled ‘Literary dialogues with Europe’ will bring together writers from different European and Latin American countries to discuss contemporary issues of literary and social interest, and the public will be invited to participate fully in the debate.

Various small-format literary events will also take place in the EU Pavilion over the nine days:

European Ambassadors of Literature: Ambassadors to Mexico from the EU’s Member States will read selected texts from their respective countries, in their original language and also translated into Spanish.

Presentation of European anthologies translated into Spanish (one per day).

• Presentation of the European Union Prize for Literature and readings by its winning authors.

European poetry meetings, with readings by European poets, will take place each day.

Dialogues with authors on a specific topic or book.

Special literary commemorations:

o the work and times of Kafka.

o Le Petit Prince – The Little Prince, translated into indigenous Mexican languages.

o A posthumous tribute to Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina will take place in the EU pavilion.

Programme for professionals from the book industry

The EU’s programme as Guest of Honour includes the presence of professionals from the  publishing industry, particularly independent publishers, international rights agents, librarians,  booksellers, illustrators, distributors, translators and other book-sector professionals from all of the EU’s  Member States, who will take part in a programme exploring opportunities for lasting collaboration with  their Latin American counterparts. All of the activities for book-sector professionals are supported by the Cultural Relations Platform (CRP), an initiative funded by the EU. 

The three days of activities and professional meetings will be held in the EU pavilion and will include:

I. Networking activities among professionals:

- 'Speed-dating' session with publishers from the ALC

- Individual B2B meetings with up to five chosen ALC publishers

- Session with translators

- Daily opportunities for professional networking with colleagues

II. Up to three professional events will be held for each professional day of the FIL on issues of interest to the book sector, with wide-ranging content and synergies with other activities. Publishers, authors and professionals from the EU and the ALC will be invited to take part.

III. Workshops relating to intellectual property rights open to all EU and ALC publishers organised within the International Publishers Forum.

Artistic programme

The EU’s programme as Guest of Honour includes nine great shows, one for each night to take place in the Foro FIL, located in the grounds of the Expo-Guadalajara venue.

1. Concert by the European Union Youth Orchestra, Saturday 25 November

Opening classical music concert led by the Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, with 39 young musicians from 22 EU countries. Some 40 young Mexican musicians will be invited to perform with the orchestra.

2. Adriatic Balkan Festival, Sunday 26 November

Performance of music and dance from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania and Italy, in collaboration with dancers from Mexico.

3. European jazz night, Monday 27 November

An evening dedicated to contemporary European jazz, with Sketchbook Quartet (Austria), the saxophonist Angelika Niescier (Germany) and the cellist Mabe Fratti (Guatemala/Mexico).

4. Contemporary dance performance ‘In C’, Tuesday 28 November 

A work choreographed by Sasha Waltz involving 12 European and Mexican dancers and based on the composition In C’, to be performed by a live orchestra.

5. Double performance, Wednesday 29 November 

Irish harp, with two great traditional Irish harpists, Siobhán Armstrong and Séamus Ó Flatharta. Irish harping has been recognised as a part of the intangible world heritage.

Concert ‘Añoranza,’ bringing together great classical virtuosity and creative force, with Francesco Tristano (Luxembourg) and Rami Khalifé (France-Lebanon), with their piano and electronic synthesiser.

For this special programme, the piano duo explores the notion of nostalgia via various forms of expression that are Europe's heritage.

6. Sara Parkman and guests: A vesper from the Nordic, Thursday 30 November Concert created by Sara Parkman (Sweden) based on Nordic pastoral voices, a matriarchal tradition that has existed in Nordic countries for more than 500 years. These voices are unique and are a fundamental element of Nordic folk music.

7. Independent scenes and fusion club, Friday 1 December

European independent contemporary music with ECHT! a futurist instrumental quartet from Brussels inspired by both electronic music and by hip-hop, trap and funk, followed by the French DJs Chloe and Warum, in back-to-back performances.

8. Rap night, 2 December 

Three European rappers will take to the stage to demonstrate European youth’s innovative form of urban expression, with the Franco-Chilean Lázuli, the Greco-Sierra Leonean Kareem Kalokoh, and Gleb, from Bratislava, Slovakia.

9. Spain-Mexico Festival, 3 December 

Great voices from Spain and Mexico for the show to close FIL 2023 and to welcome Spain as the Guest of Honour for 2024, with compositions by the young Spanish singer-songwriter Valeria Castro, the wonderful voice of Silvia Pérez Cruz from Spain, and the Mexican group Daniel Me Estàs Matando, with their now established genre of boleroglam.

As well as the shows in the Foro FIL, the EU will be present in room 3 of the Complejo Santander in Guadalajara on Saturday 18 November, with a performance of contemporary jazz by Lash & Grey, a duo of Slovak musicians rising stars of the Central European jazz scene.

European Film Festival in Guadalajara - FILm

A major European film festival - FILm - will take place in, and in collaboration with, the Cineteca of Guadalajara. Its aim is to help increase the visibility of, and interest in, current European cinema among the public, film professionals and cultural institutions of Mexico and Latin America & the Caribbean, attracting new audiences and laying the ground for future collaborations and co-productions. FILm is supported by the European Union Film Festival project, funded by the EU.

                30 recent European films will be shown, representing all of the EU Member States, based around the following themes: Immigration and diaspora, Youth, and Literary works in cinema. In some cases, authors, directors or screenwriters will be present and will hold discussions with the audience. The film festival will open on Friday 17 November with the Romanian film ‘Men of Deeds’, in the presence of its director Paul Negoescu.

               A Mexican short-film competition open to all participants will conclude with the selection and screening of the best short films created, during the festival’s opening ceremony.

               Master classes with European filmmakers and three workshops for professionals from the sector will be held within the context of FILm: 1) script writing; 2) a sustainable film industry; and 3) literary adaptations and the sale of rights.

Visual arts 

1. Exhibition of European culture and visual arts in the MUSA

The exhibition of European culture and visual arts will take place in the prestigious Museo de las Artes (MUSA) (Museum of Arts) of the University of Guadalajara and will run for three months (November 2023 - January 2024). This cultural show is made up of the following:

- Exhibition on the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture (EUmiesAward) awarded by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation with the support of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture. By presenting the latest winning projects, this exhibition enables us to demonstrate the principles on which the Prize is based – sustainability and care for the environment, inclusion and harmonious urban planning – as well as the principles of the ‘New European Bauhaus,’ the aim of which is to create beautiful, sustainable and inclusive spaces.

- An exhibition of works of immersive digital art created by 40 artistic studios from seven EU countries. Taking the form of an immersive mini festival of state-of-the-art digital artworks, in two rooms, the exhibition includes: 1) abstract immersive works; and 2) figurative digital narrative.

- Ukrainian contemporary art exhibition, demonstrating the current artistic dynamic, creativity and resilience of culture and artistic expression in today’s Ukraine. Works will be shown by 15 contemporary Ukrainian artists, based on the theme “Home Beyond the Dawn”.

The exhibition will open with a portrait exhibition evoking the EU’s vision and founding values.

2. Mirabillia Exhibition of European Mosaic, an immersive artwork 

An immersive exhibition dedicated to the history of mosaic in Italy will be held in the Museo Cabañas. This exhibition of the art of mosaic, presented and supported by Italy, transports us virtually to the four main eras of Roman mosaic, European antiquity’s greatest form of artistic expression.

3. America and Europe Exhibition, Gaze Intersections

Literature through the lens of Daniel Mordzinski: 60 great authors from Europe and Latin America exhibited on the street, on the Paseo Chapultepec in Guadalajara. Mordzinski, known as ‘the writers’ photographer,’ brings literature face to face with images of its authors, as he does with the two continents, mirroring them so as to illustrate the reciprocal cultural influence between the two shores of the Atlantic.

4. When Walls Talk

A sample of the exhibition When Walls Talk, created by the House of European History (Brussels), comprising 40 historic posters on social, political and artistic subjects that have been significant to Europe, will be shown in the EU pavilion.

EU pavilion at the FIL

The European Union pavilion, designed by the European firm External Reference and occupying 1,130 m2, will offer a space for meeting and dialogue between the public and European culture, and between professionals, authors, artists, guests and visitors. It will host diverse literary, cultural and linguistic events and will have a central arena, a European bookshop, a digital media library, an interactive cultural installation, two stages and meeting spaces. The pavilion will be staffed by university students who will act as cultural mediators, welcoming visitors and providing information. 

               The architectural design of the EU pavilion is inspired by the values of sustainability, inclusion, digitalisation, hospitality and circular economy of the ‘New European Bauhaus,’ as well as the visual identity of the EU as Guest of Honour at the FIL Guadalajara 2023. In terms of urban planning and architecture, the goal of the New European Bauhaus is to create beautiful, sustainable and inclusive spaces. The environmental impact of the building and its activities will be minimised, while its social function and recycling after the Fair will be ensured.

               The pavilion will provide areas for cultural presentations by the EU’s Member States, institutions and professionals attending the FIL. It will also provide teaching resources aimed at a better understanding of the EU, digital material on the EU’s geography and heritage, a linguistic map and access to digital cultural resources.

FIL Niños and FIL Joven

The EU will take part in FIL Niños (Children) with performances and an immersive installation, as well participation by European authors in activities for children.

               An anthology of classic fairy tales from the 27 EU countries has been prepared, especially compiled and edited for the occasion. These stories, illustrated by Mexican artists, evoke the fundamental values underlying much of Europe’s children’s literature and stimulate dialogue on values shared worldwide. In the context of the FILantropía (Philanthropy) programme, copies of this compilation of stories will be given out after the children's show to take place in the EU pavilion.

               The European Union Youth Orchestra will perform an educational concert especially designed for a young audience on Sunday 26 November in the Foro Niños.

               To mark the 80 years since the publication of The Little Prince, during the nine days of the FIL  there will be an immersive and sound installation based on the work by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry  (France), where the children attending will be able to hear and learn about that classic work, and  immerse themselves in the character’s world.

               There will be a performance of Conrad: The Factory-made Boy, a play for children by Christine Nöstlinger (Austria), which explores diversity, childhood and their social role.

               A clown show will take place both in FIL Niños and in a public space.

Gastronomic programme

The Gastronomic Festival will demonstrate the gastronomic and cultural diversity of the 27  countries of the EU as a whole, as well as the EU’s quality policy, which seeks to protect the  denominations of specific products in order to promote their unique characteristics linked to their  geographical origin and traditional, local and sustainable know-how; not just in Europe, but throughout  the world, including in Mexico.

               Through his cooking, the chef Oswaldo Oliva Rico, who is of Mexican origin and has trained in Europe’s finest gastronomic institutions, embodies the slogan ‘Building a union of cultures.’ Oliva worked with the Roca brothers in El Celler de Can Roca (Gerona), then joined the team of Andoni Luis Aduriz heading the research kitchen of Mugaritz (San Sebastián), and on returning to Mexico he has put the experience and knowledge he acquired in Europe into practice.


For further information contact:

Press Office and Publicity General coordinator, Mariño González at the phone number (+52) 33 3810 0331, ext. 952