The Flanders-Netherlands Guest of Honour programme at the Frankfurt Book Fair was a resounding success. In 2016, under the motto This Is What We Share, Flanders and the Netherlands organised the Guest of Honour programme at the largest trade book fair in the world. The ambitious programme ensured that more than 450 Dutch-language books were translated. The number of literary translations into German tripled compared to previous years. A new generation of writers was also successfully introduced into Germany. These are some of the conclusions of an evaluation conducted by the Flemish Literature Fund and the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker: ‘The Frankfurt Book Fair has given Dutch-language literature an enormous boost. The door to the rest of the world has been opened for our writers and publishers. It was a wonderful year for literature.’
The Flemish Minister for Culture, Youth, Media and Brussels, Sven Gatz: ‘In Flanders, we look back with great satisfaction on the Flemish-Dutch collaboration in the Guest of Honour programme at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Not only because of the excellent statistics gathered by our literature foundations, but also because of the new élan this successful collaboration has generated for our Dutch-language literature and for Flemish-Dutch cultural cooperation in general.’
Both literature foundations are currently drawing up concrete plans for a follow-up, to renew the collaboration with the German book trade and to ensure that Dutch and Flemish writers remain visible at festivals, on podia and in the media in Germany this year as well. The Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Flemish Literature Fund will also present literature from the Low Countries at a joint stand at the Book Fair in October.