Tbilisi 3rd International Festival of Literature.
The Tbilisi International Festival of Literature (TIFL) is held in May each year, heading for its third run in 2017. The previous two festivals were the highlight of cultural life in Tbilisi, with an exciting program, fascinating speakers and guests, and high audience participation. The TIFL is hosted and organized by the Writers’ House of Georgia in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and a number of international organizations based in Tbilisi. The festival shares the platform between Georgian and international authors and humanists, continuing the great literary and cultural traditions of Georgia.
The 2017 festival will take place from 29 May – 03 June in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia.
For the next two years Georgia will be in the spotlight of the literary and publishing world, having 2018 declared as the Year of the Georgian Book at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Accordingly, the festival program and main concept this year will be focusing on the importance of Humanities and literature in a narrower sense. The festival aims to create a localized platform for connecting international professionals of the literary world: authors with significant records, translators, researchers, biographers, scholars and other interested members of the public, and most importantly, allowing local lovers of literature to observe the processes and even participate in discussions.
Second Tbilisi International Festival of Literature
16-21 May, 2016
Since the first hosting of the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature (held in May 2015) was a big success and raised high interest among audiences and literary professionals, the Writers’ House of Tbilisi is determined to make it an annual event. The motto of the Festival was “Local is Global”.
TIFL 2 hosted authors from 14 countries: Israel, UK, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chile, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey, and the USA. The festival was a great success and highly appreciated by audiences due to its insightful and exciting program that was multinational, eclectic and had a huge variety of activities with representatives of Japanese, Russian, Swedish, Polish and Chilean poetry. Georgia was graced by the attendance of world renowned fiction writers such as Etgar Keret, DBC Pierre ands American humanist and biographer Susan Shillinglaw who gave a lecture about John Steinbeck’s travels and writings in Soviet Georgia amongst others. The scene of the Festival was also shared between humanists and authors for public discussions of different topics, such as challenges and literary developments in post-Soviet societies.
Georgia faces incredibly complex historical, political and social challenges today. It’s an ancient country with a strong identity and cultural traditions which still struggles with its Soviet past, dealing at the same time with constant geo-political threats. What is the role of literature in the 21st century? How can writers contribute to the protection of freedom of expression? What are the biggest challenges for education in the globalized world? How to motivate young people to read more? This was just a short list of topics that were discussed during the Festival in May 2016.
First Tbilisi International Festival of Literature
18-23 May, 2015
With the initiative and organization of the Writers’ House of Georgia, Tbilisi hosted its first International Festival of Literature. The main financial supporter of the event was the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. Other supporters were the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, the Embassy of Italy, the Goethe Institute, the British Council, the Polish Book Center and the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Making the Tbilisi International Literature Festival a tradition has become even more important, as Georgia is getting ready to become the Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt book fair in 2018. It is also worth mentioning that there is no festival of this kind in the Caucasus region, therefore Georgia will play a vital role in strengthening literary contacts in the region.
There were 17 official international guests at the festival and approximately 30 different events all held during 1 week – book presentations, poetry nights, panel discussions, student workshops and exhibitions.