New Zealand is taking centre stage at the world's largest book and content fair in Frankfurt as this year's guest of honour.
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage is leading the $5.3-million programme at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month, which attracts 7600 exhibitors from 110 countries over five days.
About 300,000 visitors are expected to experience hundreds of events featuring more than 65 New Zealand writers and 100 performers in a 2500sqm Kiwi pavilion.
The theme of the programme is "while you were sleeping," which aims to highlight the country's creative activities while it is dark in the northern hemisphere.
Visitors to the pavilion will cross a causeway to get to an island surrounded by water on which six five-metre high sub-pavilions are grouped around a central space and surrounded by beds wrapped in New Zealand wool.
Inside each is an intimate, hanging library, scented with natural oils which evoke an essence of New Zealand.
The pavilion, described as "an island in twilight, floating in an ocean under a starry sky," was designed by Andrew Patterson of architecture firm Patterson Associates.
Inside Out Productions, the events company behind the giant rugby ball that toured the world for the Rugby World Cup last year, produced multimedia elements of the presentation.
The structure was made in collaboration with architecture firm Patterson Associates.
Visitors to the pavilion will also be able to watch a 20-minute multi-media clip on screens twice an hour.
Inside Out said the pre-filmed sequences featured full surround sound, synchronised lighting and a live actor interacting with the filmed sequences.
"This experience is primarily about our literature and our story telling, but in the wider context our creativity," Patterson said.
"Finally it expresses the inspiration we draw from the land, and our surroundings, including our cultural make-up that colours everything we do, and who we are as a people."
Among the New Zealand writers featured are novelists Witi Ihimaera, Emily Perkins, Lloyd Jones and Eleanor Catton, poets Bill Manhire and Jenny Bornholdt and children's writers Joy Cowley and Kate De Goldi.
A special tribute event will also be held for children's writer Margaret Mahy who died last month.
There will also be demonstrations by New Zealand's leading chefs including Al Brown, Peter Gordon and Annabel Langbein and performances by national kapa haka champions Te Matarae I Orehu.
Weta Workshop creative lead Richard Taylor will also be there, giving a keynote speech at the Storydrive conference, which explores transmedia opportunities.
So far this year 83 New Zealand titles have been translated into German as a result of the guest of honour status which has encompassed a 12-month programme of cultural and literary events throughout Germany.
The Frankfurt Book Fair will run from October 9 to 14, and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English will give a keynote speech at the opening ceremony.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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