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    And we had a fair!

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    ¡Y tuvimos feria!

    When the dances and music began in the Martí Park, after the floral offering and the moment of remembrance of the National Hero, it was as if the wave of energy contained in two years of pause was unleashed.

    Institutions, writers and readers then began to live four days of a program of activities that was around 20 pages, 27 sales areas and 4,000 copies.

    Thursday and the apostle

    From the party that Telón Abierto and Cantares de México put on in the park, you could now go directly to browse the main areas of the Fair, including the busiest, Ciego del Ánima Square, on the ground floor of the 12 floor building.

    That the calendar marked May 19 was a happy coincidence, and that is why the Museum of Decorative Arts prepared the opinion table "Imprint of Marti's ethics", with the participation of the journalist and historian Ciro Bianchi Ross, the writer Heriberto Machado , the poets Senén Pupo and Pedro Pérez Rivero.

    Three other spaces were dedicated to the Apostle. The panel “Martí: history and light of the present”, in the Brigadier José Gómez Cardoso Provincial Historical Archive; the opinion table “Martí and the teaching profession, the man of the Golden Age”, at the Coronel Simón Reyes Hernández Provincial Museum and the poetic evening “Martí, in my verse you breathe”, led by the writer Carmen Hernández Peña. The visit of the Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso on Saturday morning would later confirm the importance of the Martí area​​.

    Among the books that began to be leafed through on Thursday was Tina Modotti, much more than a naked body, authored by Reina Torres Pérez, which was also included in the Fair's homage to Mexico, a country where Tina would accompany the last days of our Julio Antonio Mella.

    Friday and tributes

    The morning of the second day was nostalgic, with the presentation of the book Cadaver Público, a compendium of chronicles by the now eternal José Aurelio Paz, nuanced with the beauty of his style, his deep comic vision and the singularity of turning the simplest of the facts.

    Fate wanted it to be done in his absence, but the respect and intention of honoring him that the colleagues present had was no less. At the same time, an opinion table made up of journalists Luis Raúl Vázquez, Sayli Sosa and Ailén Castilla, together with the writer Carmen Hernández Peña, served to bring to the present his controversial personality and the many anecdotes that surrounded him.

    Another surprise was the work of the literary workshop El Rincon de los Cronopios, which began the day with a reading outside the Juan Antonio Márquez athenaeum bookstore, led by Luis Pacheco Granado, and then continued with the awarding of a contest.

    Then, the night served as a mantle to host the presentation of the latest published title by Ciego de Ávila`s writer Eduardo Pino, and his return to poetry after years of devoting himself to narrative for children. Alone against the night is a collection of free verse poems.

    The presentation was in charge of José Rolando Rivero, who was also the editor of the book. Eduardo says that he feels doubly happy, because the presentation was beautiful and for having worked with Rivero, whom he calls "an essential poet."

    Saturday and the future

    Estaciones Cafe witnessed on Saturday mid-morning the drive with which the Provincial Book Center has been working for months. Before a mostly young audience, the virtual store that groups the novelties was presented, located on the EnZona Boulevard, which in recent days has already faced connection problems.“For the first time —announced Yaudel Estenoz Bienes, one of those in charge— digital books are included in the publishing plan of Ediciones Ávila. Some are digital versions of those that have been produced on paper, while others are an exclusive product.

    We must add to the list the production of audiobooks, which began with Eduardo Pino recording poems in the voice of the poets and with his own telephone, and led to the recording in the spaces of Radio Surco by three poets from Ciego de Ávila. This, added to the promotion on social networks and the Heliograph blog, are signs of resilience and creativity in difficult times for art.

    Again the night as an accomplice. This time in collusion with Heriberto Machado and Rainer Nodal, who gave Loneski Buquet the joy of winning the La Llave Pública narrative award, which he deserved for his notebook Seres felizes sin titulo, and which will soon see the light of day under the seal of Ediciones Ávila. In addition to Leo, Michel González Basnueva received a mention for his notebook "The Harvest".

    The good-bye

    On Sunday, the party ended early, but the morning was no less busy than the rest. To all the activities narrated above, we must add many others that INVASOR could not attend. Besides, another group of community activities, readings at the Hugo Cortijo Gallery, in Morón, the presentation of the book Sounds the piano, Rubén, by the musician Andrés Hernández Font from Moron, the literary clubs led by Claudette Betancourt, or the extensions of the fair to spaces such as the Home for the Elderly of Ciego de Ávila and Ceballos.

    Calm reading

    It is true that the Book Fair was what it could have been, because the intermittent blackouts that forced one activity to be rescheduled and another, and the lack of supply of books were variables that, as we know, did not depend on the organizers, who took on the immense challenge of transform the city into a party with minimal resources.

    That, at least, is laudable.

    However, much of what we saw and did not like depended, to a great extent, on the organization and the ability to mobilize. The program was not socialized nor were schedules and important proposals promoted sufficiently in advance so that the public could choose where, when and what. The Fair continues to be a concoction of schedules and proposals, where "coincidences" also took their toll.

    Thus, for example, an opinion table on The Imprint of Marti's Ethics, with distinguished panelists such as Ciro Bianchi, Pedro Pérez Rivero and Senén Pupo, took place before three spectators and, later, the presentation of the book Cadaver Público, by the late José Aurelio Paz, and the intended tribute, although it gathered public, was not even a third of what was likely.

    The history area, in the Brigadier José Ambrosio Gómez Cardoso Provincial Archive, once again confirms itself as one of the most coordinated and effective in guaranteeing full seats, to which is added that of the boys from the Hermanos Saíz Association, who achieved a intense program.

    In the case of the Archive, on Friday the actions focused on the work of the Commander in Chief when a panel entitled "Fidel and the historical memory against the cultural war" was presented, which included the participation of the Historian of the City of Ciego de Ávila , Angel Cabrera Sanchez; professors from the University of Ciego de Ávila Máximo Gómez Báez and doctors of science Juan Miguel Sandó Lopetey and Israel León Martínez; Vicente Barrios Torres, Provincial Deputy Director of Culture; and the researcher Reina de la Caridad Torres Pérez. The book May 20, glorious date? by Ana Cairo.

    According to Cabrera Sánchez, the potentiality of Fidelista thought was addressed, which is included in the current Cuban Constitution; how the national historical memory comes from the Ten Years War and how the historical sphere does not escape the onslaught of the cultural war in two fundamental lines: the forgetting of the past and the misrepresentation by our enemies of facts and figures.

    On the work of the historic leader of the Revolution, four books were presented on his thought, including an anecdote, as well as texts on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías and interviews with the theologian Frei Betto.

    The third day of the festival of books in the historical area was dedicated to the guest of honor Mexico, historical events that marked an era in that land and the ties of brotherhood between both peoples were highlighted, and last Sunday, special significance was given to the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Archive.

    Likewise, the donation of several books authored by writer and historian José Antonio Quintana was also received, including The Ciego de Ávila press (1865-1952) and Chronicle of an unpunished slaughter.

    The areas of theoretical events and Ciego del Ánima are the ones that urgently need a redesign for the next event, not for lack of talent or initiative, but in order to gain in organization, public and coherence.

    The first, because it should be one of the hearts of the fair, and the second, because between the ambient noise, passers-by, clowns and artistic numbers, it lost, at times, its objective: to present books and put the authors to dialogue with the presents.

    The XXX Book Fair says goodbye to Ciego de Ávila, and we already want the break to not be long before the next edition.