British Council to Showcase UK as Theme Country at the 47th International Kolkata Book Fair

British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, with the Publishers & Booksellers Guild, proudly announced the United Kingdom as the theme country for the 47th International Kolkata Book Fair today

The UK programme and pavilion will celebrate the UK-India relationship through arts and culture, education and English. It will help build connections between the two countries and increase understanding of each other’s cultures. The UK Pavilion will offer young people exciting ways to engage with the UK through events and activities, including learning about and studying in the UK, its culture and more.

Dr. Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner to East and Northeast India, said, “I am delighted, so soon after my arrival in the city of joy, to be announcing the UK as the theme country for the 2024 edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF). With such a deep appreciation of the arts and so many intimate people-to-people links between the UK and West Bengal stretching back. generations, this is a fantastic opportunity to further deepen understanding and appreciation of one another’s culture. With many UK speakers and cultural presentations on the agenda, we hope to reinforce the bonds between our nations and help individuals from all walks of life connect and share their perspectives, ultimately strengthening the ties between the UK and India.”

Dr. Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director East and Northeast India, British Council, said, “We are delighted that the UK will be the theme country at the International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) once again. The fair is a cornerstone of Kolkata’s and India’s cultural identity, and being the theme country presents us with a great opportunityto showcase the UK’s vibrant educational and cultural heritage while strengthening our bonds with India. We aim to foster an environment of collaboration, showcasing the UK’s excellence and our enduring connection with India. In our 75th year in India and in Kolkata, we are thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with the Booksellers and Publishers Guild.”

Shri Tridib Kr Chatterjee, President of the Publishers & Booksellers Guild, said, “The UK has earlier been the theme country in 1999, 2009, and 2015 and has contributed immensely to the fair’s and the city’s international programming and cultural connections. The British Council’s active participation during those editions and their involvement were instrumental in elevating the fair’s cultural significance. We are thrilled to welcome the UK once again and eagerly anticipate another enriching experience for fair attendees.”

The British Council’s participation and engagement will extend beyond hosting the UK pavilion, it will include prominent participation in the Kolkata Literature Festival from January 26-28. Through vibrant exhibits and engaging presentations, the British Council aims to highlight the synergy between the UK and India while empowering young minds to be catalysts for positive global change.