Building a Union of Cultures with Latin America: EU Guest of Honour at Guadalajara International Book Fair 2023

From 25 November to 3 December 2023, the EU will be Guest of Honour at the largest book fair in the Spanish-speaking world in Guadalajara, Mexico. This will be a premiere for both the EU who views its prestigious presence in Guadalajara as a stepping stone to a more ambitious cultural diplomacy and for the Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL) Guadalajara which in its previous 36 editions has hosted countries, cities or regions, but never before a community which goes beyond a nation state.

On 4 December 2022 during the traditional handover ceremony Brian Glynn, Managing Director Americas of the European External Action Service (EEAS), explained the motto of the EU as Guest of Honour “Building a Union of Cultures” as outlining a community of sense and a common understanding of a fairer, inclusive, and inspiring future for everyone.

The Fair will be an opportunity to celebrate, to continue building and to give wider visibility to the strategic partnership between LAC and the EU. This partnership is based on shared cultural traditions and values, but also on our determination to collectively address global challenges and opportunities, such as the green transition, the digital transformation, a human-centered, sustainable and inclusive economy, security and the promotion of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms through proactive multilateralism.

For the curator of the EU’s Guest of Honour presence, Patricio Jeretic, cooperation with EU Member States and the principle of co-creation are key:

EU integration has offered many creatives in Europe precious chances to work together beyond borders. Now we are going to share how fascinating this can be.

The EU’s Guest of Honour programme will include artistic and literary content from all Member States and showcase European cultural diversity as well as contemporary creative dynamics. It will prioritise co-creation and co-production, both intra-European and with Latin American and global partners. 

As Guest of Honour, the EU will have a prominent presence with a pavilion of 1300 mts² in a central and visible position within FIL premises. It is currently being conceived by an architectural studio in Barcelona with a multinational team of architects both European and Latin American. The pavilion should reflect the principles of openness, inclusion, hospitality, sustainability, diversity and unity.