The year’s most prominent literary event started at the Art Arsenal on May 24, its beginning coinciding with the Day of Slavic Writing and Culture. The festival has gone well beyond being just a book event, having become a respected artistic and educational project. “All our projects are as high-brow as we can get them to be, as we have to educate our children, the future million-strong host of visitors to the nation’s greatest cultural center, which the Art Arsenal has become,” the institution’s director-general Natalia Zabolotna says.
This year’s Book Arsenal is the third iteration of the literary forum, this time happening on a truly grand scale, involving 10 sites, 11 concerts, 30 international guests (writers, publishers, philosophers, cultural critics, musicians, and art designers), 200 publishing houses and a huge variety of cultural events. The Arsenal is known for its rich program, which is qualitatively better now than in previous years, with its duration increased from four to nine days.
Remarkably, The Day’s representation stands out even among the vast number of publishing platforms that came to the festival this year. The stand’s design has been updated, with The Day’s Library books placed in the eco-style custom-made open bookcases. Besides the books, the newspaper’s latest issues, glossy supplement Marshrut No. 1 and leaflets, the stand features a wooden horse named Allegro, the company’s mascot, sitting comfortably there along with a latest edition of Ukraina Incognita, having just come off the press. Readers purchased close to a dozen books from The Day’s Library series within a few hours since the festival’s launch. “I am well familiar with the series, having been advised to pay attention to it by the painter family of Dubovyks,” a Kyivan visitor Olena tells us. Ukraina Incognita is the undisputed leader among The Day’s publications, with its sixth edition published in May 2013. It has become the first swallow which, contrary to the received wisdom, has managed to make the summer.