Bologna Book Fair

Mom, I see war – the slogan of the Ukrainian stand at the Bologna Book Fair

Ukraine at the Bologna Book Fair

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Ukraine will present a national stand at the Bologna Book Fair with the slogan “Mom, I see war”. The Ukrainian Book Institute (UBI), the main organizer of the stand, told Chytomo in an exclusive statement. In addition to the Ukrainian Book Institute, some of the events are organized by the Book Arsenal Festival and the NGO Pictoric.


The concept of the national Ukrainian stand is “The Shelter”. “This is the place where we hide our most intimate things. In times of war, we keep the most important things there – the lives of our children, our future. The stand reflects this concept with children’s drawings on the walls, because despite the threat to their lives, our children create, dream and believe in victory even in shelters. A book is also a shelter, because while reading, we think about what is happening to the main characters, and this helps to distract us from the circumstances in which we are, to reduce anxiety and stress,” the UBI notes.


The slogan of the stand “Mom, I see war” is related to the project of the same name. The project initiators have collected and continue to collect drawings by children created during rocket attacks and shelling. Exhibitions of these illustrations have been held in more than 50 countries.


During the fair, Ukrainian publishers will present books written for children during the war.


“It is important for us to present children’s books that reflect the experience of war at the fair because they will be seen by children’s book publishers from all over the world who decide to buy the rights to publish and translate these books in their markets. In this way, foreign readers can learn about the Ukrainian experience of living through the war and its impact on all generations of Ukrainians in Ukraine. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children have traveled the world in search of safety and have found themselves in a new society that mostly does not have this experience, so these books will help adults and children better interact with Ukrainian children,” the UBI says.


At the same time, the stand will also contain books on other topics, as children’s literature is one of the most developed segments in Ukrainian publishing.


“We urge all publishers who will be at the Bologna Fair to visit the Ukrainian stand and select books that would be interesting to their readers to translate and publish. In this way, each publisher will be able to give Ukrainian children a chance to return home. And all readers in the world will have the opportunity to learn about Ukraine, its experiences and history, and support Ukrainians in their struggle for their own identity and independence,” the Book Institute emphasizes.


Participants of the stand:


In addition, the Bologna Book Fair will feature an exhibition of posters by Ukrainian illustrators and a discussion on Ukrainian illustration organized by the Book Arsenal Festival and the NGO Pictoric.


The program of these events:

Illustrated Ukraine

One year into the full-scale war, Ukraine is still standing, fighting, and working for Victory. We appeal to the European and global community to provide us with all types of help for us to be able to fight this war against Russia — the war for freedom, democratic values, and justice. And we are thankful to our colleagues, book publishers, and illustrators, as well as to the Bologna Children Book Fair, who stand with us, assist us fully, and promote the Ukrainian agenda globally.


The exhibition Illustrated Ukraine presents the works of Ukrainian illustrators which were created during last year. Instead of illustrating children’s books, they draw Ukrainian children suffering from Russia’s aggression. They depict Ukraine as it is now and as it has been for the last twelve months — war-torn, heartbroken, in pain, but also strong, dignified, invincible, and united as never before. We will be fighting until we win, and we ask every European to stand with us in this fight.


Organizers of the exhibition:  Pictoric, International Book Arsenal Festival

Ukrainian Illustration. Experiencing the War. Panel Discussion

Wednesday 8, March. 14.00 – 14.50

Illustrators Corner, Hall 30


Art has always been a medium for communicating ideas, self-expression, protest, and solidarity. Amidst the full-scale Russia’s war in Ukraine, Ukrainian illustration has become a powerful tool that helps Ukrainians to spread the truth about what’s happening in their country, to share their emotions and stories with the world.


So what is it like – to live through war? Where to find inspiration? How can the artwork work as an instrument delivering important messages or even a weapon? How to stay in a profession being in danger? What is the role of creators today? And what’s it like to be Ukrainian?


The panel discussion between the famous prize-winning Ukrainian illustrators on creativity in war time.



Oleg Gryshchenko, artist, illustrator, co-founder of Pictoric illustrators club

Anna Sarvira illustrator, curator, co-founder of Pictoric illustrators club

collaborative duo Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, Art Studio Agrafka



Yuliia Kozlovets, Director of International Book Arsenal Festival


Organized by International Book Arsenal Festival, Kyiv, Ukraine


As a reminder, The Old Lion Publishing House was shortlisted for the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year.


In 2022, at the Bologna Fair, Ukraine presented an empty manifesto stand – Stand with Ukraine.


Read also: Bologna Ragazzi Award 2023 announced the winners