Statements of support from Georgian and French publishers

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On Ukraine: “We who have experienced Russian imperialism and aggression” in the Republic of Georgia; and their French colleagues.

In Tbilisi on March 11. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Alina Vasylieva

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

Two statements from Georgia

AAs statements of support are released for Vladimir Putin’s relentless siege in Ukraine, some of the most compelling words have come from book professionals in markets that know Russian wrath firsthand.

Twenty percent of the Republic of Georgia has been occupied by the Russian military since its 2008 invasion. The international community continues to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as occupied territories and has condemned Moscow for its actions there .

Two statements are here today (March 16) from Georgia – one from the Georgian Association of Publishers and Booksellers, and the other from the Tbilisi International Book Festival.

From the Georgian Association of Publishers and Booksellers

“We, Georgian publishers and booksellers – Georgian citizens who have suffered the devastating consequences of Russian imperialism and aggression – express our unconditional support for the struggle of the Ukrainian people against Putin’s Russia.

“We understand that this process requires huge sacrifices and is associated with human tragedy for every Ukrainian, but we firmly believe that this war will lead to the defeat of the evil empire.

“The Georgian people express their full support for the unity and sovereignty of Ukraine through large-scale demonstrations in all major cities of Georgia.

“We condemn the militaristic aggression of the Russian Federation against an independent European country.

“We stand where the civilized world stands: we stand with brave and admirable warriors – for humanity, education, equality, freedom and a peaceful future.

“Solidarity and victory for Ukraine!”

From the Tbilisi International Book Festival

“In response to an open letter, “Stand With Ukraine”, published by leading Ukrainian literary organizations and on behalf of the Tbilisi International Book Festival, the largest publishing and literary event of the Georgian Association of Publishers and Booksellers, we would like to inform you that our festival has never collaborated with Russian state organizations to organize a national Russian stand, because we never wanted our festival to become a source of Russian propaganda in Georgia.

“It has always been a matter of principle and dignity for us, because we are citizens of an occupied country.

“Twenty percent of our territories have been occupied by the brutal military operations of the violent Russian Empire twice in the past 30 years, and moreover, we are still victims of the creeping Russian occupation. Thus, we cooperated only with specific, independent Russian publishing houses that occasionally participated in the Tbilisi International Book Festival with individual stands.

“However, in view of the dire situation in Ukraine today, in protest against the large-scale violence perpetrated by Russia on the territory of our allies and friends, the team of the Tbilisi International Book Festival has decided to completely end cooperation with Russian publishers. We believe that in this harsh reality – when the Ukrainian people are living under the bombs and the peaceful future of the civilized world is costing the lives of Ukrainians and those close to them – , it is impossible to separate culture and politics.

“We believe that today, more than ever, culture has a duty and a responsibility to make its voice heard, to become an integral part of world politics and, to the best of its ability, to fight for the support of the people. Ukrainian.

“Peace and victory to the glorious people of Ukraine!”

Declaration of the publishers of France

the national publishing union also issued a statement to members of the international press.

“We, publishers, members of the national publishing union (SNE-France) strongly condemn the war launched by the Russian authorities against Ukraine.

“We are united to support authors, translators, publishers, booksellers, librarians and with them all the Ukrainian people in the grip of a tragedy that will leave deep scars.

“We also salute the courage of the Russian authors, translators, publishers, booksellers and librarians who, by massively signing an appeal for peace and asking for the cessation of military operations, dared to publicly express their opposition to the Russian President.

“This Russian attack, motivated by a form of historical revisionism, destroys the values ​​and founding principles of our humanity.”

SNE’s statement concludes with the publishers’ commitment to “freedom of thought and expression” at the “gates of the European Union…full existence”.

We can add a note here about the French publishers’ reference to members of the Russian publishing industry “massively signing an appeal”.

Publication prospects reported on this call, entitled “Russian Scribes Against War”. He had collected more than 1,600 signatures, identifying each person by name and business association. While our report was being prepared on March 4, the list of names disappeared from the appeal site.

As Reuters Moscow reported at the same time, it was the day the Russian parliament passed a law “imposing a prison term of up to 15 years for intentionally spreading ‘false’ information about the military. , intensifying the information war on the conflict in Ukraine.

In other words, it had become too dangerous for “Russian scribes” to be known after the Duma established a series of sanctions for criticizing Putin’s war on Ukraine.

In Lviv on March 10, anti-tank “Czech hedgehogs” made from metal beams by the Ukrainians as part of their defense against Russian tanks. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Serhii Ivashchuk


Follow our coverage of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and its impact on the country’s publishing industry and international industry reactions.

To learn more about the Georgian publishing industry and the book market, click here. More information on the French market and its publishers here. To learn more about freedom to publish and freedom of expression, click here. Thanks to Gvantsa Jobava of the Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association and the Executive Committee of the International Publishers Association for their assistance.

To learn more about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing, click here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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