Frankfurt am Main, anno domini 2014. I am about to enter the biggest book fair of Germany and one of the biggest in Europe. The excitement is rising, people are flocking at the very well guarded entrances and there is a certain sense of order in all this artistic chaos. I am a woman on a mission, well two missions to be more precise. As one of the 9.000 something international journalists accredited at the Frankfurter Buch Messe and wearing around my neck the key to all doors, aka my press pass, I will meet the acclaimed German cosplayer Fahr Sindram, as well as the Romanian representatives of our ministry of Culture with whom we began to develop a beautiful working relationship as of last year . I am here on behalf of our movies site Edge and Backas well as our PR agency, Fort Knox PR.
My friend and business partner Ioana was not able to make it but she knows I always try my best to be a good ambassador for all our interests.
So business cards in one hand and a huge coffee in the other, I make my way through the thousands of people who all seem to rush somewhere for something. I try no to spill my precious black liquid on the innocent members of the literary crowd and slowly I reach my first goal, the booth of Fahr and her photographer friend and artist herself, Mrs. Petra Patzwald.
Fahr is as usual busy and this time, cosplaying one of her manga characters, Lord Skeffington from her very own book. She took me with her at her signing hour where fans came, took photos with and of her; she drew some fantastic art in 10 seconds or so, the usual business for Fahr. We managed to squeeze in a chat about her current and future plans, impressive as always. She is determined to finish some ongoing cosplay projects, which I am sure her followers will love and to work on new drawings. Of course I am not at the liberty to tell you about her surprises but trust me, you will like them. The girl is a chameleon, a shape-shifter, hell, she fits perfectly well in the X- Men team. Kind just like I know her, she remains modest and humble and is genuinely happy because of all the attention she gets. People can connect with her and Fahr has some good stories to tell.
Very soon we will see new photos, new cosplays and more amazing transformations, courtesy of Fahr and her partner in crime (and not only), Will Neal, aka Thor Odinson.
I don’t leave empty handed as Fahr gifts me with two of her amazing Loki photos and she draws a Loki who loves Romania drawing which we will offer to a lucky winner of our future give away.
After this beautiful visit, I rush to find Romania’ s book stand and I proceed to where I knew they would be located. I try to find the right booth number and somehow I seem to miss it or it is not here or what happened? Where is Romania ? I take all the rows once again, carefully reading all the numbers and I stop where I figured they would be…wait a minute…this “booth” is huge…hmm, I check again its number..yep, it fits,but I don t see Romania ‘s name anywhere, or? And then,blinded by all those lights ( someone really went out of their way here), I lift my gaze and there it is. High, where it should be always, written in clear lights is my country’s name. I need a moment to regroup here, I take a deep breath and it sinks in slowly. Romania has one of the best stands at this book fair. Yes,ladies and gentlemen, you read that correctly. I have to admit, with a bit of shame, that I wasn’t expecting this at all but rather a nice booth, small and somewhere at the end of a row…but boy, I was happily surprised! Finally another chance to actually be proud to be a Romanian! So I went to greet the very kind Romanian inspectors, whom I knew from the most recent edition of the Leipzig Book Fair. I congratulated them full heartedly as they invited me to have some delicious Romanian chocolate.
I managed to take photos of the stand and of the books, various authors, titles and genres. Among many, I was excited to find new editions of the best Romanian cooking book (Carte de bucate by Sanda Taranu ) as well as the wonderful childhood classics which I loved ever since I was a snotty kid (Petre Ispirescu, Basme ). I suppose some things never change, do they? But then others do and here I am in Frankfurt eating Romanian chocolate and enjoying a lovely chat with the Romanian representatives of our ministry of Culture. Many curious people stop to look and admire our stand and trust me, it looks great. The concept behind it belongs to a young Romanian architect who had the idea of creating a “forest of books“.
The forest concept developed around the metaphor which advances the idea of essence and simplicity. The transparent limits define the type of open space, easy to go around. The verticality of the tree contour intimate subspace in the overall area of the exhibition. The lights and shadows game reinterprets the atmosphere of a forest glade but this time a forest of books, a forest of knowledge.I stand there captivated and feel joy, pride and appreciation for all the work which went into this project. Romania is an international value and should be respected as such inspite of all the negative images flying around about us. Hopefully more initiatives like these will occur and more Romanians will do something so beautiful to show the world that we are not to be neglected.
I would like to thank the inspectors of the Romanian Ministry of Culture for their kindness and efforts, their hospitality and their work. I was proud to stand next to them and spread the word about Romania.
photos belong to Fahr and Miriam Mircea