Cristian and Filipe have the kind of relaxed yet proactive approach that is so typical of Berlin. And the dynamics of their event – interdisciplinary, communal and kostenlos – is just as typical. Having met while organising Milena Berlin’s first publication launch they decided to organise an event to celebrate and foster literary appreciation. The Portable Book Fair is the result. An open call to anyone – writers, publishers, tourists - with a publication to come and set up a stand, the one-day event is sure to unearth hidden treasures.
Dazed Digital: How did you come up with the idea of the fair?
Cristian Forte: We're both writers and we feel the need to get out words out there and get to know the work of others. We took the model for The Portable Book Fair Berlin from FLIA (an independent book fair from Buenos Aires). There are not just stands but also workshops on topics related to literature and publishing. The event exceeds the concept of a fair and has become a cultural movement. It really motivated us to generate a similar experience in Berlin.
DD: What are your day jobs?
Cristian: I am a poet and artist. I am also a publisher at Milena Berlinand work with Milena Cacerola in Buenos Aires. Filipe: Musician in the metro and gardener.
DD: Are you a member of any artistic collectives?
Cristian: There are many groups which are continuously expanding and dying. It is a very interesting phenomenon on creative and educational levels. I’m not part of a collective, though I quite often work with Kotti-Shop. Filipe: I am part of Altes Finanzamt, PHIFA (Philosophical Football Association) and Neukölln Academy of Now!, and because of that I am close to many other collectives, like Piso Collective, Broken Dimanche Press, Flocks & Shoals and Filament Stanza.
DD: What will drive people to come to the fair?
Filipe: The fact that everyone I know feels that this will be a great opportunity for the independent publishing world in Berlin - that is the starting point that somehow was missing.
DD: Why did you decide to have it at Tempelhof Airport / Platz der Luftbruecke - in Columbiadamm?
Cristian: It is partially located in Neukölln, which is, in my opinion, one of Berlin's nicest neighborhoods. Filipe: It’s a public space that’s still in the process of being defined and therefore we can contribute to the definition and use of such an impressive space. Visually it will be great to have a fair on the runway of an airport. And the Tempelhof Airport has a very special place in the psyche all Berliners, and no matter how many times one goes there, it will still be weird, unreal, filled with so many different fictions, that I guess that hardly we could find a more literary place in Berlin for anything, especially for a book fair like the one we imagine.
DD: What is your favourite book?
Cristian: One of my favorites is "Los Cantos de Maldoror" by the poet Conde de Lautrémont. Filipe: Giorgos Vasilopoulos
DD: What is your favourite magazine?
Cristian: "El Teje", the first magazine from the transvestite community in Latin America. Filipe: The Economist.
DD: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
Cristian: I am preparing a new publication with Milena Berlin and some concerts with the bands Leiseylento and Piss Göttin. Filipe: The Black Book Market in Hasenheide at some point in July (we will announce it at The Portable Book Fair), a philosophical football tournament, and a blind music concert.
The Portable Book Fair is on 25th June 2011, 1-8pm at the Columbiadamm entrance of Tempelhofer Park.