Malaysia to host gathering of international storytellers in September


Themed "The Power Of Stories", Malaysia will be the first nation in South-East Asia to host the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Congress. Photo: IBBY

A big gathering of creators of children's and young people’s literature is set to take place in Putrajaya from Sept 5-8.

The first such event to take place in Malaysia, the 38th International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Congress 2022 will bring together publishers, writers, storytellers, illustrators and book lovers from over 80 countries who will discuss and explore narratives specially created for young people across countries, cultures and education systems.

The biennial IBBY Congress promotes children's and young people’s literature worldwide. The 38th IBBY Congress 2022 is hosted by Putrajaya Corporation and IBBY Malaysia, which is the Malaysian section of IBBY.

Themed "The Power Of Stories", Malaysia will be the first nation in South-East Asia to host the congress, which is eagerly anticipated by people involved in creating children's and young people’s books and reading development from all over the world.

IBBY represents 80 countries with well-developed book publishing and literacy programmes. The congress, hosted once every two years by a member country, comprises lectures, panel discussions, seminar sessions and workshops based on the chosen theme.

"Our theme for the 38th edition is ‘The Power of Stories’ as we hope to explore the common stories that appear in children’s literature across countries, cultures and educational systems," said Datuk Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin, 38th IBBY Congress 2022 organising committee chairman.

"We will compare and share our stories, and discuss what we can learn from each other’s stories and how stories can help us understand each other’s roles, identities, approaches and challenges.

"We also hope to explore how stories can be a powerful tool for shaping our beliefs and behaviours; for advocacy, change and building bridges; and for helping to make sense of our world.”

Ahmad Redza, who is also IBBY Malaysia president, said Malaysians should seize the opportunity to learn from the experts who will gather at the congress, comprising mainly authors, illustrators and translators.

The keynote and plenary speakers include Muhammad Haji Salleh (Malaysia), Carole Bloch (South Africa), Junko Yokota (United States), Shereen Kreidieh (Lebanon), Sharifah Aishah Osman (Malaysia), Marie-Aude Murail (France), Suzy Lee (South Korea), Liz Page (Britain), Patsy Aldana (Canada), Jane Kurtz (United States), Heidi Shamsuddin (Malaysia), Nur Azlina Abdul Aziz (Malaysia), Linda Tan Lingard (Malaysia), Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman (Malaysia), Zohreh Ghaeni (Iran) and others.

Ahmad Redza added that since its founding in 1953, IBBY has also grown in the number of awards and projects it supports and in its geographical spread.

He added the 38th IBBY Congress 2022 will also include book presentations as well as exhibitions featuring all the past IBBY award-winning book collections including books that won the Hans Christian Andersen Award - the highest international distinction given to authors and illustrators of children's books.

"It (congress) is indeed a golden opportunity which Malaysians would not want to miss as they can learn directly from the (participating) authors, illustrators and translators,” he said, adding that Malaysian books will also be presented at the congress.

Other exhibitions to be held alongside the congress will feature collections from the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award, IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award, 2021 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities and 2021 IBBY Silent Books Collection. - Bernama

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