Filling FILBo with magic realism

By bogotapost April 20, 2015

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, FILBo 2015The 2015 Bogota International Book Fair, which takes place from April 21 to May 4 in Corferias, will dedicate a heartfelt tribute to the late Nobel-Prize winner, Gabriel García Márquez, a year on from his death.

With a pavilion dedicated to Macondo, the town in which many of his stories were set, the organisers of the event have set aside 3,000 square metres for their take on this magical place.

A town with a special kind of candour, full of hardworking people, this is but a brief description of the thousands of details that the writer captured in his different books. This mythical corner of his imagination, a place where brightly-coloured flowers, tiles and robins navigated the way. Or the river that surrounded Macondo, a place that does not have a location on any map, but is firmly mapped in the memory of Gabo’s readers.

Curator Piedad Bonnett tells us: “The concept of the artist was to offer the visitors an experience, it is not only about providing information, it is not only a tribute to García Márquez, it is also about representing Macondo in terms of an experience with visual elements, sounds, smells, colours, García Márquez references and Colombian landscapes.”

“We had to recreate a Macondo faithful to the books and offer an experience that transports the audience to the Macondo in the books or to the idea of Macondo that those who haven’t read the books have” she said.

For the first time in the history of FILBo, the guest of honour will not be a country, but a pavilion filled with magic realism. This space was developed under the curatorship of author and poet Piedad Bonnett, literary expert Ariel Castillo and the director of the Fundacion Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano, Jaime Abello Banfi.

Hoping to captivate all the senses of those who visit, this space will offer a place of remembrance, through audiovisual media, sound art, multimedia and artistic direction, which will transport Gabophiles into the magical world of his imagination.

Bluffer’s guide

García Márquez
Born: March 6, 1927
Died: April 17, 2014

Journalist, novelist and short story writer, famed for putting the genre of magic realism on the literary map, García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

However, it took him until he was almost 40 to find both his literary voice, and literary acclaim – after years of grappling with the story of Macondo, inspiration hit and he spent 18 months feverishly writing his masterpiece.

His early childhood was spent with his grandparents in Aracataca, Magdalena department – his grandmother a voracious storyteller and his grandfather a colonel and local hero. Both had a profound impact on his work. Many years later he said: “The tone that I eventually used in One Hundred Years of Solitude was based on the way my grandmother used to tell stories.”

Best known books:

One Hundred Years of Solitude

The generations of the Buendía family go on for almost as long as García Márquez’s sentences in this dizzying chronicle. Witness the highs and lows of Macondo – a microcosm of humanity – through prosperity and war, love and death.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Get everything you need for weddings and funerals in this love story that toys with the idea of love as an illness. Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall in love at an early age, but she marries another man and he waits for over 50 years before declaring his love again at her husband’s funeral.


By Alejandra Chipatecua