Talk about melting pot – East and West have met with a cheer at the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens. On the first of the three-day conference, delegates and speakers from many of the 76 member countries presented papers and posters and shared ideas and stories to promote intercultural understanding through children’s books.
From fairy tale retellings to refugee experiences portrayed in literature, talks explored ways of bringing east and west together through books. Themes included the use of boats in stories, real and fictional, to act as bridges between cultures, and depictions of war in Greek literature from Herodotus to modern graphic novels.
And perhaps the highlight - a sung and spoken performance of parts of Homer’s Odyssey, accompanied variously by an Ancient Greek flute, harp and conch shell.