Day 1

September 09, 2014


After 33 editions of the IBBY International Congress, Mexico was the host country.

More than 5 years of planning and organization for the celebration of the 34th IBBY International Congress, “May everyone really mean everyone”, was materialized.

Thanks to the work of the task force, the Technical Committee, headed by Azucena Galindo and integrated by eight experts of Children and Young Adult literature, from the Scientific Committee, composed by 18 academics from various countries as well as the tremendous support from various agencies such as CONACULTA (National Council for Culture and Arts of Mexico), SM Foundation and CONAPRED (National Council to Prevent Discrimination) and over 40 allies, the Congress took place.

During four days (from the 10th to the 13th of September, 2014) 900 participants from 66 countries gathered, including writers, illustrators, publishers, reading promoters, librarians, teachers, among others.

“May everyone really mean everyone” was the motto of the Congress; it had the theme “Inclusion” as the central focus of all the activities.

In an interview with different media, the Executive Director of IBBY México/A leer, Azucena Galindo, said: “From the Congress, dialogue, exchange and reflection will be generated. I do not think we are going to leave with certainties, but with a new vision. It’s hard to talk about conclusions, but rather it’s about seeing where you can work from the theme of inclusion and to see where are we going, what challenges we need to overcome”. She also stated that: “Reading and inclusion are intimately linked, and must be made evident, because we think that a person who has access to literature has more possibilities of understanding diversity. Through reading you can get in touch with the author, other cultures, other times, other ways of thinking; books, good literature, also allows you to move through different perspectives”.

For his part, Bruno Newman, President of IBBY México said, “A child, a young person or an adult who does not read will hardly have access to other reality than their own. There is no worse exclusion than depriving a child from the letters, the world of imagination”.


Prior to the Congress, activities were held, both cultural and academic, in various premises of Mexico City.

These began on July 31 with the following exhibitions at the Franz Mayer Museum.

Drawing the world: exhibition which gathered the works of a dozen of notable illustrators from five different continents, in which each of them presented a complete book, allowing the visitor to discover a story or a lyrical atmosphere, and to accompany the characters through their achievements and adventures.

Nami Island Illustration Award (Nami Island Internatoinal Illustration Concours): results of a biannual prize initiated in 2013 that offers extensive support for children’s book artists by giving them the opportunity to submit their works. In this first prize, the jury found, to define the winners, those that expressed empathy, universality, creativity, inspiration and respect for diversity.

Storytelling Strokes, Narrating Colors: is an exhibition featuring a selection of the work of fifty Mexican illustrators, who, over the past four decades, have contributed to the aesthetic education of children and youth.

In the opening ceremony, Hector Rivero Borrell, director of the museum, commented on the alliance that the Franz Mayer Museum had with IBBY México/A leer to bring two international exhibitions and a national one. Luis Téllez, curator of the exhibition Storytelling Strokes, Narrating Colors said in an interview that “the level of the Mexican illustrators is equal to the ones from anywhere in the world, but they need to value their work and compete to what there is and is being done globally”.

Creativity was the key element for the making of the Auction/Exhibition A 1,000 Liters of Inclusion, presented at Sala Margolín (Margolín Hall), in which more than 60 personalities from the cultural and artistic world participated, like entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, writers and plastic artists, were among those who participated: Vicente Rojo, Brian Nissen, Monserrat Pecanins, César Costa, Mónica Patiño and Pedro Friedeberg; each of them intervened old glass bottles which were once used in the milk distribution. They had the theme “Inclusion”.

The auction of the pieces, which were donated by the creators, raised funds to award 137 scholarships to reading promoters from the Public Education Secretariat in Mexico City to attend the Congress.

The exhibition of Mexican illustrators on the Cultural Corridor of Colonia Roma: May everyone really mean everyone, brought together 33 illustrators who expressed in their works, using different techniques, the theme of inclusion and reading. The artists were: Rosi Aragón, Alejandra Barba, Paulina Barraza, Irma Bastida, Gloria Calderas, Julián Cicero, Felipe Dávalos, Guillermo de Gante, Isidro R. Esquivel, Ixchel Estrada, Mauricio Gómez Morín, Natalia Gurovich, Alejandro Magallanes, Ericka Martínez, José Esteban Martínez, Rosana Mesa Zamudio, Estelí Meza, Sr. No quiero, Manuel Monroy, Carlos Palleiro, Juan Palomino, Ricardo Peláez, Carlos Pellicer, Cecilia Rébora, Esmeralda Ríos, Margarita Sada, Luis San Vicente, Gerardo Suzán, Enrique Torralba, Felipe Ugalde, Valeria Gallo, Fabrice Vanden Broeck y Richard Zela.

Thanks to the visit of renowned specialists, the following academic activities were held:

Magic Realism in Children’s Literature by Fanuel Hanán (Venezuela) at the Iberoamericana University.

Book Pictures and Storytelling with pictures given by Roberto Innocenti (Italy), at the Italian Institute of Culture and at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, respectively.

Image: So many points of view and Image and word are the same with the illustrator Roger Mello (Brasil) at the headquarters of IBBY México/A leer.

The presentation of Maria Teresa Andruetto’s book (Argentina)The girl, the heart and the house; and the conference Scientific Studies and Reading Promotion Projects in Germany by Anke Märk-Bürman (Germany), at the Vasconcelos Library.