We are sorry to announce that the Leipzig Book Fair 2020 has been cancelled. Please find more information here.


For the first time in history the Leipzig Book Fair audience gets the chance to enter the diverse and intricate literary landscape of Southeast Europe using a single door: a shared exhibition stand managed by the Traduki network. Under the motto of Common Ground this three-year programme (2020-2022) brings you the exciting literary worlds of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Common Ground stands for a place where we leave our conflicts aside in order to share stories and find inspiration together. Our packed programme will intrigue you and move you with its book readings, author interviews, political panel discussions, music performances and film screenings.

Books for Breakfast with Guests from Southeast Europe

Starting on 23 April, the World Book Day, Common Ground, the Region in Focus at the Leipzig Book Fair 2020-2022, presents Literature of Southeast Europe online

Every Thursday morning at 8:30 a new episode is released on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram TV.

You can find all published episodes of Books for Breakfast on YouTube and Facebook.

New Programme After the Summer Break:

  • 03 September 2020, Oliver Zille, Director of the Leipzig Book Fair (German)
  • 10 September 2020, Radmila Radovanović & Jeton Neziraj
  • 17 September 2020, Antje Contius & Georgi Gospodinov (German)
  • 24 September 2020, Petya Lund, eta Verlag (German)

Common Ground 2020 Programme

Focus 2020: Origin and Belonging

Over the next three years “Common Ground” will showcase and bring closer the diversity and excellence of Southeast European literature to a wider German-speaking audience. Things will kick off in earnest with the Leipzig Book Fair 2020 and its main theme of “Origin and Belonging”. Authors from all across Southeast Europe will travel to Leipzig to present their writings on a shared stage. Next to renowned authors, such as Drago Jančar, Lidija Dimkovska and Mircea Cărtărescu, the programme will feature literary newcomers. In addition, there will be presentations focusing on the renowned works of Nobel literature laureate Ivo Andrić and the great Danilo Kiš. Many books are already available in German translation, others are still waiting to be discovered by German-language publishers. And so, the programme will serve as a marketplace for the publishing industry. However, the exchange goes beyond the literary. At three events at the Café Europa at the Leipzig Book Fair, “Common Ground” will tackle societal and political issues. The evening events in the city centre will illustrate, through readings and music, the kaleidoscopic richness of Southeast Europe, for example at the famous Balkannacht on 14th March. To get into the mood, audiences can get a first taste of the upcoming proceedings at the Balkan Film Week, which will take place in the week prior to the book fair and will showcase 8 films from different countries.

Balkan Film Week

For detailed information on the Balkan Film Week in the German language, please visit our page in German or the Common Ground or UT Connewitz Facebook pages.


Common Ground: Origin and Belonging 

The feeling and the knowledge of belonging is one of the most perplexing experiences in life. Although belonging seems like a question of personal matter, the verb a priori demands an addition to its own meaning; one needs to belongs to. To know that one belongs, such as to a group with which one shares values, characteristics and time and space experiences offers a sense of acceptance of being recognized as a subject of a certain origin. In this formulation, origin would relate to the “source”, the site of one’s belonging, which usually refers to instances such as family, nationality, state, society or culture. To belong to either of these groups may give one a deeper sense of feeling at ease or acceptance, but can also be a site of constant identity struggles or productive negotiations. Therefore, the notion of belonging was historically thought through the aspects of traditionalism, firmness and rigidity. This week’s programme calls for a constant juxtaposition and convergence of those different dynamics within a framework of personal and shared cultures and histories. Having “roots” is often used as a linguistic metaphor: by representing soil and connection to the ground, it makes us think of linear history and stability. But the metaphor of a firm base, however, easily clashes with the notion of identity as a fluid matter in constant negotiation with what sometimes our affective self sees as “outside” influence. In that sense, belonging ultimately is something that is negotiated throughout one’s life on various levels in different time frames, different places and with different people.

For the second edition of Balkan Film Week, this year’s theme “Common ground: Origin and belonging” will screen films that speak about the complexities of the narratives which constitute an identity in a layered geographical space of the Balkan region. In three days, the audience will be able to see and think about different levels of belonging that not only converge in the mentioned region, but can be put in relation to most spaces and places around the world. The level of belonging stem from that of belonging to a family; belonging to the country of birth or wanting to belong to a country as a migrant, refugee or an asylum seeker; belonging to a certain religion and restating your religion; belonging to a sexuality and of a gender; belonging to a certain culture. This year’s eight films will inspect and discuss the levels of struggle and compromise that is inherent in the concept of belonging which by the very nature of inclusion of certain traits excludes other. This dialectic of simultaneous inclusion and exclusion is unavoidable topic in today’s globalized world of ever firmer inner boundaries.

Marija Katalinić, Balkan Film Week Curator