UK pavilion at Kolkata Book Fair brings our best in education, culture, says British Council India Dir

Asha Bajaj
2 min readJan 21, 2024
Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

By Deepayan Sinha

#UK, #UnitedKingdom, #BritishCouncil, #IKBF, #KolkataBookFair

Kolkata/IBNS-CMEDIA: The United Kingdom, the focal theme country at the 47th International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF), has brought the best of UK literature, education, art and culture to their pavilion here, said British Council India director Alison Barrett on Friday.

The UK theme country pavilion at the IKBF was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier on Thursday (Jan 18) in the presence of British High Commission to India, Alex Ellis, and Alison Barrett, the country director of British Council, the organisation for Britain’s educational opportunities and cultural relations.

Speaking at the book fair, Alison Barrett said the UK pavilion at the IKBF offers visitors and the youth of Kolkata a deeper view into the UK culture and expertise, and the opportunities sparked by the partnership between the two entities.

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the British Council’s presence in India, the UK pavilion at the IKBF showcases the best of the UK literature, culture and academic excellence, she said.

Alison Barrett said, “The West Bengal-UK ties in literature go back a long way and paved the way for the opportunities and partnerships in the present and the future.”

“We are bringing the best of the UK to Kolkata,” she said.

Image by Avishek Mitra/IBNS

At the pavilion, visitors can enjoy multiple experiences spanning access to books across genres, a digital library, sessions with authors, discussions with UK academics and experts, a view into the ‘Future of English’ and access to information on studying in some of the major academic institutions in the UK.

The British Council’s India Director said, “Over the next two weeks, visitors from all backgrounds can find a reason to visit the UK theme pavilion — whether listening to authors and experts, including in quizzes or exploring educational opportunities in the UK.”

“At the theme country pavilion, visitors can interact with 20 authors from the UK. We have 35 workshops and activities happening over the next two weeks,” Alison Barrett added.

Elaborating on the “Future of English” exhibition, Barrett said it is a result of three years of research globally across the British Council network looking at what English will play in the future.

Speaking at the occasion, the Director of British Council, East and Northeast India, Debanjan Chakrabarti, said, “Our main focus is to represent the diversity of the UK through this book fair.”



Asha Bajaj

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