8 April 2024

What better occasion than the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to present the exhibition promoted by IBBY Italia and dedicated to Jella Lepman, which the Municipality of Trieste will host in one of its venues in the heart of the city during the Congress at the end of August? The Organising Committee has given voice to this project, involving twenty illustrators and illustrators, ten from Italy and ten from the rest of the world, who have taken up the challenge of making important aspects of the life of the founder of IBBY known to all. Jella Lepman was,’ said Silvana Sola, past president of IBBY Italia, during the presentation meeting held on Monday 8 April, ‘a true revolutionary, who after the horrors of World War II was able to see in books a bridge to revive the imagination and bring different geographies together.

There is no city better suited than Trieste to host this tale, Sola concluded. The institutions of Trieste, with the municipal administration in the lead, are aware of this and have guaranteed maximum support for the initiative, said Elisabetta Lippolis, vice president of IBBY Italy and coordinator of the Congress Organising Committee, who emphasised the vocation for openness and dialogue of Trieste, a border city where history has dug furrows and left debris and where books have a special place. And to the books of Munich’s Jugendbibliothek created by Lepman the curators of the exhibition returned for documentation, said David Tolin, while Paola Vassalli spoke of the role of illustrators, who are rewriters and find what is not in the text, fill in the gaps in the stories. As did the Italian LuogoComune, pseudonym of Jacopo Ghisoni, and the Russian-born Bolognese Victoria Semykina, among the project signatures present at the meeting.
“Fateci cominciare dai bambini. I libri come ponti” (“LET US BEGIN WITH THE CHILDREN. BOOKS AS BRIDGES”), this is the name of the exhibition, after the Trieste stop, will find its place in Sala Borsa, in the home of IBBY Italia, to be available to the realities that will want to host it, so that Jella’s message can continue to spread.