ÓBIDOS CITY OF LITERATURE AND FOLIO – Óbidos Literary Internacional Festival 


Óbidos is a unique place in Portugal, less than100 km north from Lisbon, our capital. A magical venue where narrow cobblestone streets are lined with whitewashed houses supporting terracotta roofs and where a XII century medieval wall surrounds the village and the castle.

With the nomination of Óbidos as a City of Literature, the commitment to look at books and Literature in general as the main force of economic development of a territory increased and gained considerable momentum. Creative management of historic centres is only possible when we stop throwing around words like “creativity” and “innovation” and ensure an effective creative impact, that is sustainable and looks to the future. Óbidos has done that. It took a seemingly unlikely idea, a dream, and made it a reality. Today, Óbidos is considered an example in what concerns the implementation of a Literary Strategy. However, our journey has just begun. We  created an economy based on the strategy of Óbidos as a Literary town and not only have we opened over a dozen bookshops, but also motivated local investors to open thematic hotels, as well as literary cafés, where activities such as crossbooking are encouraged. The International Literary Festival has brought to this town, during low season periods, some of the most renowned authors, editors, performing artists, who have given life to this town and its local economy.

Óbidos – Town of Literature is a project lead by the Municipality of Óbidos, in partnership with the Óbidos Vila Literária Association and is one of the most important territories in what concerns literary strategy in the country. It is a small town, although it welcomes over 1,5 million visitors per year. Its cultural role also shows how well low density urban areas can become a centre for critical thinking and literary driven development.

The main literary event that takes place is FOLIO – International Literary Festival of Óbidos. It has brought to Óbidos a new and innovative way of dealing with literature, The festival brings to Óbidos hundreds of authors and creates connections with music, theatre, performance and dance. This city is the perfect example of how a low density urban areas can integrate a wide network of cities committed to the development of strategies based on the most unexpected concept: literature.

Last year, in 2016, the second edition of FOLIO gathered, in this unique and magic small medieval village, creators from all over the world – writers, editors, artists, painters – a true celebration of literature and its relation with all other arts. Round-tables, debates, concerts, exhibitions, reading marathons, theatre – a truly fantastic literary celebration. Some of our guests from the past edition include Nobel V.S. Naipaul or Salman Rushdie.

BEST OF – FOLIO 2016 – https://vimeo.com/190545520/11ffcc3f77

The 2017 Festival will take place in Portugal from the 19th to the 29th October, dedicated to the theme of Revolution and will focus on the role of literature as an educator and development driver. The festival will be divided into 5 main areas that will have a focus on world literature and, especially, the relevance of books and literature on contemporary society. The areas will be: FOLIO Authors (round-tables, book presentations, book signings); FOLIO Folia (concerts, exhibitions, masterclasses, reading marathons, theatre and cinema); FOLIO Education (new readers, new literacies); FOLIO Illustration (literature and storytelling through images) ; FOLIOPlus (publishers, booksellers, all parallel events).



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