I remember being young and reading anything I could get my hands on — books, pocketbooks, magazines, newspapers, journals, and even almanacs. I had as much fun reading something bad as I did reading something good. I didn’t care — as long as they were stories or bits of information that I thought cool, I’d take it. Then at age 13, I stumbled upon a Judy Blume book, and I fell in love with fiction. The protagonist was Sheila the Great, and I thought, here’s a girl like me. She seemed pretty cool, too.
In retrospect, discovering that book paved the way for my love of writing — I loved these characters, and I wanted to see more of them. I wanted to see more girls and women because I wanted to hear their voices. That’s why Komura; book fair is important — it’s an intimate gathering of people who love books and people who create them. Co-organized by Warehouse Eight & Kwago, the fair aims to champion underrepresented voices in publishing. On May 18 to 19, the focus is women’s stories.
[READ: Renew your artistic passion at this Makati-based book bar]
The book fair will highlight literary works of a diverse selection of women — from independent publishers, writers, and art merchants. Kwago founder Czyka Tumaliuan notes, “While Komura; has always been a platform that seeks to democratize creation and the dissemination of independently published stories, we think that a mindful curation this year will help us provide more support for the community. It’s not really about us, but the people we wish to support.”
Other highlights to expect are of pockets of storytelling, where each section will offer a specific point of interest. ‘Market’ will feature the indie press, art brands and curated used books and specialty magazines. Think of it as a treasure quest, where a newfound book could be your next beloved thing. Stickers and prints are up for grabs too. This year, they are also featuring women in tech and film with ‘Pixel’. It aims to further establish the presence of women in video games and extend the dialogue on female identity in the publishing industry.
If you’re interested in children’s literature, Raya School co-founder and Adarna’s vice president Ani Almario will be there to exhibit essential children’s books for this month’s A Curated Shelf. Don’t hesitate to bring a little cousin or niece, because children are also welcome at this event. And trust that there will be good music too, as their staple program and crowd favorite ‘Echoes’ will showcase stripped-down gigs and spoken word poetry.
All of these will be packed in an intimate setting (coffee and drinks will be available at the bar) where everyone can gather and discover new things. After all, Komura is inspired by Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, where the author took us to surreal places — something that a good book or experience can bring.
Komura; will be held on May 18-19 (11am-11pm) at Warehouse Eight, Makati. For more information, visit their event page. You can also check out Warehouse Eight’s Facebook page and Kwago’s Facebook page.