Bui Chat, founder of Giay Vun Publishing in Vietnam, has been named as the recipient of this year’s IPA Freedom to Publish Prize. He will receive the award from IPA president YoungSuk “Y.S” Chi in a ceremony later today at the 37th Buenos Aires International Book Fair.
Chat, an underground publisher in Vietnam, has printed and published works by Vietnam’s “pavement poets,” managing to evade the reach of censorship authorities. Under Bui Chat’s leadership, Giay Vun has directly assisted in the establishment in Vietnam of other publishing houses that operate independently and freely, publishing the works of banned authors and historians.
Bjorn Smith-Simonsen, chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee said, “After almost 10 years of persistent struggle, the publishing house founded by Bui Chat has helped create an independent publishing movement in Vietnam. Under extremely difficult conditions, the Giay Vun publishing house has initiated a new movement of free thinkers, free writers, free artists who refuse to conform to the State rules of creation.”
Chat commented, “Books have the power to make the world free; freedom for those who publish books, for those who read books, and for those who discuss what books bring to them. We hope this award will be a significant boost to the development of the independent publishing movement and civil society in Vietnam.”