UNESCO Cities of Literature

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Did you know that Durban, South Africa is one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature? I did not and so have been doing a little snooping to see what it’s all about.

Why Creativity? Why Cities? ‘The crucial role of cities in promoting sustainable development focused on people and the respect of human rights is notably recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes among its 17 goals a specific objective to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ and identifies culture and creativity as one of the essential levers for action in this context.

It is first and foremost at local level that culture and creativity are lived and practised on a daily basis. It is therefore by stimulating cultural industries, supporting creation, promoting citizen and cultural participation and approaching the public sphere with a new perspective that public authorities, in cooperation with the private sector and civil society, can make the difference and support a more sustainable urban development suited to the practical needs of the local population.

In this context, cooperation and the sharing of experience and knowledge is crucial for making creativity a lever for urban development and conceiving of new solutions to tackle common challenges. In this regard, UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network offers unparalleled opportunities for cities to draw on peer learning processes and collaborative projects in order to fully capitalize on their creative assets and use this as a basis for building sustainable, inclusive and balanced development in economic, cultural, environmental and social terms.’

How amazing is this? For those who have published a children’s book, there is an opportunity for you:

GRÖNDAL’S HOUSE UNESCO CITIES OF LITERATURE RESIDENCY Go and check it out and if you choose to submit an entry, let Zukiwe.Vikelo@durban.gov.za know so that they can give you a letter confirming your association with Durban UNESCO City of Literature for the application process.

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