23 delegates representing 14 countries came together in April for a four day conference showcasing activity in their literary cities and to discuss projects and potential collaborations for the future.
Representatives from 16 designated Cities of Literature attended: Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Granada, Heidelberg, Iowa City, Ljubljana, Lviv, Melbourne, Norwich, Nottingham, Obidos, Prague, Reykjavik and Tartu, with the meeting chaired by Krakow City of Literature.
Barcelona was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015 and welcomed the guests to their city with a reception at the Town Hall where Jaume Collboni, the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Innovation and Business announced plans for a new book centre for the city, the “Casa de les Lletres” (House of Letters). The Centre will open in 2019 and offer meeting space, performance areas, and residency and exhibition space.
The delegates met with representatives from across Barcelona’s literary scene, including the library service, publishers and booksellers. The conference concluded on World Book Day, 23rd April, and delegates enjoyed Barcelona’s famous Sant Jordi celebration where thousands of people packed the city’s streets to buy and exchange books and roses.
The conference received strong media attention with features on the news in Tv3 (Catalan TV) and articles in La Vanguardia (print) and ElPuntAvui (print), as well as references in long articles on Sant Jordi’s day at El Periodico (print) and Ara (print).
More cities are expected to join the Creative City Network in November 2017, as UNESCO makes further appointments to the global network. New cities will specialise in one of seven creative fields: literature, design, film, gastronomy, crafts and folk art, media arts and music.
For more information: http://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/home