UNESCO Cities of Literature collaborate for UK-India literature exchange

Arts Council England (ACE) is set to fund a literature-exchange between Norwich UNESCO City of Literature, and aspirant City of Literature Kolkata to connect its writers, translators and readers.

A series of events will take place in Norwich and Kolkata, and a new publication will introduce UK audiences to new voices in Bengali and Sylheti.

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers’ Centre Norwich, said:

“This ambitious programme will see an outpouring of artistic collaboration, connect writers and transform relations between our two cities as India celebrates its 70th Anniversary of Independence in 2017. We’ll introduce new work from the Indian market to the UK and promote exchange between Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, and Kolkata – a city with a dynamic and ambitious literary scene”.

The programme is grounded in the 70th anniversary celebrations of Indian Independence and aims to respond to place, literary history and the relationship between India and England today.

Dan Rycroft, chair of UEA’s India Dialogue Group, said:

“I wholeheartedly welcome the collaboration that will come about through this programme. Writers’ Centre Norwich is a well-known hub of innovation and creativity and it is exciting to know that through the Writers’ Centre there will be more interactions between Kolkata and Norwich”.

John Orna-Ornstein, director for ACE in the South East, said:

“We’re really excited to be able to support Writers’ Centre Norwich as it raises the profile of British literature in India, and vice-versa. We look forward to seeing how this project expands opportunities for writers and literary translators in both countries, whilst also expanding audiences for Indian literature in the UK”.