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August 4, 2015

Kolkata eyes UNESCO’s ‘City of Literature’ tag

Kolkata eyes UNESCO’s ‘City of Literature’ tag

In a bid to make Kolkata the first UNESCO City of Literature in India, the state has decided to work with Norwich, the first city in England to bag the title.

During West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee’s recent trip to England, West Bengal representatives met the officials of Writers’ Centre Norwich (WCN), hoping to learn from Norwich’s success. The two cities are also thinking of working together on a literary project, Writing Places.

Norwich won the honour in 2012, and the literary mark of excellence is shared by a select few cities around the world, including Edinburgh (Scotland), Melbourne (Australia), Iowa City (US), Dublin (Ireland), Reykjavík (Iceland ), Kraków (Poland), Heidel berg (Germany), Granada (Spain) and Prague (Czech Republic).

Making Kolkata ‘City of Literature’

Kolkata is the cultural capital of the country and we want our city to become a member of the prestigious group. The State I&CA Dept will work in close coordination with Norwich officials. Representatives from both the cities will visit the two places for exchange of ideas. Norwich officials have accepted Bengal’s proposal and are chalking out the plan.

Arts Council England has made a funding of £26,900 for an innovative literary project, Writing Places. Under the project, the initial funding is made for a scheme called, Creative City Alliance Scheme, in which the city’s top literary organizations will hold meetings, conferences and seminars both in Norwich and Kolkata.

In these workshops and seminars, literary personal ties from the two cities will exchange their ideas, which will help establish literary links between Norwich and Kolkata which in turn will the city to make a constructive effort in moving a step forward towards achieving this prestigious recognition.

The delegation visited Writers’ Centre Norwich at Dragon Hall, the University of East Anglia’s creative writing department, met representatives from the Norwich-based British Centre for Literary Translation, and visited the South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection.