World read aloud day, Durban 2017

Great support from our mentor city Durban, South Africa.

Publicerad 9 juli 2021

Gothenburg has received greetings from our mentor city Durban in South Africa. "I think your lovely city stands a great chance of getting chosen, Debbie Skelton says and continues: You have such a rich literary scene."

Throughout the process of creating the application to UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the coordination group has been in contact with many cities in the network. Nottingham, who chairs the Cities of Literature (CoL), has provided guidance and facilitated contact with our mentor city: Durban in South Africa.

In the exchange with Durban, a CoL-city since 2017, we have had the pleasure of meeting Debbie Skelton who is district manager and central to the CoL-work. Through videocalls Debbie has told us about the crucial work of creating participation for all the city´s residents and making literature something for everybody to gather around.

Our libraries are very active in running programs and activities, Debbie says. Since our designation every event is promoted under the banner of UNESCO City of Literature. In our initiative called "One city One book” a book is chosen by a jury, after nominations from the residents. We focus on this book for a year, with activities and events. We want the whole city to talk about the same book and share the experience.  

Debbie emphasizes the importance of working actively with communication and marketing to create participation and invite the community in the process.

All those who are associated with Durban City of Literature are free to adopt the designation in their free way and use the logo. This makes it possible for many actors to contribute to a creative Durban, says Debbie.

Durban wishes Gothenburg the very best of luck, and we are thankful for the mentorship that has improved the quality of the application and showed the benefits of international collaboration. Durban´s mentorship will continue until UNESCO’s designation announcement on 29 October.