Results of the "Ulyanovsk UNESCO City of Literature" Programme for the first few years are presented

On February 28, a meeting of the Steering Committee on Facilitating and Carrying out the “Ulyanovsk UNESCO Literary City” programme was held in the city library No.18. The meeting took place with the involvement of representatives of the city’s departments, administration, and cultural workers. The focal point of the meeting was summing up of the results of the Program’s four-year work results, as well as the submission of ground plans for the 2020-2024 period.

The values-based orientations of the 2020- 2024 programme will be: commitment to and popularization of reading; profound international cooperation; infiltration of literature into the city’s social spaces; development of modern infrastructure for reading and increased access to books using digitization of municipal libraries; support and enhanced mobility of Ulyanovsk’s authors.

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International Literary Residence has become one of the main projects of the “Ulyanovsk UNESCO Literary City” programme. In 2019, our city was visited by two foreign writers: Andrej Hocevar (Slovenia) and David Howard (New Zealand), the latter was available for communication with the meeting through teleconference bridge. ”I was glad to know that writers and poets in your country are provided state support, while in my homeland a writer has to win fate first himself before expecting support from anybody. I am ready to cooperate and share the experience with you as we go forward. A rule of thumb states that art has no boundaries, which was proven by the music, composed by Sophia Filyanina, a youth music maker from Ulyanovsk to my triptych, and now nothing prevents me from demonstrating it at home”.

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At the meeting among other issues addressed there were programs of cooperation not only with UNESCO literary cities but also with other Net’s creative movements. Thus, in 2019, Kazan earned the status of UNESCO Music City. The meeting was attended by Arseny Karyakin, the first deputy managing director of the International and Intermunicipal Ties Department of Kazan City Council. In his statement, he marked that Ulyanovsk's experience helped them in writing the application and that they are grateful to rely on the experience of their neighbors. Furthermore, at the discussion, the Kazan’s colleagues reported their readiness to implement joint cultural projects.

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Tatiana Ivshina, executive director of the “Ulyanovsk Cultural Capital” foundation marked that in the course of program execution numerous projects had been accomplished with the aim of popularization of literature not only in our city but also globally. It is necessary to continue this positioning of the city and implement cross-cultural projects.

Implementation of the ”ЛитераTour”, already known projects will evolve along with the execution of International Literary Residency, the activity of the International Literary Co-working through the use of online communication of Ulyanovsk citizens and authors with foreign authors, publishers, and translators, in parallel with identification of grant sponsorship for implementation of the new projects ”Book Festival ”Amphibrach”, Children’s Writers Residency, and the “Zarya” project for the popularization of the Russian Language and literature, and others.  

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The program activities plans for the next four years were discussed. Mikhail Sytchev, the acting city executive first deputy stated: ”The Ulyanovsk UNESCO Literary City” Programme is not only a road map but a continuous process of cooperation of culture and art workers with the citizens and representatives of other cities and countries. It is important to involve the public in this process to the maximum extent practicable by finding all new and interesting channels of communications in the next four years of the program activity. 

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For reference: Ulyanovsk is the only Russian UNESCO literary city beginning in 2016. Based on the results of the programme activities this status was extended until 2024.