The UNESCO Creative Cities Space and the literary coworking were launched in Ulyanovsk

On September 28, a coworking space for writers The Literary Hall was opened in Ulyanovsk, in which authors can not only work and discuss projects with colleagues but also get online contact with writers, translators from different countries or hold an event. Also, this space will become a presentation platform for the literary sphere of the region and international projects of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

The opening of coworking took place as part of the International Cultural Forum in Ulyanovsk. The writers' workplace is located on the third floor of the main library of Ulyanovsk - The Book Palace.

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Among the guests of the event were not only local authors, but also the participants of The Days of Germany festival - representatives of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network: Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Berlin. They shared their experience in organizing events and introducing literary objects in the urban environment.  

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Besides, during a skype session, Nicky Page, the coordinator of the UNESCO City of Literature program in Dunedin, presented New Zealand's experience in this area, talking about collaboration with writers, literary festivals and the creation of literary spaces in streets and parks. In 2018, Dunedin launched a free City of Literature app Dtour. The app has unlimited capacity for writers to be added, and it takes the user to locations in the city of special meaning to the writer while briefly describing the writer’s life and work and sharing excerpts to encourage the user to explore works in depth later. The app is popular with visitors to the city as well as students of literature and the city is about to launch the next group of fifty writers.  

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Literary coworking will work in a free mode. This space will be equipped with computers, equipment for conducting online sessions with colleagues from different countries and literary events. A wall map of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, a literary map of Ulyanovsk, a library with materials on literary projects of different countries, books of local and foreign writers are also installed here.  

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Also, during the opening of The Literary Hall, business representatives actively supporting literary events were noted. Gratitude letters were handed to the Ulyanovsk branch of PJSC Rostelecom, the Leroy Merlin and the Simbirsk hotel, which became the owner of the Ulyanovsk - UNESCO Cty of Literature Program Partner mark. Such signs will soon appear on the facades of hotels of this network, which have already twice hospitably received guests of the writer's residence in Ulyanovsk.

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As part of the opening of the space, a meeting was also held with the second guest of the writer's residence in Ulyanovsk, the poet from Dunedin David Howard. The author presented his poetic triptych inspired by Ulyanovsk. Guests also heard the music of the local composer Sofya Filyanina, written specifically for these texts.

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The appearance of international literary coworking in the region will contribute to the development of cultural contacts for promoting Ulyanovsk authors abroad and will promote cooperation of The UNESCO Creative Cities.

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The organizers of the project: AIST Public Organization of Innovative Social Technologies, the Directorate of the Ulyanovsk - UNESCO City of Literature Program and The Book Palace with the support of the Ulyanovsk – the Capital of Culture Foundation and the Department of Culture and Leisure of the Population of the Ulyanovsk Administration. Implementation of the project was made possible thanks to granting support in the framework of the Russian national project "Culture".

Photo: Dmitriy Potapov, Ulyanovsk - UNESCO City of Literature