Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Kozhikode awarded ‘City of Literature’ at UNESCO Creative Cities Network Conference


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: UCCN, Indian cities recognized by UCCN

Why in the News?

  • “Kozhikode” was awarded the title of ‘City of Literature’ at the 16th annual conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in Braga, Portugal.
    • The theme of this year’s UCCN conference is ‘Bringing youth to the table for the next decade’.

About UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Purpose To promote cooperation among cities for cultural and creative industry development
Initiation Established by UNESCO in 2004
Seven Categories/Criteria
  • Sector-Specific Excellence: Prominence in one of the seven creative fields: Craft and Folk Art, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature, or Music.
  • Commitment to Creativity: Long-term dedication to creativity and culture as key drivers for urban development.
  • Supportive Infrastructure: Established cultural institutions, educational programs, and events promoting creativity.
  • Alignment with SDG 11: Initiatives supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Inclusivity: Ensuring creative activities are inclusive and accessible to all societal segments.
Member Cities Over 250 cities from around the world
Objectives Foster innovation, cultural diversity, and sustainable urban development
Activities Collaborative projects, cultural events, and initiatives
Selection Process Cities apply and are designated by UNESCO based on criteria related to creativity
Network Coordination UNESCO provides coordination and support
Impact Enhances cities’ cultural identity, economy, and international visibility
Other Indian Cities in UCCN
  • Gwalior – Music Category (2023)
  • Srinagar– Crafts and Folk Arts (2022)
  • Jaipur– Crafts and Folk Arts (2015)
  • Varanasi– Creative City of Music (2015)
  • Chennai– Creative City of Music (2017)
  • Mumbai– Film (2019)
  • Hyderabad– Gastronomy/Food (2019)

Reasons for Kozhikode’s Selection

  • Rich Literary Tradition: Kozhikode has a deep and rich literary heritage that spans centuries, contributing significantly to the cultural and intellectual life of the region.
  • Prominent Literary Figures: The city has been home to many renowned authors, poets, and scholars who have significantly contributed to Malayalam literature.
  • Cultural Festivals and Events: Kozhikode hosts various literary festivals, book fairs, and cultural events that promote literature and reading among the community.
  • Educational Institutions: The presence of several prestigious educational institutions that emphasise literature and the arts played a crucial role in its selection.
  • Community Engagement: Active involvement of local communities in promoting and preserving literary culture through libraries, reading clubs, and literary societies.
  • Literary Infrastructure: Well-established libraries, publishing houses, and bookshops that support and nurture the scholarly ecosystem.

Historic Contributions of Kozhikode

  • Malayalam Literature: Kozhikode has been a centre for Malayalam literature and scholarly activities. It has produced notable literary figures and is a hub for literary festivals and cultural events.
  • Astronomy and Mathematics: The region, under the patronage of the Zamorins, was a centre for advancements in astronomy and mathematics, contributing significantly to the fields through scholars like the 14th-century mathematician and astronomer Madhava of Sangamagrama.

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