Kozhikode: The ‘Kerala Piravi’ celebration holds a double sweet for Kozhikode this year as the city was designated as the ‘City of Literature’ by UNESCO, a subsidiary organisation of the United Nations. The inclusion of Kozhikode in the list of 55 creative cities newly selected by UNESCO marks a historic moment, making it India’s very first City of Literature. Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh also found a place in the list of creative cities, being featured as a City of Music.
Kishan Reddy, the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Development of the North Eastern Region of India, expressed pride in this achievement for India. He wrote in X, “Kozhikode in Kerala has been designated as the UNESCO ‘City of Literature’ and Gwalior as the ‘City of Music’ in the latest @UNESCO List of Creative Cities Network. These cities get acknowledgement & recognition for their strong commitment to harnessing culture and creativity. Congratulations!”
Kozhikode’s recognition in the field of literature adds to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), which now comprises 350 cities from over 100 countries, spanning seven creative domains: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.
UNESCO has shared the full list of the 55 new cities, including names like Bukhara (Crafts and Folk Art), Casablanca (Media Arts), Chongqing (Design), Kathmandu (Film), Rio de Janeiro (Literature), and Ulaanbaatar (Crafts and Folk Art).
The newly designated creative cities are invited to participate in the 2024 UCCN Annual Conference, scheduled to be held in Braga, Portugal, from July 1 to 5. The conference’s theme focuses on involving youth in shaping the next decade.
Established in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to foster cooperation among cities that recognise creativity as a pivotal factor in sustainable urban development. Nearly 300 cities worldwide constitute this network, working together with a mission of prioritising creativity and cultural industries in their local development plans and actively collaborating on the global stage.