Durban can be very proud of itself, having recently been the recipient of not one, but two international awards. The first is an annual award that relates to town planning, with Durban being recognised by the International Society of City and Regional Planners for its inner city spatial vision and regeneration strategy. The second award is a title that Durban gets to hold onto as long as it remains true to its vision as set out in its bid to be awarded the status of Unesco World City of Literature, a title it now proudly holds.
Spearheaded by Darryl David, Head of the Department of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban’s bid was built on the cornerstones of the three major literary festivals the city currently hosts: Time of the Writer; Poetry Africa and ARTiculate Africa. But David and his team have exciting plans to promote Durban as a literary city that extend far beyond these events, and include statues of literary icons, using our local sand artists to get children excited about reading, and painting taxis so that that act as vehicles for poetry, not just commuters. The list goes on and on and one can’t help but be enthusiastic when David explains all of the opportunities that can arise from this title, if we use it properly.
So well done to Durban, its residents, and the incredible authors who have made the title of World City of Literature possible!
P.S. Visit iol.co.za to read more about the plans to promote Durban as a Unesco World City of Literature
Image courtesy of ndabaonline.ukzn.ac.za