Strasbourg’s strong focus on books to meet the challenges of social tensions and climate change, with programs like ‘Reading for the Planet’ has earned this French city the designation of World Book Capital for 2024.
The city emphasizes books’ ability to encourage debate and discussion of environmental concems and scientific knowledge, focusing on young people as agents of change, UNESCO said while announcing the World Book Capital for 2024.
Strasbourg was also commended for its literary heritage and the activities it organized highlighting many artistic disciplines, from music, to theatre and illustration. The city has significant experience of organising large-scale outwardlooking events. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said, “In uncertain times, many are tuming to books as a refuge and a source of dreams. Indeed, books have the unique ability both to entertain and to teach. This is why we must ensure everyone has access to knowledge and reflection through books and reading. This is why, each year UNESCO designates a world book capital After Guadalajara in 2022, and Accra in 2023, I am pleased to announce the designation of Strasbourg as World Book Capital for 2024.”
WORLD BOOK CAPITALS
The city of Madrid (Spain) was the first city to be named World Book Capital in 2001. Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005). Turn (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Erevan (2012), Bangkok (2013). Port Harcourt (2014). Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016) Conakry (2017), Athens (2018). Sharjah, (2019), Kuala Lumpur (2020), Tbilisi (2021), Guadalajara (2022) and Acom (2003) followed Madrid.
Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to carry out activities with the aim of encouraging a culture of rending and diffusing its values in all ages and population groups in and out of the national borders. Through the World Book Capital programme, UNESCO acknowledges the cities commitment for promoting books and fostering reading during a 12 months period between one World Book and Copyright Day and the next (23 April).
The Advisory Committee made up of one representative of the International Authors Forum, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the International Publishers Association and one UNESCO representative is in charge for the examination and selection of the applications files.
Mayor of Strasbourg Jeanne Barseghian was quoted in a statement saying that teh selection of treh city crowns the remarkable commitment of all the cultural, educational and social forces, which have been able to design a new future dedicated to the debate of ideas, as well as creative and ecological issues.