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Дом Гончарова Литературный троллейбус Литературный трамай
ЛОготип СЕти креативных городов  и Ульяновска
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Телемост Россия-Турция: диалог и обмен опытом
20.03.2023

On March, 16 an international conference between the cities of Ulyanovsk, Russia and Kahramanmaraş, Turkey took place. During a 2-hour long conversation, the participants shared their best practices in the field of literature. The cities discussed global role of literature as a creative driver for development of municipalities. Ulyanovsk gave the representatives of Kahramanmaraş some recommendations regarding the UCCN Application process.

The Turkish team of speakers was led by Duran Doğan, Director of Culture, Tourism and Sports Department of the capital municipality of Kahramanmaraş, Chair of the UNESCO City of Literature Application Committee. Kahramanmaraş wishes to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of Literature. This year, the city is preparing to resubmit its application, and has turned to the Directorate of the Ulyanovsk UNESCO City of Literature program for expert opinion.

Olga Slepova, Director of the Centralized Library System of Ulyanovsk and Elena Cherkas, Head of the Ulyanovsk UNESCO City of Literature Directorate noted that in Ulyanovsk the work on the application was comprehensive, discussions were conducted with the participation of representatives of the municipality, creative business, scientists, non-profit organizations in the field of culture. This approach allowed to see a perspective of how to develop the city through creative fields.

During the conversation, the cities shared their experience in developing creative fields and, first of all, the field of literature. The participants discussed the International Writers' Residence, the work of the Literary Tram, the Crossroads festival, etc. The dialogue made it possible to determine the areas of common interest of the two cities - helping citizens overcome crisis situations with the help of literature and creativity in general.

In February, earthquakes in Turkey took the lives of almost 50 thousand people, with thousands of people losing their homes and loved ones. Colleagues launched a social project to help victims get through loss with reading books and writing diaries. The project’s goal is to help people cope with difficult events. Ulyanovsk highlighted the importance of the project. Olga Slepova noted that during the COVID, UNESCO Cities of Literature helped children cope with self-isolation through creative projects. Colleagues from Kahramanmaraş use books to help townspeople emotionally and psychologically overcome the consequences of the tragedy.

The projects of Ulyanovsk UNESCO City of Literature unite the fields literature, history, tourism and sports, and the colleagues from Turkey found that very valuable. Elena Cherkas spoke about the adaptation of foreign students, who get their degree in Ulyanovsk universities. That project allows young people from India to fit into modern Ulyanovsk and helps the students discover the literary, historical, and tourist features of the city.

The outcome of the meeting was an agreement on further mutual cooperation. Representatives of the city of Kahramanmaraş will take part in the World Poetry Day project and will read poetry in Turkish via video link. The Directorate will also continue to support Turkish colleagues in their desire to become part of the UCCN.