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For the first time since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) launched its City of Literature programme in 2004, an African city has been selected. Durban, South Africa is now one of 28 cities selected so far, including Manchester (England), Milan (Italy), Quebec City (Canada), and Seattle (U.S.A.).

UNESCO’s City of Literature programme is part of its wider Creative Cities Network which includes 180 cities globally in 72 countries in the fields of Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music, and Media Arts. Its aim is to “promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world.”

Durban’s bid was spearheaded by Darryl David, former Head of Afrikaans at University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Joining him are UKZN’s Head of Libraries, Tebogo Mzizi, and writers Ashwin Desai and ZP Dala.

Congratulations to Durban and the bidding team.

Read Darryl David’s interview with LitNet HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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