Art And Culture

Call for Book Reading Projects

Call for Book Reading Projects Call for Book Reading Projects

The national ‘book capital’ committee has set January 5 for submission of the book capital projects by all cities and towns, big and small.

The office of the deputy at the culture and Islamic guidance ministry has launched the Iran Book Capital project all across the country, based on which cities should propose their creative projects on promoting book-reading to the national committee, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

The city to be designated the country’s book capital should have a comparative edge on creative and qualitative programs for book reading, said Abdolmehdi Mostakin, director of the UNESCO’s culture working group. “The nomination criterion is newness and creativity of projects, and not the cities’ cultural ethos,” he said. “All cities, big or small, will compete on the same level.”

The initiative originated from the UNESCO World Book Capital project, running since 2001.

“The quality of interaction of publishers with authors and booksellers, as well as production of books that help create a safer world through fostering dialogue, are decisive in nomination as the world book capital,” Mostakin said, adding that, “Iran has little chance to have a city nominated until at least four more years, due to non- observance of the copy right law and low levels of reading per capita among people.” However the country is executing the project nationally to promote book reading and to prepare for global participation later,” he added.

  Diversity Important

“UNESCO attaches great importance to language and diversity among its member states; thus the countries who honor such diversity will have greater chance of having a city nominated,” Mostakin stated.

Iran had some sporadic endeavors in book-related programs, the pinnacle of which were in 2006 and 2011. However, the quest for selecting a book capital for the country saw an impetus only after the MoU between the culture and Islamic guidance ministry and the UNESCO National Commission was inked in August 2014, based on which Iran is to propose one city as its book capital every year. Also the UNESCO is pledged to help the country in a number of issues including promoting book reading, nurturing specialized manpower, reporting creative and innovative activities to the international bodies, and observing international days such as World Poetry Day, International Mother Tongue, and World Book and Copyright Day.

Mostakin said the book capital project is an opportunity to evaluate the capacities and potentials of different cities in book reading.

UNESCO has nominated Incheon of South Korea as the world book capital of 2015.

To choose the world book capital, the selection committee usually brings together representatives of UNESCO and some of the main professional associations in the book industry, including the International Publishers Association, the International Booksellers Federation and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

The designation runs from UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day (April 23) of one year until April 22 of the following year.