Guadalajara, Mexico, was named World Book Capital for the year 2022 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on the recommendation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee.
The city was selected for its comprehensive plan for policies around the book to trigger social change, combat violence and build a culture of peace.
Guadalajara’s proposed programme focuses on three areas: regaining public spaces through reading activities in parks and other accessible places; social bonding and cohesion especially though reading and writing workshops for children; and strengthening of neighbourhood identity using intergenerational connections, story-telling and street poetry.
The city will make use of cultural assets such as libraries, reading rooms, bookstores, independent publishing houses and its world-famous international book fair to improve violence-prevention policies. These resources will be leveraged to advance human rights, gender equality and the culture of peace among members of the public and harness the great potential of books to contribute to social transformation.
Activities will include literary events in collaboration with Latin-American writers, an artistic project on the Tower of Babel, events linking theatre and music to literature and the use of local radio for poetry readings.
The year of celebrations will start on 23 April 2022 which is World Book and Copyright Day.
Cities designated as UNESCO World Book Capital undertake to promote books and reading and to organise activities over the year. As the 22nd city to bear the title since 2001, Guadalajara follows Tbilisi (2021) and Kuala Lumpur (2020). Past winners also include Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Anvers (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (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).
The application of the city of Guadalajara was accepted by an Advisory Committee, comprising representatives of the International Publisher’s Association (IPA), the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), IAF and UNESCO.
Find more about UNESCO World Book capital here.