The Capital city of Slovenia with 280,000 inhabitants, Ljubljana is known to be a prolific centre of literary creation with an average of 850 books published each year. With its strong public library network of over 500,000 members, the city was bestowed the title of World Book Capital and became the first city to host the World Book Summit, during which the adopted Ljubljana Resolution emphasized the importance of books as key drivers of sustainable development and cultural diversity.
Ljubljana has a vibrant creative scene and hosts a variety of major international events. Home to the main programme for the prestigious Fabula Festival, the city each year showcases more than 60 artists including internationally renowned writers such as Mueller, Franzen, Kureishi, Houellebecq and Galloway. With a commitment to promoting reading for all, Ljubljana’s literary life enlivens public spaces through diverse initiatives, such as the open-air Library under the Treetops and the Literary Walks. The Ljubljana Reads project also focuses on the broad participation of young people by offering them equal opportunity to enjoy literature.
As a member of the International Cit ies of Refugees Network (ICORN), Ljubljana is committed to supporting freedom of expression, as well as providing creative environments for writers. The Municipality thus offers free of charge premises for cultural activities through public tenders. In the Šiška district, 36 offices in a former administration building have been leased to artists, emphasizing the particular dynamism of the city in terms of fostering cultural facilities and supporting the emergence of creative industries.
As a Creative City of Literature, Ljubljana envisages:
- further promoting the culture of reading and the accessibility of books for all, especially for young people through the Children Book Festival and the Youth Library;
- creating new employment opportunities for young creative entrepreneurs in the book industry;
- organising the Book Celebration Festival to fill public spaces with literary related activities to enhance access and participation to cultural life;
- offering artist residency programmes to strengthen the ties between Creative Cities of Literature by hosting artists at the Švicarija Art Centre for sixmonth exchanges; and
- establishing the Palace of Literature to focus on the history of Slovenian literature – the Palace will also host a dedicated UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature Saloon to showcase the major authors and literary trends within the UCCN.