On 30 September 2021, 19 UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature came together to celebrate International Translation Day with a collaborative project initiated by Slemani (Iraq), which saw cities around the world translate W.S. Merwin's poem “From the Start", into their local language.
The themes of Merwin’s poem resonated perfectly with International Translation Day, promoting the vast number of languages spoken across the UNESCO Creative Cities around the world. Residents of these cities were then invited to share their own translations on social media using #COLTranslates and #InternationalTranslationDay. The city of Slemani further elaborated on the day’s celebrations with discussions and workshops raising awareness of the challenges, necessity and development of translation today.
International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding, and cooperation, contributing to the development, and strengthening world peace and security – all things at the heart of the Cities of Literature network.
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