From Manchester UNESCO City of Literature

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), one of the major English Romantic poets, wrote The Masque of Anarchy as a response to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. The massacre took place when soldiers attacked a crowd gathered in St Peter’s Field, Manchester, to demand parliamentary reform, killing 15 and injuring over 400. 

Shelley’s poem, judged too controversial to publish in his lifetime, has been described as the greatest political poem written in English. Its celebration of non-violent resistance to authority influenced Ghandi, who would often quote the poem in his speeches campaigning for a free India.

Manchester UNESCO City of Literature

Read the World

Read the World is an exhibition of texts from nineteen UNESCO Cities of Literature around the world. It opens at the Reykjavík City Hall on October 10, 2018 and lasts until October 31st.  The exhibition honours Iceland‘s centenary as a sovereign nation and the texts all ponder on the topics of freedom – whether of thought, mind or speach –, independence or rebellion.

The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature hopes that the exhibition encourages people to think about these important issues and their meaning for us as individuals and nations. The event also highlights the importance of intercultural dialogue and the invaluable contribution of foreign artists and cultural currents for Icelandic culture, sovereignty and developement, past and present.

The UNESCO Cities of Literature are part of the wider UNESCO Creative Cities Network.