Bucheon International Literary Award Shines a Spotlight on Diaspora Literature
Since being inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in November 2017, Bucheon has sought to drive changes in the city and lives of local citizens through literature while also engaging in continued urban development through creative projects. Moving forward, Bucheon has announced that it plans to develop into an international city of culture and establish the ‘Bucheon International Literary Award’ (tentative name) to promote greater communication with the rapidly changing world through literature.
As a UNESCO Creative City of Literature, Bucheon has decided to focus on ‘diaspora,’ a style of literature that is becoming an important international topic in an era of mass global migration, in order to expand the domain and themes of Korean literature and promote greater diversity in literature. To this end, the city is preparing to launch the Bucheon International Literary Award. The accomplishments of diaspora literature are already becoming clear through several international literature awards, including the 2017 Nobel Prize won by diaspora author Kazuo Ishiguro. As the first international prize in diaspora literature, it is hoped that the Bucheon International Literature Award will break new ground in modern literature and play a leading role in the literary ecosystem.
The current goal is to hold the first Bucheon International Literature Award ceremony in 2021, the year that marks the fifth anniversary of Bucheon’s designatina as a Creative City. Bucheon plans to actively utilize resources within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to elevate the standing of the prize as an international literature award.
It is expected that the Bucheon International Literary Award will transcend national borders, promote universal human values and lead the way for diaspora literature around the world. Our ultimate goal in pursuing this project is to have the prize stand shoulder to shoulder alongside the Nobel Prize in Literature, Booker Prize and Prix Goncourt as one of the most prestigious international literature awards.