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Tagore, Neruda and Césaire honoured at Unesco


UNESCO is organizing an international forum on 13 September to launch a programme honouring Rabindrânâth Tagore, Pablo Neruda and Aimé Césaire, three poets who, each in his own way, carried high the standard of humanist values.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will open the international forum (Room II, 10 a.m.), which will focus on three themes: emancipation from oppression (10.30-11.15), the human being and nature (11.30-12.15) and the educational challenge (12.30-1.15 p.m.). Speakers at the forum include, French sociologist and philosopher Edgar Morin; Guadeloupian writer and poet Daniel Maximin; the French government’s Commissaire chargé de l’Année des outre-mer français, Indian writer U.R. Ananthamurthy; and Chilean writer Jorge Edwards.

A tribute to Tagore will take place on the eve of the forum, on 12 September (Room I, 6.30 p.m.). Organized with Bangladesh’s and India’s Permanent Delegations to UNESCO as part of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Bengali poet, the cultural evening will feature a programme of song, dance and poetry readings.

A set of five CDs with about forty musical works by Tagore has been issued by Media Access, a company based in Calcutta, his native city, under the aegis of UNESCO.

Launched in the wake of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010), the Rabindrânâth Tagore, Pablo Neruda and Aimé Césaire programme aims to promote translations, publications, and creations connected to the three writers. It will also facilitate the dissemination and adaptation of their message. These activities are to be implemented by Member States, public or private institutions.

Beyond their different geographic, social and political contexts, Tagore, Neruda and Césaire, have promoted humanist values, each in his way. They also showed a commitment to speaking for the voiceless. By challenging relations based on domination and submission - whether they concern colonialism, fascism or racism - their message attains a universal dimension.

A UNESCO work, Rabindrânâth Tagore, Pablo Neruda, Aimé Césaire for a reconciled universal, pays tribute this universal oeuvre. Published in English, French and Spanish, this richly illustrated book, examines the legacy of the three authors and their messages from a comparatist perspective.


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