UN honours three humanist poets – Tagore, Neruda and Césaire

Rabindrânâth Tagore, Pablo Neruda and Aimé Césaire

13 September 2011 – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today launched 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.

Beyond their different geographic, social and political contexts, Tagore, a Bengali poet at the time that India was under British rule, Chile’s Neruda and Césaire – from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe – 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,” UNESCO said at a forum opened by Director-General Irina Bokova at its headquarters in Paris.

Launched in the wake of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures of 2010, the programme aims to promote translations, publications, and creations connected to the three writers, facilitating the dissemination and adaptation of their message.

A tribute to Tagore was organized with Bangladesh’s and India’s permanent delegations to UNESCO as part of the 150th anniversary of his birth, with song, dance and poetry readings.

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


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