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Sandeep Mahal

Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature – Director

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An expert in literature, literacy and libraries, Sandeep Mahal, is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network.

#CitiesofLit @readwithsandy @nottmcityoflit

Passionate about equality, inclusion and empowering young people to build a better world with words, Sandeep is responsible for providing creative and strategic leadership and effective management of Nottingham’s UNESCO designation and charitable company. She drives the city’s vision where everyone is reading and writing their way to a better life. She is also Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network.

Sandeep previously spent ten years in public libraries in Sandwell, in various roles, working as Race Equality Librarian, and later as Outreach Services Librarian. In addition to libraries, she has many years of experience in the UK publishing environment, transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network. She has staged all kinds of events with authors from Zadie Smith and Jarvis Cocker to Adele Parks and Neil Gaiman. In 2013, Sandeep was seconded as a Clore Fellow to The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC. Sandeep is a trustee of Spread the Word and the Women’s Prize Trust.

Sandeep has positioned Nottingham’s UNESCO designation as crucial to the local cultural ecology. She has developed a strong reputation for cultural collaboration, provided an infrastructure that has leveraged new investment into the city and embedded the UNESCO designation into the capital development plans for the new Central Library. She worked with the National Literary Trust to establish the Read On Nottingham Literacy Hub and sits on Nottingham’s new Board for Culture and Creativity.

#Institution

Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Registered Charity. Director

SINCE 2016

#Alma-Matter

Clore Leadership Programme
Fellow

2013 – 2014

#Role at UNESCO

Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

SINCE 2016

QUOTE

“Literature can’t move mountains, but it can galvanise social progress. We need culture and we need literature and a good political policy to demonstrate what a cultured, civilised society can do; what a cultured, civilised society can be. It’s what we, the UNESCO Cities of Literature, are about.”

Sandy Mahal, Speaking of the need for UNESCO Cities of Literature.

All accredited experts within our network are elected onto a specific international committee or programme within UNESCO’s framework

ROLE AT UNESCO

Sandeep Mahal is Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, and Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network.

Institutions

The Space – Est. by the BBC and Arts Council England
Director

2014 – 2015

The Reading Agency
Programme Manager – Partnerships

2009 – 2014

University of Birmingham
BA(Hons), Librarianship

2000

Role at UNESCO

Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

SINCE 2015

COMMISSION

UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) – City of Literature

ESTABLISHED 2015 – NOTTINGHAM, UK

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to strengthen cooperation amongst cities recognising creativity, as a strategic factor for sustainable development, with economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts.

Publications

SELECTED WORK

Read about some of the fantastic projects that Sandy and her team are working to deliver to the city of Nottingham.

LATEST

INTERNATIONAL DAY International Migrants Day 18.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 18 We celebrate the International Migrants Day on December 18. READ MORE BELOW MIGRANTS DAY Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nicola Fioravanti, UNESCO Migration is a global phenomenon driven by many forces. These start with aspirations for…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Persons with Disabilities 03.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 3 We celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. READ MORE BELOW DAY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nathan Anderson, Arisa Chattasa. The annual observance of the…
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INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 29.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 29 We celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. READ MORE BELOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Photo credit, from top to bottom: Ahmed Abu Hameeda, Cole-Keister.…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 25 We celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. READ MORE BELOW END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Photo credit, from top to bottom: United Nations, Karl…
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QUOTE

“I am absolutely delighted to be the first director of UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature. It is now more urgent than ever to unlock the power of literature and storytelling to build bridges and bring greater community cohesion.”

Sandy Mahal, speaking of her appointment as UNESCO City of Literature Director

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