Friday 12 February 2016
Whereas the year 2016 is still at its babbling, the city of Wroclaw has already immersed herself into new year under the rhythms of numerous performances which have brightened the opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) on the 15th-16th and 17th January.
Under the theme of culture as element of creation of civilisation, the City of Wroclaw during 8 years has put together an impressive programme to obtain the ECoC label. This year is highly symbolic for the 4th cities of Poland of more than 600 000 souls with an abundant history of divers cultures and deep traumas. After WWII, the former German city “Breslau” is almost totally destroyed and has to be rebuilt under the communist dictatorship. The city's population dropped and recomposed of a patchwork of communities with differents cultures. However its inhabitants not let it them get down, culture becomes a tool of resistance against the dictatorship and a driver around the feeling to be part of the city. Wroclaw has capitalised on its population bravery and has arose from the basis of its German, Polish and Jewish multicultural heritage.
This inhabitants' strength of character makes the city proud of them and Wroclaw would like to highlight it throughout the year by demonstrating that civilisation can not develop without culture. For the city it is a way to prove to the entire Europe that life can grow up again from ashes and human tragedies. Thus, under the initiative started in 2008, there will be more than 400 projects and 1000 cultural events that will be held throughout the city under the supervision of 8 curators in charge of the programming. 8 curators for 8 different artistic areas which are: architecture, film, literature, music, visual arts, theatre, performance and opera.
These 8 artistic areas will concentrate around the common thematic of “Spaces for Beauty” and will have the aim to initiate a dialogue on the theme of the past, present and future cultural evolution of Wroclaw, in order to make the city and the inhabitants undergo a metamorphosis. The programmers hope that with the open-mindedness, the creativity and the energy of the residents, they will be able to create a form of art produced by a collective creation process, and then to diffuse it to the entire population and to reach the more unconventional spaces.
The abundance of contemporary Wroclaw history has lead to the birth of a new cultural identity able to unify the population. In order to ensure that this experience is transmitted to everybody, the cultural productions will take place on 4 different stages representing the 4 geographical scales on which Wroclaw would like to be influential: the city of Wroclaw itself, as the capital of Lower Silesia, as the 4th cities of Poland and as a city with European and international influence. "I believe this may be the most important year in the post-war history of Wroclaw. [...] We want Wroclaw to be a very open metropolis on the map of Europe and the world" said Rafal Dutkiewicz, Mayor of Wroclaw, at the presentation of the programme at the Wroclaw Stadium.