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In 2012, the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture will be held by Maribor (Slovenia) and Guimarães (Portugal). The programmes of both cities focus on perception of culture as a medium conducive widely, leading to real changes in society. For the whole year Maribor and Guimarães will be hosting a variety of artistic and cultural events. They will also become a popular destination for tourists and journalists. The title of European Capital of Culture means great investments, not only in the cultural sector, and the promotion of the city across Europe.
For the creators of the European Capital of Culture 2012 programme culture is a “Pure Energy!”, the driving force of society: the creative impulse to transform the world that maintains the perspective of social sensitivity and responsibility. Culture as energy creates the network of links: connects the centre and the periphery, the past and the future, penetrates the oppositions: local-regional, national-European, urban-rural, industrial-informational, analogue-digital etc. In this way, it helps to answer the question about the identity of the individual but also the whole community. Maribor, partially destroyed during World War II, puts in this context into a discussion inter alia the issue of the relationships between the totalitarian regimes and ideologies of the 20th century and the not yet discovered spaces of freedom in the virtual world. The core concept of the ECC 2012 programme has not been conceptualized as a restricting frame for art contents but as a creative provocation that demands examination, affirmation through artistic practices, cultural events, or accompanying expert and scientific confrontations.
We encourage you to take up the challenge and get acquainted with a rich cultural programme of Maribor:
Guimarães based its ECC 2012 programme on the following values: “City”, “Citizenship and Participation” and “European dimension”. The main engine of change in these three areas is the culture, again recognized as a driving force and source of creative ideas. It allows the development of human capital, especially in local communities; development of a creative economy – transformation of the city’s economy, based on an industrial economic model, into an internationally competitive creative economy; generation of a new geography of the senses – transformation of a space that passively preserves memory into a space that constantly offers new and surprising cultural and creative experiences. In 2012, Guimarães will be hosting creators from all over the world, representing areas such as music, cinema, photography, fine arts, architecture, literature, science, theatre, dance, street art. The goal is to support the social and economic development of the city and create the new dynamic cultural landscape in the people’s memory. Guimarães, the European Capital of Culture 2012, becomes a pioneer in innovative thinking about the city as a creative centre point.