Chemnitz will be Germany’s fourth European Capital of Culture in 2025. ECOC News conducted an interview with the Chemnitz team to find out why they decided to apply for the European Capital of Culture title and what our colleagues wish to achieve with the title.
Located in Eastern Germany, Chemnitz is the third largest city in Saxony. The city’s most famous site, the huge Karl Marx monument, commemorates the philosopher for whom the city was once named. Nearby, the reconstructed Red Tower is a remnant of the city's historic defensive walls. The Gunzenhauser Museum displays modern art and is an example of the New Objectivity style of architecture.
Chemnitz has defined three areas of action for their European Capital of Culture title year. First, making new spaces. Chemnitz is opening up new possibilities for thinking and action by developing a cultural region along the Chemnitzer Modell local train and tram system. Chemnitz aims to provide a space where dreams can come true.
Second, reconnecting work. Digitisation is transforming the way we work. Co-creation and transformation are integral to everyday life. These result in new networks and work models. Third, building tracks for a shared future. The courage to face the past becomes the driving force for a European future. Only those who understand their own history can continue onward. The three areas of action led to Chemnitz’s creative concept: AUFbrüche.
Why did the city decide to be the European Capital of Culture?
Chemnitz wanted to become the European Capital of Culture 2025 because we are a city of makers. We have a huge potential to discuss European problems on a local level with national and international partners. We are an “unseen city” and we want to show that Chemnitz has got a high potential for living, visiting and trying new things.
What changes are expected for the reference community?
We expect a change within the meaning of culture for every citizen and every guest. We want to show how important it is to actively participate in city life and to connect with other people to widen your horizon. So it’s about the makers of Europe; people who want to be the change.
What are the three keywords of your cultural program?
Making, exploring, networking
What are the main citizen involvement activities?
We want to involve the people through actions and through the projects. All makers are invited to connect to each other and with Europe.
What do you want to remain after the capital year?
A positive image and self-confident citizens shall remain after the title – and of course the awareness about European problems and the possibility to solve them together.