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A Journey to the capitals of tomorrow: Nova Gorica – Gorizia 2025

A Journey to the capitals of tomorrow: Nova Gorica – Gorizia 2025 Photo by Maja Murenc

We asked managers of the European capitals of culture from 2022 to 2025, five same questions to understand their expectations in a clear and concise way. Each interview is preceded by a fact sheet on that European capital of culture. The format is the same for all. At the end of the series of interviews we will try to make a synthesis of objectives, trends, expectations by the Ecocs. After NoviSad2022, Esch2022, Kaunas2022 , Veszprem2023, Eleusis2023, Timisoara2023, Tartu2024, Bodø2024 and Bad Ischl – Salzkammergut 2024, today we talk about Nova Gorica - Gorizia, European capital of culture 2025.

Nova Gorica is a town in western Slovenia, on the border with Italy. It is the seat of the Municipality of Nova Gorica. Nova Gorica is a planned town, built according to the principles of modernist architecture after 1947, when the Paris Peace Treaty established a new border between Yugoslavia and Italy, leaving nearby Gorizia outside the borders of Yugoslavia and thus cutting off the Soča Valley, the Vipava Valley, the Gorizia Hills and the northwestern Karst Plateau from their traditional regional urban centre. Since 1948, Nova Gorica has replaced Gorizia as the principal urban centre of the Gorizia region, as the northern part of the Slovenian Littoral has been traditionally called.

Since May 2011, Nova Gorica has been joined together with Gorizia and Šempeter-Vrtojba in a common trans-border metropolitan zone, administered by a joint administration board.

In December 2020 Nova Gorica & Gorizia convinced the international jury with their GO! Borderless story and vision and have since been nominated as Slovene European Capital of Culture 2025.

The GO! 2025 candidature with its slogan GO! BORDERLESS is a tale where past memories and future visions blend to generate a concrete, participated and effective cultural strategy, ultimately contributing to the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of the whole border area. Nova Gorica and Gorizia strive and dwell together: dived by wars, untied by friendship and intense cooperation, the two cities set for themselves the ambitious goal to become a cross-border European Capital of Culture.

The interview is with Vesna Humar, coordinator.

Why did the city decide to be the European capital of culture?

To discover the transforming strength of art and culture, to heal, together with the neighbouring Gorizia, the scars, left by the 20th century and enter a new sustainable, green and digital era.

What changes are expected for the reference community?

A new atmosphere, a more open and innovative mind-set, a new interpretation of heritage, a raise in self-esteem and ambition. A unique transition of two cities from the borders of their respective national states into the heart of Europe.

What are the three keywords of your cultural program?

Borderless. Share. Green.

What are the main citizen involvement activities?

We will animate the citizens with big community events like the March for Europe. We will put them on stage with Choir of Eden and Cantaquartieri. We will make them researchers of heritage with the Archive Brigades. Just to cite some examples: more than half of our projects have a participatory approach.

What do you want to remain after the capital year?

A European conurbation, an area, where citizens lead a high quality of life and perceive Europe as their home. A destination, where everyone is welcome, where visitors come to experience the history of borders and learn the skills to overcome it.

Serafino Paternoster

Ecocnews Founder, Journalist, repentant jazz guitarist, music critic and film lover.

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