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A Journey to the capitals of tomorrow: Chemnitz 2025

A Journey to the capitals of tomorrow: Chemnitz 2025 Photo by Ernesto Uhlmann / CWE

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, Bad Ischl – Salzkammergut 2024 and Nova Gorica - Gorizia 2025, today we talk about Chemnitz, European Capital of culture 2025.

At a joint council meeting held on 14 November 2018, 24 cities and communities all along the route of the Chemnitzer Modell unanimously approved Chemnitz’s application for the title of European Capital of Culture 2025.

Chemnitz is a city in Saxony, eastern Germany. Its huge Karl Marx Monument commemorates the socialist pioneer for whom the city was once named. Nearby, the reconstructed Red Tower is a remnant of the city's defensive walls. The Gunzenhauser Museum displays modern art and is an example of the New Objectivity style of architecture. Set in a former foundry, the Chemnitz Museum of Industry houses an 1896 steam engine.

With around half a million inhabitants, the Chemnitz region, in Germany, is a densely populated European conurbation with huge cultural potential. As a result, a range of projects and events are being developed in the run-up to the Capital of Culture year.

Culture has always been the key to getting cities and people to open up dialogue and create encounters. Chemnitz has defined three areas of action for this process:

Making new spaces. “Make space!” The motto underpinning the city’s culture strategy for 2030. The city is opening up new possibilities for thinking and action – and developing a cultural region along the Chemnitzer Modell local train and tram system. Chemnitz provides a space where dreams can come true.

Reconnecting work. Digitalization is transforming the world of work. Co-creation and transformation are integral to everyday life. These result in new networks and working models.

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 to write new pages.

Over the coming months, it will be vital to have an in-depth discussion with the people of Chemnitz about the three pillars of the programme, breathing life into it with scenarios for creative new BEginnings and specific projects.

The title of the second bidbook is: “C the Unseen – European Makers of Democracy”.

The interview is with team workers.

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

Chemnitz wanted to become the ECOC 2025 because we are a city of makers and we have a huge potential to discuss European problems on a local level, always in exchange with national and international partners. We are a “unseen city” and 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 be an active part of a city 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.



Serafino Paternoster

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

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