Mercoledì, 29 Novembre 2023

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Bielsko-Biała 2029, City of Weaves

By Press release Mercoledì, 27 Settembre 2023
Bielsko-Biała Bielsko-Biała Photo by Michał Kisiel Pics Studio

Bielsko-Biała was the first Polish city of the twelve candidates vying for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2029 to decide to publish the full version of its pre-selection bidbook on its website.

A press conference was held on 26 September during which the premise of Bielsko-Biała's candidacy under the banner City of Weaves was outlined, as well as action plans in preparation for the meeting with the competition commission and for the coming months.

“We had no doubts about putting the bidbook online for all to read. This is the result of hard work put in by many people, not just the artistic circles within the city or by the employees of cultural institutions, but also by representatives of NGOs, people with disabilities, marginalised groups - all residents who wanted to express their opinion. I am proud that, compared with other candidate cities in Poland, we have such a high level of social commitment in Bielsko-Biała. The City of Weaves is an expression of mutual trust. We have focused on numerous meetings, debates, surveys as well as through the submission of ideas online, in order that our candidacy for the title of European Capital of Culture be our common voice. We have nothing to hide, our application is transparent and we want it to be widely available, so that we can discuss and develop it”, says the President of the city, Jarosław Klimaszewski.

Bielsko-Biała’s concept references its textile traditions which have shaped the surrounding area and the fortunes of its inhabitants to their advantage for years. Today the City of Weaves is a metaphor for a creative place where people and ideas come together. The towns of Bielsko and Biała – the only twin-town candidate – have become entwined through the history of this borderland region, braiding the city with the mountains, culture with nature, tradition with modernity, the energy and courage of the young and the experience with the wisdom of the old, weaving together the Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish faiths, as well as fusing the history of Bielsko residents with the history of other European cities. It is a communal area for people who have chosen Bielsko-Biała as a place to live.

The residents of Bielsko-Biała are proud of the place where they live, but at the same time they also detect the challenges that are often representative of global issues: war, migration, pandemic, climate change, inequality and crisis of values. It is for this reason that the primary objective of the City of Weaves is to achieve WELLBEING, i.e. satisfaction in various aspects of life, through cultural and artistic activities and by addressing themes important to us, to society and the environment. People all over Europe require WELLBEING. It is so difficult to achieve today, despite the extraordinarily rapid developments and the resources at our disposal. The projects planned for the City of Weaves initiative combine culture with other areas of life and reference other important concepts and values such as community, freedom, identity, imagination, knowledge, skills, nature, urban and digital space.

Bielsko-Biała wants to share its experience widely and to learn from others. A first open meeting to all candidate cities from Poland was launched at the initiative of the team working on the City of Weaves bidbook. They hope that the meetings will now be continued as a series as they have managed to create a friendly atmosphere in which everyone can develop their competition bid through an exchange of experiences. The city is, at the same time, also working intently on building a network of international collaboration and seeking new project partners.