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Skopje 2028, Culture in the time of Corona

By press release Venerdì, 29 Gennaio 2021
Canyon Matka Canyon Matka Photo by Tamara Saveska

The idea for Skopje to run for the ECoC title at the completion open for cities from an EFTA/EEA country, a candidate country or a potential candidate to EU membership, was initiated in 2014.

Until 2017 several workshop for cultural sectors representatives and one international conference were organised, and few brochures published. In 2018, institutional conditions were developed for the start of the candidacy process, including the creation of the Skopje 2028 working team of independent experts from the field of culture and sustainable development. Since than the candidacy process comprises different ongoing activities related to bid process preparation and development. In 2019 Skopje City Council unanimously decided to bid for the 2028 European Capital of Culture title.

The project was a creative response against Covid-19 crisis aiming to support the cultural sector, especially freelance and self-employed artists, who were economically most affected by the crisis. The city enabled open stages for live performances in 28 different urban areas situated in 8 city’s municipalities. 50 concerts were organized in April and May 2020, where more than 200 musicians (bands, solo artists, DJs) performed live during the night time corona curfews. The events were followed by an audience of more than 500.000 viewers on the social media (though live streams) and live from the balconies in the neighbourhoods where events took place. Each live performance was supported with a fee (equal to a minimal wage in the country). Same fee was given to the acknowledged names as well as to the young talents, in order to embrace as many participants as possible and to increase the social effects of the project.