Jury puts Daugavpils in the second round of the European Capital of Culture 2027 competition Culture news

Jury puts Daugavpils in the second round of the European Capital of Culture 2027 competition

On 8 July, during a press conference by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, an international jury named four Latvian cities that will continue to compete for the honour of becoming the European Capital of Culture 2027. Selecting Daugavpils for the second competition round confirms the quality of the city’s bid and its capacity to implement such a massive international project.

Instead of awarding the European Capital of Culture title to cities with the most impressive past achievements or merits, it goes to those that have the clearest development plan for the future to meet the challenges of the day. Its activities aim to improve public well-being and promote public involvement in decision-making and in the steering of community-relevant processes. Mayor of Daugavpils Andrejs Elksniņš stresses:

“The European Capital of Culture programme will affect not just the cultural sector, but also the social, economic and environmental spheres. The programme highlights the involvement and inclusion of the public, especially youth and socially vulnerable groups. The programme offers Daugavpilians opportunities to cooperate with professionals in various spheres as well as to participate in the improvement of the city’s neighbourhoods and its general development. On top of augmenting the inhabitants’ sense of belonging to Daugavpils, the project will boost economic growth and increase the city’s international visibility.”

Daugavpils prepared its European Capital of Culture bid in cooperation with Rēzekne and all other Latgale’s municipalities, envisioning a vast programme of events, co-creation activities and training across the entire region. According to the chair of Rēzekne City Council, Aleksandrs Bartaševičs:

“The fact that Rēzekne and all of Latgale joined forces with Daugavpils in this competition will be a strong impulse to the region’s growth. Every inhabitant of Latgale will reap the rewards.”

The bid was prepared with local, regional and national cultural organisations and creators, citizens, educators, entrepreneurs, athletes, NGO representatives and supporters of Daugavpils and Latgale from near and far. The artistic concept, proposed and developed by filmmaker and playwright Krista Burāne, revolves around a common language or a cultural Lingua Franca. Developing, creating and using a shared language of culture is equally relevant to Daugavpils, Latvia and Europe at large. Daugavpils and Latgale are reasonably proud of their diversity. And yet, it should become a powerful driving force rather than a bright cover. We have learnt to be tolerant and integrated on a day-to-day basis. But we still need to learn how to talk about the things that really matter, including some hotly contested themes and ideas. The bid is available here: https://www.daugavpils.lv/en/daugavpils2027/bidbook

According to Oļegs Šapošņikovs, chair of the board at Daugavpils Theatre,

“The most important thing was the process of actually putting together the bid: we’re trying to look at things from new perspectives, to scrutinise every aspect of our lives and to come up with bold ideas. The European Capital of Culture is a long process, way beyond 2027, when all the major events are scheduled. Just as important is the preparation, which will start right after the European Capital of Culture is announced in the following spring. We have a clear vision, and I hope our goodwill is enough to get us an opportunity in the second competition round.”

The European Capital of Culture programme has ample opportunities for every inhabitant of Daugavpils or the Latgale Region to choose their way of participating by submitting project ideas, co-creating events, visiting them, or acting as ambassadors. What we expect from the project idea applications is not limited by culture and art. We also look forward to different growth and mentoring programmes for all project participants. People can already get involved in the ECoC 2027 ambassador movement and tell their individual stories of a common language or other ideas on promoting Daugavpils on an international scale.

Follow us at www.daugavpils2027.eu and Facebook @daugavpils2027.

The European Capital of Culture initiative was launched in 1985, and it continues to be one of the most successful across the EU. The European Capital of Culture title has been awarded to over 50 cities across Europe. In 2027, the honour will be shared by a city in Latvia and one in Portugal.

Diāna Soldāne

Workgroup coordinator for the European Capital of Culture bid

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