ECC 2016: seven cities for culture

The seven cities that were unsuccessfully competing for the title of European Capital of Culture are going to present their cultural legacy in Wroclaw as part of the Cities' Coalition for the Culture. Lublin, which is first on the roster, will be followed by Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Poznan and Szczecin in the weeks to come.

"The ECC competition attracted 11 Polish cities, including Wroclaw, which came as a winner and invited the contestants to collaboration," says Dominika Kawalerowicz, Leader of the ECC Wroclaw 2016 Business Team.

The invitation was accepted by seven cities. They are going to show their most beautiful and most exciting cultural initiatives.

"We've been meeting both the artists and local authorities, as there is no culture without the local government," says Dominika Kawalerowicz. "We have created a cultural think tank that serves as a platform for discussion on culture at the local level, the legal framework, the achievements and development needs. We are going to recap on what we've done with a publication that collects all the necessary recommendations.

The recommendations cover four different areas that are vital for the coalition's activity. The first area is all about seeking and establishing shared indicators to measure the effective cultural impact. The second area involves the ideas on how to map new cultural initiatives in the cities. The third is focused on the legal framework, and the fourth on culture's visibility. The think tank's initial workshop was held following the conference in Wroclaw. Seven follow-up sessions are going to be held in each city that has joined the coalition.

The Cities' Coalition is the first project of this kind in Europe. To date, no European Capital of Culture has collaborated this much with other cities in its country of origin. "As we were applying for the title of the European Capital of Culture, we were able to notice how much work, energy and collaborative effort was put by our fellow contestants. It's only natural that we wanted to use them," says Dominika Kawalerowicz.

The project's aim is to showcase the unique cultural legacy of the cities. As part of the ECC, Gdansk, Katowice, Lublin, Lodz, Poznan and Szczecin are going to present their flagship projects to showcase their unique character.

Lublin is the first city to be featured in the programme.

Szczecin is coming to Wroclaw with its "Space for Creative Dialogue", on display between 17 and 19 June. A cargo container, which is going to serve as a cinema, theatre and gallery, will be mounted on Wzgórze Polskie. Other presentations will be held in Nadodrze (ul Łokietka 5). The Oder will be used as a motif that brings Wroclaw and WEstern Pomerania together.

Poznan is going to tell its story in July. The presentation called "Next Stop" will be held between 1 and 3 July. The Poznan tram (Line 0) will be roaming the streets of Wroclaw. Poznan's focus is on urban culture, and a lot of activities will be going on in the tram and at the stops.

Lodz will be moving to Browar Mieszczański to feature a project called "Woven as New". The post-industrial space will be home to a variety of theatre performances, shows and workshops on a number of different arts.

Gdansk will be featured in Wroclaw from 30 July to 5 August. Housed in Rynek 25, "City of Freedom" is going to take you on a journey to the seaside as you don't know it. Katowice, or "City of Music", will be offering a number of live performances at the City Arsenal from 15 to 21 August.