To make our lives better, we have to make our experience better.
On Friday, 9 November the second round applications for the 2023 European Capital of Culture (ECOC) were submitted to the Ministry of Human Capacities by the cities still in competition, thus Győr has reached an important milestone too. On this day many programs awaited the visitors and finally the ferris wheel opened to the public as well.
Before getting into the details of the application of Győr, let’s have a look at the selection process for the continent’s cultural capital. The European Union designated a chronological list of countries in 2014 for the period between 2020 and 2033. Based on this list, Hungary’s turn is going to be in 2023. There is a two-round selection process to designate the winner city among the cities wishing to participate. So far Győr has accomplished the first round, similarly to Debrecen and Veszprém.
The decision is made by an international panel of 12, who will visit the cities in December and announce their final decision on 14 December. Contribution to long term strategy, international dialogue and cultural and artistic contents are the three main criteria, based on which the panel decide.
As we have discussed it earlier many times before, the key element of the application of Győr, is flow. Flow as a natural phenomenon, as the possibility to transmit information and as a positive philosophy. Győr is located in flowing crossroads and this flow defines her new-age history, everydays and also future. Flow always means change. Getting to know change itself is an opportunity to make ourselves better, to make to world we live in better.
Three programme groups have been defined in the first round of the application: road, city and conversation. Any process that has a significant role in the modern history of Europe and has formed the history of the city either on the mainland or on water is considered as part of the group ’Road’ The aim of this group is to introduce the European roads crossing Győr and summarize our experience.
The aim of the group City is to support the joint thinking and discussions with creative platforms, tasks and possibilities that can mobilise every age groups within the city, in particular the youth. It targets the exploitation of urban culture, city building és the creativeness of the younger generation. This group makes it possible to adopt in a more deeper and diverse form, to create new art workshops and to develop and strengthen the connectivity between artists and Győr.
Talking and chatting about any part of the European culture makes it possible to understand our common European culture by getting to know one another’s culture, because conversation is nothing, but the flow of information. The group Conversation will initiate discussion in various arts and in culture in general, it will offer place and time to talk and chat in 2023.
On 8 November the Győr general assembly discussed the Creative Győr Strategy until 2028 proposed by the local government as the current cultural plan has drafted the guidelines only until 2020. First of all the strategy focuses on the intellectual, not on the materialistic areas of culture and creative economy. As it is evident from the proposal, the local government would like to improve the citizens’ quality of lives, the acknowledgement of local and international tourism by protecting cultural legacies and values. The capacity of cultural and creative sectors would be extended. Similarly to the long term relationship between economical and social sectors of the city that would also be widened according to the idea. The proposal is in accordance with our ECOC application, as both include projects that the local government would anyway implement, even if Győr would not be awarded with the ECOC title.
The editors became familiar with some useful international ideas as well, such as the realisation of two ECOC projects, Kosice and Linz respectively. The examples of the Slovakian and Austrian cities tell us that being the cultural capital of Europe is not a one-year job, as locals have to be truly prepared for the buzzy workdays during that year. To make people feel like that this title is also theirs and that they accept and live the ECOC are the key elements of the sustainability of the ECOC results. The call for the ECOC application is an opportunity for us to summarize our centuries-long experience with the flow and share them with Europe in an age, when flow is an actual and burning question. At the same time this is a good chance for us to get to know our community by exploring our memories, summarizing our legacy and integrating it into a European content. And so we can build our future on our own flow-legacy. What we need is a strong, self-sufficient community, a city that is also wonderful to live in, not just to reside. In order to make our lives better we have to make our experiences better.
So we are getting closer and closer to the final selection. In less than a month the decision of the international panel will be revealed. On 9 November Mayor Zsolt Borkai held a speech to the public that was followed by a Marót Viki and the NovaKultúr band concert in Dunakapu Square. Meanwhile the giant ferris wheel started its first round while offering a unique view to the rivers, the bridges connecting the quarters, the Radó island, the neighboring church towers and downtown streets and squares. Local artists, who appeared in our short clip that is available on our website, 2023gyor.hu, were also there in Dunakapu Square. Actor Csaba Bede-Fazekas, singer Bogi Dallos, actress Csenge Dunai, BMX-racer Konrád Szabó and the youngest radio host of the country dj Matyi all encouraged everyone to take a ride on the wheel and be part of the flow together. The hostess of the ferris wheel was creative chef Eszter Nagy, whose recipes can be found on the pages of Győr Plusz in every fortnight. The event organisers handed out pins and flags to people and requested them to wear those until 14 December. Let’s demonstrate to the professional panel visiting Győr how proud we would be by holding the ECOC title.
The wheel, which is 50 meter high with 30 cars and able to accomodate up to 180 people, is going to stay in Dunkapu Square during the time of waiting, in the Advent season. We do really hope that waiting this year will be double the fun and Győr can achieve more success.
The application can be reached on our website from Friday, 9 November.
Flow on 100.1
Starting from 12 November, every Monday morning at 9.30 the premier show of Győr2023 will air on Radio Győr+. In the shows we will get to know the details and plans of the application. Interviews with experts working on the project will be broadcast and the opportunities that will open up for the citizens will be discussed. In this form the show will stay on air until the final decision is made on 14 December on 100.1 MHz.