It wasn’t Zagreb, nor was it Pula, nor Dubrovnik – in this game, it was Rijeka that took the throne. Rijeka is the first Croatian city to bear the title of the European Capital of Culture 2020, the coveted award of the European Union. This project aims to highlight the richness and diversity of artistic development in European cities, as well as the common cultural aspects of Europe, in order to contribute to bringing the peoples of Europe closer together and improve their mutual understanding.
Under the slogan “The Port of Diversity”, the extensive programme begins in Rijeka at the city port with the opening ceremony on the 1st of February 2020, and continues on 23rd February with the International Carnival Parade with an attendance estimated at about ten thousand participants from all over Europe. The programme will continue until January 2021 featuring a series of events of European significance.
The themes that inspire the programmes of this project include: water, work and migrations, the three components of the city’s identity that double as a mirror of the current moment in the history of Europe’s society and culture. A top-notch series of concerts and exhibitions will take place alongside numerous festivals, including the children’s Tobogan Festival and the one-of-a-kind world cuisine and world music festival, Porto Etno.
The programme includes 27 festivals in the 27 Neighbourhoods that formed bonds with 27 European cities, but also a new cultural and tourist route, Lungomare Art with 11 installations along the coasts of the Kvarner area. Along with many of its surrounding locations, Rijeka will become a centre of music, theatre, visual arts and film, but also of other innovative content aimed at connecting art to new technologies, local traditions to contemporary artistic practices, and at bringing interesting and relevant content to all generations of people with a diverse range of interests.
The key values embedded in the programme concept and reflected in the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project are courage, uniqueness, progressiveness and ambition. Visit Rijeka, experience the uniqueness of its diversity, and take a peek into the ECoC programme highlights that it has to offer.
See you in Rijeka!
Photos: Tanja Kanazir and Borko Vukosav