In accepting the European Community’s designation as a European City of Culture 1988, West Berlin wanted to identify itself with “Europe” and to present itself as a cultural showcase to the Free World. Beyond this political purpose, Berlin also identified an artistic development opportunity for the year. The intention was not simply to “produce a firework”, but also to encourage activities, organizations and expertise which would yield lasting traces for subsequent years.
The main idea was to present new artistic developments in the shape of workshops which revealed the process of creativity. An advisory planning group, consisting of artists, executives from cultural institutions and representatives of the Director of the 750th Anniversary celebration, developed the broad framework of the programme. The aim was to create a “meeting point” for artist professionals to explore and exchange new kinds of work, especially where the art form boundaries were breaking down. The themes for the City of Culture concentrated on three aspects of Berlin, which presented the city as:
Source: European Cities of Culture and Cultural Months, Full Report: Unabridged Version, John Myerscough, October 1994