What am I? What will I be? What can I? What do I want? Can I do whatever I want? Where do I come from and where are my roots? Who is my neighbor? Do I belong to myself or to the world? What is globalization? Why does a hole in the road worries me more than a hole in the ozone layer? Is culture the only thing that builds the sense of belonging to Europe? Do you think indifference sometimes is just timidity? Is tolerance docility? Is provocation an act of violence? What does an art and culture do to a man? Can art do harm? Does culture have the boarders? Can culture restrict? Why a bucket in a kitchen is a mere bucket, but a bucket in an art gallery - a piece of art? Why do I have to think about it? Why reading these questions you start asking – who are we – we that are on the other side of this page?
A forest of questions. A sea of questions. Every single step is a question. Question is the beginning. Question is the power that drives and develops a man and even mankind.
The application of Liepāja and Kurzeme region for the title of ‘European Capital of Cultural 2014’ (ECOC) is based on a belief that it is a stimulating mechanism for thinking, dialogue and action. That is a mechanism that brings changes and ensures the development. Every individual has an important role in the process of asking question and thinking like the whole society. Therefore, the application for the title of ECOC has been created from the perspective of the individual.
Liepāja and Kurzeme region application invites to look at Europe not only as to a mix of our stereotyped views and beliefs. It shows that knowledge to ask, think and act has to be acquired together because the boarders of the cities, regions and countries have become increasingly fragile. We live in common cultural space and we all need to learn to look at each other without prejudice, fears, complex of inferiority and envy.
Liepāja has a unique brand, which has been maintained by the inhabitants of Liepāja and the guests of the city. Liepāja is often called Latvian capital of music and culture. Nevertheless, the goal of the application is not to sleep on the city’s achievements or to speculate with all the existing titles. Our goal is to ask - in order to see our deficiencies, ask - in order to look at ourselves from different perspective, ask - to find not only the things European Union is looking for, but also what is important and necessary for the city itself.
8 PROGRAMMES – 8 AERIAL ANTENNAS – 8 QUESTIONS
1. The Ann from Rucava - THE AERIAL ANTENNA OF ROOT – with a question “Where am I from?”
2. The Organ Player of the Town – THE FINE AERIAL ANTENNA – with a question “What is the eight note?”
3. The Oculist – THE AERIAL ANTENNA OF DIALOGUE – with a question “Who is your neighbour?”
4. The Musician – THE REBEL AERIAL ANTENNA – with a question “Questions...?”
5. The Student – THE AERIAL ANTENNA OF SEARCH - with a question “What is there over the horizon?”
6. The Researcher of Military History – THE AERIAL ANTENNA OF PARADOXES – with a question “Where is the City?”
7. The Child – THE AERIAL ANTENNA OF FUTURE, THE RADAR – with a question “Will I be?”
8. The Blue Cow – THE AERIAL ANTENNA OF NATURE – with a question “What is on the Other End of the Chain?”
FOUR DIRECTIONS OF DEVELOPMENT
Projects can be classified according to their resultant influence into four horizontal directions – themes, which thread through the project not only in all its segments, but also create subsequent development phases of the project through time:
- To encourage people to take active part in and to communicate with art.
- To promote the cooperation of culture and art with other spheres.
- To provide education as a tool for dialogue.
- To bring closer and establish a dialogue between various social groups (ethnic, national, religious, social) by means of culture.
- To provide a single platform for the cooperation among the people of the region and other countries.
- To facilitate local and international networking.
- To maintain a dialogue between Western and Eastern Europe, Northern and Southern Europe, the European Union and its neighbouring regions.
- To involve the audiences that have not been used or that have been used only a little until now.
- To ensure the presence of culture in suburbs and the entire region in order to reach out to the marginal groups.
- To develop education, which also includes communication with art.
- To involve regional and international partners in creating significant cultural traditions and infrastructure.
- To involve various social, ethnic and religious groups in the development projects.
- To help to discover and bring out the individual creativity.
- To create an environment that favours innovations.
- To stimulate contacts between art and technologies.
- To move the traditional art forms to unusual contexts.
- To expand the experience of people and promote changes in their thinking.
- To change the attitude from culture consumption to participation in creating culture.
- Former industrial and military territories and buildings to be transformed into an attractive environment for the development of creative economy.
- Abandoned and overgrown corners of the city to be transformed into territories that are actively used for social life, tourism and culture.
- To promote the knowledge on and understanding of the cultures that have been foreign up to now.
- To develop new and innovative products to become symbols of the city.