By Daniel Nam, Blogger.

The whole event began with a twist! Who would’ve guessed that at the very beginning there would be a speed dating mingle among participants. “Hello everyone, please don’t sit down and come front, this is not a dance lesson! Please find someone you didn’t come with and discuss these questions.” “Why are you here? Why Chemnitz as the ECoC? What can I offer?” No one stood still, a new partner for each question, monologues turning into dialogues, and chatter filling-up the whole venue. “Ok, please find yourself a seat. Let’s get to business.”

A very warm welcome of all participants followed from the mayor of Chemnitz, giving the opportunity to feel accepted in Chemnitz and at this beautiful venue, the Kleiner Saal, a gorgeous wooden hall lit with hexagon-honeycombish light fixtures. Krach! Not only does this mean noise in German but also an endeavour to support creatives by providing free spaces to get their creative juices flowing.

Each ECoC seems to have its “lighthouse” that is what professor Scheytt says. Music, images, exploring, language, celebrations, and much much more are parts of a cultural city, yes, of course, but amidst all that life and art where do you steer your ship? Look at Liverpool, Pilsen, Graz… they’ve all built a lighthouse to show and remind for years to come what happened and retell all the stories connected to those special places old and new.

But that’s not enough doctor Gaulhofer argues. Why? It’s not only about what comes before, what happens during that single year, what happens afterwards… Sure preparing and advertising is important, of course it’s crucial to create a plan and execute it BUT the most important thing? You and I, the people, every single individual creates a whole. Each citizen of Chemnitz can play a role big or small, just like professor Scheytt mentioned, every ECoC needs and uses hundreds of volunteers. And every person have the most effective tool to make things happen. The power of the word. “Ask not what someone else can do, ask not what are we to do but find what I can do, create our own ideas of how to improve and develop our city.”

So in conclusion what happened? A small speed date followed by a large slow date. Now what? #Chemnitz2025 here we come!

About the Blogger: Daniel Nam (25)

Daniel studiert Englisch an der Westböhmischen Universität Pilsen, Tschechien. Seit Oktober absolviert er über das Erasmus Austauschprogramm ein Semester an der TU Chemnitz. Er fühlt sich wohl in Chemnitz und sieht nach seinen Erfahrungen, die er bei Pilsen 2015 machen durfte, große Chancen für die Stadt, Kulturhauptstadt Europas 2025 zu werden.