Our twin city Ljubljana is also a candidate for European Capital of Culture 2025, and in November, we sealed the deal on a ten-year collaborative partnership with the Slovenian capital, aimed at intensifying our close and friendly cooperation and creating fresh ideas for cultural development in the two cities.

The agreement was the brainchild of the two bid teams Ljubljana 2025 and Chemnitz2025. By signing up to the plan, the two cities signalled their intent to promote the development of joint international cultural projects and to provide mutual support in their cities’ bids to become European Capital of Culture 2025.

The following priorities have been set:
– exchange of knowledge and experience when developing and implementing cultural strategies
– support for local stakeholders and their bids for joint European funding
– development of joint cultural projects to support the bid to become the “European Capital of Culture 2025”, with the aim of implementing these regardless of whether the title is awarded to one of the cities
– promotion of a residential exchange programme for artists

Collaborative themes have also been identified. These include:
– Culture-based, sustainable urban development
– Fostering active citizenship through participation in cultural life
– Digital transformation in the cultural sphere
– Culture and art in urban districts
– A paradigm shift in cultural mobility
– The use of culture as a vehicle for raising awareness of environmental and climate change issues

The partnership agreement was signed by the Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, and the Mayor of Chemnitz, Barbara Ludwig, during a visit to the city.

The visit also served as an opportunity to enhance networking between the bid offices of Ljubljana 2025 and Chemnitz 2025. Ralph Burghart and Project Manager Ferenc Csák met with the Ljubljana 2025 team and the Head of the Cultural Department, Mateja Demšič. They also visited the renowned Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture centre and Švicarija, a guesthouse for artists in residence at Ljubljana’s International Centre of Graphic Arts.

Before the ink was even dry, a team from Begehungen e. V. visited Ljubljana from 18 to 23 November. Representatives from Bandbüro, Haus Arthur and the Off-Bühne Komplex also made the trip between 25 and 30 November to discuss and network on specific projects.

Meetings with Simon Kardum from Kino Šiška, Klara Drnovšek from the Mladi Levi Festival and the Bunker platform, Martina Mauric & Milko Lazar from the Puppet Theatre, Davor Buinca, Project Coordinator for Ljubljana 2025, and many other stakeholders, gave rise to a wealth of fresh ideas for projects in Chemnitz and identified potential opportunities for collaboration. Across more than 15 visits and meetings at cultural institutions and venues across the city, many different ways of working together emerged, along with all manner of connections and inspirational approaches for achieving positive change in cultural policy. “Audiences in Chemnitz will be able to enjoy collaborative cultural projects involving artists from Ljubljana as early as in 2020”, announced representatives from the two cities. This certainly sounds like something to look forward to.

Cultural stakeholders from Ljubljana will also be invited to an exchange here in Chemnitz next year.

(Photos: City of Ljubljana, privat)