An idea, born last year, will soon see the light of day: Chemnitz wants to become the European Cultural Capital 2025. But before a concept can convince the jury, the citizens of Chemnitz themselves need to be thrilled by the idea. So what can the residents do to help the project succeed and to contribute to Chemnitz becoming the “European Cultural Capital 2025”?

Ferenc Csák, head of the City Culture Department, answered this question during a podium discussion on 13 December as follows: “We will only become Cultural Capital if we do it together. Every voice and every opinion counts on the way to submitting a bid. So every citizen of Chemnitz is warmly invited to contribute to the process, to express an opinion, to discuss the project among friends and family and to voice clearly why Chemnitz should become European Cultural Capital in 2025.”

Representatives of the creative culture scene in the city have now reported back with a clear statement: Chemnitz should win!

This is the firm belief of the protagonists in the Chemnitz subculture. And it’s why 54 scene initiatives, as well as art and cultural associations, have endorsed the city’s bid for the title. This group consists of almost 1,400 committed residents who for many years now have invested their creativeness, passion and immense – often voluntary – dedication to transform Chemnitz into an interesting, lively and exciting place. As insiders, they know best what cultural diversity looks like in the city. And they are unanimously convinced: Chemnitz wants to win, and it can as well!

The list of creative advocates extends from A for “aaltra” to W for “Wolkenkuckucksheim”. We interviewed a number of them to find out what they are looking forward to most in connection with the bid, what inspires them and which bold concepts they would like to see. You can read the thoughts, suggestions and opinions by various protagonists of the Chemnitz subculture here:

Yvonne Friedrich, OSCAR e.V. @ Weltecho

“We’re looking forward to the fact that Chemnitz will finally be discovered again. Properly discovered. With everything the city has to offer. It’s not just about the big names in the culture scene, but also the small, delightful little shops, charming galleries, trendy clubs, interesting projects and creative initiatives. We are convinced: Chemnitz can do Cultural Capital.”

Ronny Seifert, beatconnect

“Beatconnect wholeheartedly welcomes and supports the project, as even the process of applying presents the opportunity to raise the visibility of subculture enterprises like ourselves beyond the borders of Chemnitz itself. Chemnitz has disappeared from the proverbial »map« of electronic music, specifically in the area in which we are active, namely alternative electronic dance music. But the opposite was true until 2004. So it’s absolutely high time for change!”

Jan Kummer, Atomino

“We finally want to become a capital city club, too!”

Kathi Grund, Gigbus Tourbusvermietung

“Chemnitz as the Cultural Capital would give us the opportunity to expand the city’s strong cultural network throughout Europe.”

Holm Krieger, Arthur e.V.

“If we take part, we have to be clear that we want to win. There is absolutely no doubt that we can win. If all the cultural stakeholders in the city pull together, passionately and with a real verve for blue-skies thinking, then the rest of the city will automatically hop on board. And once that happens, we’ll have taken the biggest step toward becoming Cultural Capital.”

Klaus Kowalke, Lessing und Kompanie:

“Chemnitz – the city of modernity. We look forward to welcoming the world as a guest in Chemnitz. Enlightenment, modernity and cosmopolitan society. We want to shape the future together with our neighbours and guests.”