Wroclaw in western Poland, which has been honoured with the dual distinction of being selected as the UNESCO World Book Capital and the European Capital of Culture for 2016, is in a feverish pace of excitement as it stages one exciting event after another throughout the year.
The city’s bold strategy of overshadowing previous European cultural capitals with the sheer scale of events appears to be paying off. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, nearly 800,000 people participated in the festivals, concerts, plays, exhibitions and hundreds of other events organised by the European Capital of Culture (ECoC).
In just the opening weekend of January, more than a hundred cultural events were staged. Tens of thousands participated in the Awakening, where four Spirits of WrocÅ‚aw marched through the city, speaking about its history as a multicultural and innovative place with complex history. “We believe that promoting Polish science or economy through culture makes more sense and brings better results than speaking about GDP growth,” said writer and Worclaw resident Olga Tokarczuk, who is quite seriously considered a future Nobel Literature Prize winner.
Starting on 14 October, a special treat for all theatre lovers will begin in WrocÅ‚aw. The International Theatre Olympics will feature the most outstanding creators worldwide, including Eugenio Barba, Peter Brook, Tadashi Suzuki, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Robert Wilson and Krystian Lupa.
December will be the time for cinema and all events focused around the European Film Awards gala – the most important distinctions of the Old Continent, which this year will be handed in WrocÅ‚aw. From 16 to 18 December, during the closing weekend, the city will be in a cultural high with ceremonies featuring artists from Germany, France, Israel, Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Kingdom. At the same time, the ‘Architecture of the 20th century’ exhibition will offer us a look on WrocÅ‚aw from a different perspective, allowing visitors to see the city as dynamically overlapping layers, without setting an artificial border between the German Breslau and Polish Wroclaw.
“Using the ECoC, we show WrocÅ‚aw that has been building its new identity for the past 70 years, a city which is developing, creating itself, enjoying the diversity and the return of its multicultural nature,” said the Mayor of WrocÅ‚aw, RafaÅ‚ Dutkiewicz. We would like Wroclaw to not only be noticed, but to be forevermore perceived as a city full of culture, open and experimenting, ambitious and – as it was the case for hundreds of years in the past – truly multicultural, added the mayor.
Whosoever comes to the city will have an opportunity to fall in love with the space filled with culture, with the Meeting Place, and with welcoming and open residents. After all, the city is called WrocLove not only because of its difficult name, noted the city’s mayor.