Capitals and Cities of Culture in 2020
An excellent round up of the Capitals and Cities of Culture in 2020 has been researched by Steve Green and is published on Prasino.
This year 26 cities in 24 countries around the world will celebrate a City or Capital of Culture title awarded to them (rather than self proclaimed as a marketing ploy, there are many more of them!).
Among the countries of Europe and Asia where cultural city celebrations are planned in 2020 are:
- Ireland & Croatia: The ECOCs of the year are Rijeka in Croatia and Galway in Ireland. The latter had a struggle getting their act together but in the last year under a new CEO they have put together a sound programme. Rijeka in contrast have been very active and successful in their preparations. Croatia assumes the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first six months of 2020 and has set out a wide range of cultural objectives.
- Lithuania: Lithuania was the first European country to develop its own national title, this year Trakai has the honour. Its impressive castle in a lake will undoubtedly feature as a venue. There are ten other “towns of culture” in the country, one in each county: an innovative way for smaller towns to highlight their cultural offers.
- Italy: Parma takes the Italian title. There was no Italian Capital last year as Matera held the ECOC title but now the national title is back in full flow.
- Portugal: Braga in Portugal is the regional Eixo Atlântico Capital of Culture. A full programme from February to November is planned, no doubt as a practice run for their bid for the ECOC title in 2027.
- Russian Federation: Russia hosts two very different titles. The Krasnoyarsk region has yet to announce its title holder. Mishkino is the Finno-Ugric Capital, a region of just 7,000 people. The only City of Culture programme run by civil society: the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN) and URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples.
- Kazakhstan: The Commonwealth of Independent States has designated Shymkent in Kazakhstan as their 2020 title holder.
- Slovakia: Slovakia in 2020 also has its second title holder, Nové Zámky.
- China, Japan & Korea: The Culture City of East Asia has, as usual, three cities. Yangzhou (China), Kitakyushu (Japan) and Sucheon (South Korea). Year by year the title holders seem to be becoming more adventurous in their programmes. The competition to hold the title in China and South Korea is attracting more applicants every year. Kitakyushu will be “competing” with the Cultural Olympiad of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
- Indonesia: Yogyakarta continues with its ASEAN title which is spread over two years between the meetings of ASEAN member states.
- India: There is no news yet of the SAARC title holder; it is scheduled to be in India as the member states take it in turn to host the title.
Image: Rijeka 2020