We will confront to be able to move on



The cultural programme S2017 laying out in the final application for European Capital of culgure is based on three strategies. We believe they bring the change we need.

We call these strategies the three Cs - Connection, Confrontation and Celebration:

  • We have to connect to each other as Europeans to reach our full potential. Only together can we bring along the change we envision for our citizens, our artistic community, our region and our friends and peers in Europe. Read this HERE
  • We want to confront differences and challenges in human relationships to promote new ways of thinking. We can’t risk getting stuck in our old habits and closed-minded thoughts. 
  • And we will celebrate cultural diversity and difference because we believe that culture is the strongest vehicle for change. Read this HERE

Along with the three Cs, we are following the challenging but rewarding path towards Creating a Countryside Metropolis.


Countryside Metropolis

“Creating the Countryside Metropolis” is not about a physical location but a change in the state of mind: it stands for that mental state where cosmopolitan thinking is possible in a rural area as long as you dare to be open to possibilities limited only by your imagination, and take responsibility to make at least the first steps yourself. It is a modern development project that makes use of culture in a broad sense to create a strong community that is sustainable environmentally, culturally, socially and economically, and it provides a ‘third way’ alternative to the traditional rural/metropolitan choice.


The Programme

The Programme is dynamic. If the jury on the 24th of August 2012 appoints S2017 for European Capital of Culture, the ongoing process of revising and expanding the programme will continue.

Some projects and events that are being developed and are not presented in the printed application due to limited space will be added to this website.

In order to be prepared for 2017, we are immediately ready to set the snowball effect in motion over the next 2 years. A snowball that starts small and focused and eventually pushes many other initiatives forward that will start successively in the years leading up to 2017. The thinking behind the program is to create a cohesive process of cultural events that reflects the human scale in our

city and the communities of our region in the borderlands, and has relevant European themes to work on.

Our program develops the much needed capacity of artists, art workers, creative entrepreneurs and cultural operators, and thereby leaves a strong legacy in creative activity that is self-sustaining well into 2020 and beyond. Read the whole application HERE