The biggest difference since the European Capital of Culture project started is that now everybody is talking about culture. Also when they are opening an animal shelter, they are talking about culture. It looks like we are being „culturalised“ like we were baptised centuries ago. Everybody is a part of it but nobody really knows what is happening. What is good about the title is that now cultural producers, including us, have more space to talk about what we are doing and what we think culture is. We of course have very different opinions about what culture is and even more so about what culture should be paid for from public money. This is the positive benefit of the European Capital of Culture project – that it opened the space for these discussions. What is negative about it, is that so far the authorities have perceived it as something that is essentially material, i.e. they are just building some infrastructure. Until now they have not been paying much attention to the content, to networking, to changing values, etcetera. This however may also be good because now, with only one more year to go, they will „buy“ anything and everything. It has created a good oportunity for the independent sector and for NGOs. We have good ideas and we will propose them. However, it is ironic: we have been shouting that nothing is happening for so long but in the end the fact that nothing has happened turns out to be good for us. We now have many more opportunities and we can step forward with our projects, which are important for the community, for the city, for this region.

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