Earlier this week, two Danish cities submitted their applications to become European Capital of Culture in 2017. The decision on the winner will take place in August this year but what are in the bids?
The central theme of the Aarhus bid is Rethink. The Rethink theme has been conceived against the backdrop of crisis affecting the whole of Europe. The Aarhus bid offers to work as a laboratory for rethinking models for societies in the whole of Europe using art and culture. At the same time as the final application was submitted, Aarhus launched a programme of events where 10 cultural institutions will be rethought completely over the coming years.
The key theme of the Sønderborg bid is countryside metropolis. The theme focuses on the hidden gems which bigger metropolises overlook in the smaller and rural and in the application talk about a “metropolitan mindset in rural environment”. There seems to be a strong focus on looking at how rural areas in new ways can contribute to our societies.
It is clear that a lot of work has gone into both bids and they are both strong bids. On the face of it Aarhus seems to reach more out to the European dimension with the intention to work as a laboratory for the whole continent. Bordering to Germany, Sønderborg has good material in their application about cross border collaboration. It will be interesting to see what the verdict is come August but it looks like a close race.