Dresden is a unique cultural city in Europe. And at the same time it stands for a lively, contemporary culture of conflict in Europe. We wanted to build bridges and thus strengthen civil society. The old cultural city in the centre of Europe has become a stage for the conflicts that affect the future of Europe as a whole. Art and culture stand for diversity and difference. They stimulate debate and dialogue. It therefore applied to all our projects that they conduct dialogues, trigger debates, allow differences, resolve conflicts, pursue visions and thus strengthen cohesion!
For many weeks and months, the Bid Office Dresden 2025 has worked on the application together with curator Michael Schindhelm, cultural experts, stakeholders from Dresden institutions, the independent scene and citizens. We developed the main theme of our bid from all the discussion events and conversations under the working title "Culture of Togetherness":
Neue Heimat Dresden 2025
Why should Dresden become the European Capital of Culture in 2025? Just as Europe is the old continent shaped by culture, Dresden is an example of the old European city shaped by culture. But Dresden is not only exemplary for the historically grown cultural wealth, but also for the current crisis of the continent. Social tensions are unleashed on the streets, there is a constant struggle for one's own history. Dresden is looking for answers for a common future – by applying for the European Capital of Culture, we wanted to respond jointly. Together with the people of Dresden, we wanted to develop the motto "Neue Heimat Dresden 2025" as a vision, fill it with life and create a new feeling of cohesion in the city. Under the motto, the themes that cause rifts and open conflicts throughout Europe play a role: Am I ready for the technological change of my everyday world or do I reject it? Do I continue to support our basic democratic principles or do I consider them outdated? Am I a winner in economic development through globalisation or am I on the losing side? Am I willing to invite people of other origins and religions into my society or do I want to be isolated? Again and again these or similar questions lead to disputes or even violent conflicts. Under the umbrella of "Neue Heimat" we wanted to find ways and means to steer this dispute in other directions with the help of culture.
Our motto is an invitation to Dresdeners and the people in Europe and the world to help create a new home. This home will be new insofar as the people in Dresden, in Germany and in Europe will have to face challenges which globalisation brings with it with increasing complexity: These include in particular questions relating to social justice, migration, digitisation and urbanisation. This home will be new in the sense that people will not hide behind cultural traditions and political borders, but will seek answers to these questions together. We invite you to do so. The answers do not require unanimity; on the contrary, they demand diversity. This home will be new in the sense that it does not dismiss familiar concepts of homeland, but continues to shape them. After all, it will be new because it has many houses and apartments, because Dresden, Germany and the world meet in it. There can be no more important task than working on the community of a new home.
The topics of the bid:
East and West
Power of Strangeness
Neue Heimat X-Culture
Fair in Dresden
Municipal cultural promotion is the part of the culture budget with which independent stakeholders, groups and artists are supported. It is thus an important working basis for cultural actors who are active outside the municipal and state institutions. As in many other cities, the free cultural scene in Dresden is developing much faster than the funding instruments and budgets of cultural promotion. The mayor of culture, Annekatrin Klepsch, and the cultural administration have therefore devised a strategy with which Dresden's cultural promotion can react to developments. The concept is entitled "Fair in Dresden 2025" and is part of the bid and cultural development planning.
On 27 September 2019, the Bid Office Dresden 2025 sent the bid book for the title "European Capital of Culture 2025" to the Kulturstiftung der Länder under the motto "Neue Heimat Dresden 2025".
Curator Michael Schindhelm, the Bid Office Dresden 2025 and many other actors from Dresden had worked intensively on the strategy and programme in recent months. The local graphic design agency pingundpong designed the 60-page bid book according to fixed – and uniform – specifications for all applicants.
Find out more about the application process and the criteria.
Our Joint Vision
Filmmaker Sebastian Linda called on the Dresdeners to submit their visions of "Neue Heimat Dresden 2025" as a film clip.
Image Film: Together
Only together we can create "Neue Heimat Dresden 2025". This is also shown in our image film. Together we make music out of it.
Voices on missing the shortlist
Unfortunately, the City of Dresden did not progress to the next candidate stage in the bid for the title "European Capital of Culture 2025". After the decision of the international jury, many attentive words reached us and we would like to share a few voices with you. Let's continue to take the future of Dresden into our own hands together. Many thanks for your support!
Prof. Dr. Marion Ackermann
"I am personally very sorry, and we are all disappointed. But yes, it's a sign of greatness to implement the best things anyway. That's what we're all looking forward to and we're all behind you."
Director-General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the whole team of SKD
"My team and I had firmly expected Dresden to make it to the next round, so the disappointment was correspondingly great. After a few weeks, however, I now see missing the shortlist as an opportunity for Dresden's cultural landscape to move closer together and to better network and support each other in the spirit of the Capital of Culture bid. I'm counting on a 'now more than ever' mood that can ignite new energies and advance the city with impulses and ideas. Either way, in my view, the challenge remains that we as a society should not break apart, it doesn't matter whether as a future Capital of Culture or as a historically grown cultural metropolis. As cultural workers, we are more than ever called upon to get involved in the cause. It may sound strange, but in the end I feel even more motivated to get involved for my hometown."
Singer, Composer and Producer
"It was with disappointment that I took note of the jury's decision and I regret it very much. Dresden would have deserved the title on the basis of the concept developed by the city and the European Capital of Culture Bid Office team. Nevertheless, I hope and wish that good ideas will be taken up and implemented. It was a pleasure for me to support our city in a completely different context, thank you very much for this opportunity."
Commercial Managing Director of Dresden City Drainage GmbH
"Thanks for your effort and work! I am glad that I, as a rather European Capital of Culture sceptic, was allowed to be part of this project on one or two occasions! And I see what you have initiated – and most importantly, that you have countered the confused Monday strollers with something positive and good. I hope our city will continue to benefit from this for a long time to come!"
Political Cabaret Artist
"The decision was really bitter and we all carry the disappointment with us for a while. I would like to thank you all very much for the work you have done over the past months, some people have worked for years. You have not only worked hard, but also put your heart and soul into it. Much of it will remain and, above all, I think we must keep going – now more than ever. We should continue to work on the questions, topics and projects that have been started and show that the application was meant seriously. It's all about the future of the cultural city Dresden!"
Artistic Director of Hellerau - European Centre for the Arts
"The bid of the city of Dresden for the 'European Capital of Culture 2025' was an absolute enrichment for our Institut français. We have accomplished great projects! It's a real pity that Dresden did not make it to the next round, as this bid has been a cultural boost for all people involved at all levels. It was fun to be a part of it and to have contributed to the diversity of the projects. We would therefore like to thank you for the cooperation, especially for the 'Fête de la Musique meets Europe' and the support for the project 'Beethoven with us'. It remains to be hoped that the spirit and the ideas that have emerged around this bid will continue for a while."