Valletta (Malta) and Leeuwarden (Netherlands) are the European Capitals of Culture 2018 and we want to wish them a good job!

The European Capital of Culture in Valletta will be held an opening ceremony from the 14th to the 21st of January 2018 to officially begin the year.
The central theme "Imagine 18" is an exciting opportunity to experience cultural identity afresh in new contexts that push the boundaries and allow for ideas, dialogue, creativity and innovation to flow freely. Valletta 2018 will bring shifts in mentality, challenge to experiment, raise expectations both as artists and as audiences, and embrace permanent change to enrich Maltese cultural lives. This will be done by focusing on encouraging the participation of individuals and organizations from different parts of society. 
The programme includes festivals and performances in science, arts, kids and youths, dance, theatre, food and many others topics. The concepts behind the events are driven by three main themes: “Island Stories”, “Future Baroque” and “Voyages”.

The opening ceremony in the city of Leeuwarden, on the other hand, will be held the following week on the 26th and 27th of January.

The central theme "The iepen mienskip - open community" has the aim to connect different kinds of communities across Europe, both online and ‘in real life’. With more than 800 projects, the ECoC will show an idiosyncratic and committed community sensitive to and curious about each other’s ideas, opportunities and challenges.
The programme is articulated into three themes. Theme one is about how nature and culture relate to each other in the broadest sense. Theme two focuses on the relationship between city and countryside. The third theme is about how people live together in these places and how different co-existing cultures communicate and interact.

Running alongside the main programme, Leeuwarden 2018 has two side programmes. Lab LWD can be compared to a toolbox to test out different kinds of open platforms for connecting people. The second one, Royal Friesian, is a programme considering the past, present and future of cultural import-export relations.


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