Matera 2019

The European Capitals of Culture Day at the Universal Exhibition 2020 Dubai is the event that Matera 2019 is organizing on October 30, 2021 in the Italian Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, in partnership with the Commissioner General of Italy and under the patronage of EU Commission.
The initiative is the result of the Memorandum of understanding signed in October 2018 between the Foundation and the Commissariat, which envisaged the involvement of the network of European Capitals of Culture, headed by Matera, as a lever for strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between Europe and the vast region of Arab countries.

The ‘Day’ on 30 October 2021 highlights the most significant cultural experiences of the European Capitals of Culture and their huge contribution to the themes that the Dubai World Expo is promoting: building bridges, leaving no one behind, living in an equilibrium.

This day in the context of the most important event of the year acquires a special value during this prolonged period that has been marked by the pandemic and the compulsory cancellation of so many major live events. Not only by shining a spotlight on the European Capitals of Culture in the months when for the first time since 1985 there are no ECoCs, but also by creating a connection between the closing ceremonies of Galway and Rijeka in April 2021 and the opening ceremonies of Esch, Kaunas and Novi Sad in 2022. The event brings to the fore the network of European Capitals of Culture that represent a huge and varied potential of experiences and practices of the transformative and regenerative impact of culture on the cities and their communities.

The program - available on the Italian Pavilion website - includes four events:

- the International Forum The European Capitals of Culture and the New European Bauhaus: how to build sustainable, inclusive and beautiful places
 (info event

- the International Forum Urban/Rural: designing through culture new connections between overcrowded and sparsely populated areas (info event)

- The ECoC game, an interactive experience designed by the Open Design School aimed at taking visitors on an imaginary journey through the history of the European Capitals of Culture (info event)

- the performance Open Sound Dubai Session - one of the original co-productions of Matera 2019 realized with Multietnica association - a bridge between the production of contemporary electronic music and sound practices related to the most representative rituals of Lucanian tradition. The performance involves Italian and Arab musicians and producers, celebrating the encounter of different and similar cultures (info event)

Eight European Capitals of Culture participate in the discussions around the themes of the two forums: Esch 2022 (Luxembourg), Novi Sad 2022 (Serbia), Kaunas 2022 (Lithuania), Veszprém-Balaton 2023 (Hungary), Eleusis 2023 (Greece), Nova Gorica/Gorizia 2025 (Slovenia), Oulu 2026 (Finland), and Matera 2019. Major guests at the forum on European Capitals of Culture and New European Bauhaus include architect Carlo Ratti, co-designer of the Italian Pavilion at Expo, and Barbara Gessler, European Commission - Head of Unit “Creative Europe and ECoC programme” (remote connection).

We wanted to organize this initiative together with the Italian Pavilion and the network of European Capitals of Culture to relaunch this network and to highlight the resilience and ability to reinvent a major event by overcoming the unforeseen challenges posed by the pandemic.
We are excited and proud to represent Matera and the Basilicata Region at the Dubai Universal Exhibition!