The story of 2018

2018: the themes

In every television series or movie, several story lines will cross each other simultaneously. Viewers are taken by the hand by different characters and lead through a sequel of narrative events taking place. The same is true for the program of Cultural Capital 2018. We have a number of major themes to offer, that merge into the complete story of Leeuwarden-Fryslân Cultural Capital of Europe 2018.

Iepen mienskip
Iepen mienskip is the central theme of our story. Working together on projects that we want to realize. Uniting all cities and villages of Fryslân. But also connecting with the rest of the Netherlands and Europe. That’s Iepen mienskip in a nutshell. Our standpoint as an organization for Cultural Capital 2018 is reaching out to everyone who wants to contribute and learn, so we can turn 2018 into an unforgettable event.

Lab Lwd
Leeuwarden as a laboratory for innovation. Working together and adding new meaning to our goals. Reaching out to people in their own environment and implementing changes right on the spot. Not shying away from a debate about the future of people in their home towns. And above all else, embracing all those countless initiatives that will arise in the coming years and giving them room to thrive. It makes no difference whether these initiatives arose in Leeuwarden or somewhere else in Europe. A major focus point encompassing all our hopes and plans, is that we don’t just accept the reality as it is now, but that we try to create new ways of sharing our lives, in a city that has always been in search of itself. It may not surprise you that our city is mentioned in the Guinness Book of records as the city that has most frequently changed its name.

City and Country
In the city, every thinkable commodity is within reach. You get on your bike or talk a walk and within minutes, you’re in the middle of the action. Cities are often crowded and noisy. Very different from the countryside, where you can enjoy spaciousness, tranquility, darkness and nature. We unite the best of both worlds in our program City and Country. What can the city and country learn from each other? What can be more beautiful than seeing a starlit sky on a pitch black night? How would people from the city react to the experience of being surrounded by complete darkness? And vice versa, isn’t it time to bring the rich diversity of art and culture from the cities to the villages?

Community and Diversity
Communities come in various shapes and forms. A club or a music band can be a community. But the inhabitants of a certain region or hard-rock fans can also form a community. Communities are created around music, sports, language and culture, but personal preferences also play an important role. Within this theme, we will use our projects as a uniting factor, to allow the different community types to get to know each other. And to celebrate our differences together.

Nature and culture
Frisian nature and culture are inextricably linked. A good example is the major role of water in our province. The mounds or ‘terps’, remind us of a time when the defense against the rising waters was a daily battle for the Frisian population. The Wadden Sea is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Friesland has a long and internationally recognized watersports tradition. The projects that fit into this theme are about our relationship with our surroundings. Like following the migration of the Godwit over the European continent. We are actively searching for new ways to unite our nature and culture.

Royal Frisian
History has brought us many things to be proud of. We show off our historical heritage in a program that we have named the Royal Frisian, the English name for the Frisian horse. Famous names from the past are part of the program, like Escher, Mata Hari, Slauerhoff and Alma Tadema. The Woudagemaal (Lemmer) and the Planetarium (Franeker), the mounds (terps), monastery culture and the royal family of the house of Orange (Oranjes). All of them are icons of our civilization. The harsh social battle that was fought out during former centuries is another well represented item of our program. Important cultural aspects of our current times, like our music tradition, festivals and open-air plays, are also proudly displayed within the Royal Frisian program.