European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Bid book of Pilsen 2015

The bid book can be found at following website:


and has the following table of contents (according to the old selection methods valid until 2019):

1. Why does the city which you represent wish to take part in the competition for the title
of European Capital of Culture? What, for it, would be the main challenge of this nomination?
What are the city‘s objectives for the year in question?
2. Explain the concept of the programme which would be launched if the city was nominated
European Capital of Culture?
3. Could this programme be summed up by a slogan? (the answer to this question is optional
at the pre-selection stage).
4. Which geographical area does the city intend to involve in the “European Capital
of Culture” event? Explain this choice.
5. Do you already have the support of the local or regional political authorities?
Or are you planning to ask for their support at a later date? Explain.
6. How does the event fit into the long-term cultural development of the city and,
where appropriate, of the region?
7. To what extent do you plan to forge links with the other city to be nominated Capital of Culture?
8. Explain how the event could fulfil the criteria listed below. Please substantiate
your answer for each of the criteria
9. How does the city intend to ensure that the programme for the event – attracts the interest
of the population at European level.
10. How does the city plan to get involved in or create synergies with the cultural
activities supported by the European Institutions?
11. Participation as a basic principle – filling an empty space.
12. Are some parts of the programme designed for particular target groups (young people,
minorities, etc.)? Specify the relevant parts of the programme planned for the event.
13. What contacts has the city or the body responsible for preparing the event established,
or what contacts does it intend to establish, with
——cultural operators in the city?
——cultural operators based outside the city?
——cultural operators based outside the country?
Name some operators with whom cooperation is envisaged and specify the type
of exchanges in question.
14. In what way is the proposed project innovative?
15. 1. If the city in question is awarded the title of Capital of Culture, what would be the medium- and long-term effects of the event from a social, cultural and urban point of view?
2. Do the municipal authorities intend to make a public declaration of intent concerning
the period following the year of the event?
16. How was this application designed and prepared?


Comments by those who prepared the bid

Final comments in the bid should be noted first, since it is more than a mere matter of which criteria are being applied. Pilsen made the experience when addressing the public something of importance of current state of affairs due to the ECoC being over fed by fancy terms and models reproduced as if culture can be reduced to just a kind of life style (exemplified by Plovdiv 2019):

"The 'language of Brussels' is far removed from the reality in which people live. It seems academic, sophisticated, dull and often incomprehensible."

Pilsen 2015 thinks this is a shame since they are in agreement with the European cultural agenda. Consequently "the candidature team expended much energy in explaining and reformulating the terminology of Brussels."

From Havel's theatre towards a Ptydepe-type speech:

"In the process of actually writing the application, the team made an attempt to use a livelier and more personal approach, reflecting the reactions of specific local participants of Pilsen and its surrounding districts. If the city gains the title of ECOC, it is its intention to continue on this note and devote itself to an easily understood interpretation of “Brussels theories” of various ways of involving the artistic community. Inspiration for this can be the unique Czech approach to bureaucratic or political “Ptydepe-type” speech, a term coined by Václav Havel in one
of his plays for an incomprehensible, bureaucratic language. A result of the prepared brainstorming projects and studies could be a very interesting impulse and inspiration, perhaps for even the European Commission itself."

This might become even more relevant when memories of becoming free from the Communist rule affect people in their outlooks and judgements as to where they are today when again the 17th of November 1989 is remembered. It was the time when the Velvet-Revolution started by Havel and his supporters to gain political ground.

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