Once again we tried to create something unique. Melanie Botzki and Inga Samii, who are leading the ECoC bidding team, are convinced that the City Visit is a work of art itself: “We could never have imagined such an elaborate production in our wildest imaginations.”
At Go! let's go
On the digital city tour, moderator Ninia LaGrande presented examples of our projects. One of them: Go! According to the plan, the busy fly over right next to the Raschplatz is to be closed for one year for the welcome center in 2025. We have proven in a pre-produced clip that this is already working. There, Hannoverians settle on the high bridge, on which oversized letters made of lawn form the words "Normalcy is not an option". As an example of experimental traffic concepts, it was shown here how the space that is freed up can be used in a new and different way by removing lanes. Pre-production was only carried out where it was absolutely necessary due to the corona pandemic. “Most of it was live. That was very important to us in order to convey the authentic character of the city,” emphasize Botzki and Samii.
Cooperation between the independent scene and traditional institutions
The Ihme Center, which is to be developed in Hannover's bid for the “International Center for Artistic Research” (IZKF), served as the backdrop for the digital city tour and other live streams as well as for the discussions with the jury. How the collaboration between the various cultural activists planned in Hannover in 2025, from the independent scene to traditional institutions such as the State Opera, should look like, has now been tried out during a jury visit.
A wide variety of people, institutions, associations and movements made this their own during the City Visit. These included members of the Ihme Center-think tank, the independent cultural scene of the Aufnahmezustand, ballet dancers and opera singers from the Hannover Opera, musicians, actors from the independent scene and the Schauspiel Hannover, artist collectives from the Galerie Brutal and Urban Artists, representatives of Kargah, the Agentur für Zwischenraumnutzung and the Fridays For Future movement and, of course, residents of the Ihme Center. And behind the stage there was also cooperation from Hannover's urban society: We received support in the infrastructure, among other things, from Hannover Concerts, Kulturezntrum Faust, Café Glocksee and Theater an der Glocksee, aha, the City's Event Management team, the Lee-Gym Hannover, the üstra and the Landgestüt Celle and many, many more.
From Hannover to Europe
In addition, the link was also made live to the region and Europe: cultural workers from the region, from Germany, Slovenia, Great Britain, Serbia, Greece, Poland, Belgium and Sweden were connected. From there, from Stockholm, our European Capital of Culture ambassador Igor Levit spoke up.
In the end, over 300 people from a wide variety of areas took part in the “City Visit”. Lena Kußmann, director, actress and artistic director of the Theater an der Glocksee, is responsible for the overall artistic production of the jury visit. The texts, from the moderation to the project descriptions, come from the pen of the author Juan S. Guse, who has already written our two bid books.