The winners of the #CultourisCapitalFest, unveiled!

We already know the winners of the #CultourisCapitalFest and is time to share it!

From February 2020, COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on Europe’s economy, especially on the two sectors the project is working on – tourism and creative industries. Moreover, the European Capitals of Culture of 2020, Rijeka and Gallway, have been penalized by the lock-down, social distancing measures, flight restrictions, and new regulations on public events and spaces.

In reaction to such a situation, the TraCEs partnership decided to launch the first edition of the Cultour is Capital Fest, envisioned to become an annual event. The goal was to give visibility to the work of artists, creative and cultural operators from the European Capitals of Culture (past, current, future, or just candidate cities), and show the transformative power of arts and culture in such a hard time.

Our jury, composed of 5 professionals selected between the members of the partnership and experts in the artistic competence and tourism sector related to ECoCs, follow these criteria to pick the winning artworks:

1. originality

2. transformative effect on people & local community

3. Impacts on the territory (social, cultural & economic)

After a close count among 18 participants, we’re happy to announce the winners:

1st prize: Daniel Nicolae Djamo (Brussels,Belgium)

Visual artist, filmmaker and visual anthropology researcher, Djamo created a dystopic storytelling “focused on creating an imaginary performative, moving image archive of a future year, anticipating the results of struggles and tensions that we are confronted with right now within our societies, while also understanding and reflecting the past conflicts”.

To do so, the artist curated “16 sounds of paper”, an art project that shall question the success of integration of foreign elements in Bucharest, Romania, focusing on the routes followed by 16 German / Slovakian / Italian immigrants after the dissolution of the European Union, in a fictional age (the year 2028).

2nd Prize: Cristina Palermo (Matera, Italy)

Based on the previous experience of the Compagnia Teatrale L’albero, Cristina Palermo started from the inspiration milestone of the opera Carmen, from Georges Bizet, to create a community opera co-generated by women of Matera and Milano, in Italy. The women involved are disabled, migrants and young ones. Involving around 50 people and of all ages, the project aimed to empower women through Opera. The project was moved on digital platform and stablished a “safe-space” for co-creation, to tell and write stories during the lock-down.

3rd Prize: Giuseppe L. Bonifati (Aarhus, Denmark)

In the very words of Bonifati “Despite the many humanitarian battles of nowadays, we have good reason to say that we do not care about each other. No matter the faces, the scars, the form of the eyes, we do not want to show ourselves as we really are. To connect with others in the everyday life, we prefer to use a secure and protecting cover. What would be the reaction of the passengers of a city, if they met every day somebody literally covered up, dressed in a second skin?”.

Starting from the Japanese concept of Zentai (the black suit of the ninja, capable to disappear into the darkness), Bonifati planed a series of urban actions with people covered with a colour second skin that transform the everyday life of a city by establishing unexpected links and paradoxical situations.

Now the winners of the #CultourisCapitalFest will have the opportunity to develop their skills with local artists and cultural operators in Gelsenkirchen (Ruhr ECoC 2010), Košice (ECoC 2013), or Matera (ECoC 2019), as the prize of the Cultour Is Capital Fest 2020 will be a three-day residency opportunity in the city of their choice.

TraCEs – Cultour is Capital is a project funded by European Commission under the COSME program. The aim of this initiative is to foster cooperation between tourism and creative industries in order to develop new experiences able to innovate the tourist offer in Europe.

TraCEs project is working on this cooperation promoting transformative tourism in European Capitals of Culture (ECoC/s).

We take the opportunity to thank the artists and creators who have sent their proposals from all over Europe to participate in the #CultourisCapitalFest, as well as invite them to participate again in future editions of the festival, perhaps in a non-virtual shape. Let’s hope!