- Kaunas in Lithuania, one of the three European capitals of culture 2022
Kaunas has been working since 2017 on the implementation of the largest cultural project undertaken to date by the city and the district of Kaunas. The project entitled "Contemporary Capital" follows the "From Temporary to Contemporary" motto, with the clearly defined main objective of introducing a real change in the territory that will last over time. As the initiators explain, Kaunas wants to change "from a town living with nostalgia to a growing, open city which believes in its future, focusing on the unique Kaunas modernist architecture, history and memory, Fluxus ideas and today’s community."
To understand better, our readers must consider that Lithuania’s second-largest city, which currently boasts 350,000 inhabitants, has developed rapidly over the last century. Strategically located between the Nemunas and Neris rivers, in the interwar years from 1919 to 1940 the city served as the temporary capital of Lithuania. In that period, the city quickly became a thriving centre of scientific, cultural and academic activities that also led to the creation of its greatest treasure: the unique modernist architecture, which we will talk about in greater detail below. Let's, of course, not forget that Kaunas was the birthplace of George Maciunas, the founding member of the Fluxus artistic movement.
But while the city’s past certainly looked glorious, the present was marked by the difficulties of a long stagnation after Lithuania regained its independence. A time when pessimism and nostalgia prevailed with a large part of the population – in particular young people – many of whom left the city and the country.
The time for a revival is thus at hand. Indeed, the city's status as a European Capital of Culture has allowed its creative community to bring about a long-awaited transformation, coining the motto "From Temporary to Contemporary" and aiming to create one big stage for Europe.
Over 1000 cultural events, with many highlights also dedicated to the world of architecture, are in store for citizens and tourists. The celebrations are set to begin on January 22 with the first act of the Trilogy, "The Mythical Beast of Kaunas", born from the expressed desire to propose "a new myth for the city, to help it change its course". Confusion (January 19 to 23), Confluence (May 20 to 22) and Contract (November 25 to 27) are the titles of the three main events co-created by Lithuanian and foreign artists that give us an idea of the joint effort for positive change, together with the participation of the local, European and international community.
Livegreenblog will keep you up to date to how things develop. In the meantime, you will find all the information on the programme of events on the official Kaunas 2022 website: https://kaunas2022.eu/
Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022
Images: courtesy of Kaunas 2022, see captions
Andrius Aleksandravičius, Martynas Plepys
Find out more: https://kaunas2022.eu/