Plovdiv – The New European Capital of Culture

Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second biggest city, prides itself on rich history and picturesque surroundings. It is also the first Bulgarian city to be appointed European Capital of Culture. As a capital of that kind, Plovdiv is preparing to show off Bulgarian culture and history, reveal the fascination of Bulgarian customs and traditions, offer the riches of its Ethnographic Museum, and take its guests’ attention by storm with the Roman amphitheater in its centre.

The European Capital of Culture initiative contributes for the closer links between European countries. As such a capital in 2019, Plovdiv is to feature together with its Italian counterpart, the city of Matera. The two cities are working jointly on projects and initiatives to show on a vast scale the cultures of the two countries.

The three-day festival of city games in the Tobacco City – 2018

The festival of city games was first held in the Tobacco City area of Plovdiv in 2017. Its second edition is to be held in the period 16-18 November, 2018. This is a continuation of the partnership with Matera. The motto is “The Time Machine”. City games are a new way of bringing new life to abandoned city areas.

Celebrate the start of the initiative with a large scale event, the “We Are of All Colors” Performance

In the period 11-13 January, a series of events will mark the start of the initiative. They will take part on a number of stages indoors and outdoors. The culmination is planned for Saturday, 12 January – the performance in the very heart of the city. It is planned as a performance combining music, light, dancing, and featuring over 1,500 participants. They are participants from Bulgaria and abroad, coming together to create in the open air a large scale metaphor expressing the motto of the Plovdiv 2019 – European Capital of Culture: “Together”. The concept for the performance was provided by the phase7 performing.arts, a German company whose artistic director is Sven Soren Bayer.

Children of different nationalities brought together for a performance

This is another event in the program of the European Capital of Culture initiative. It was held on 28 October, and featured children of different nationalities, with dancing and a game with questions and answers, all of these taking place in the atmosphere recreating ancient Greece. Children of Roma, Turkish, Armenian, and Jewish communities in Plovdiv participated in the event. Altogether there were 75 children, aged between 6 and 17 years. They used the vehicle of theatre performance to share and find solutions to common questions arising in everyday life. The performance was preceded by an exhibition entitled “Deus Ex Machina, or What is Ancient Theatre”, where 82 paintings by these children were shown on the central square in Plovdiv.

As a follow-up, there is to be a performance entitled “Medea”, which is to be presented in the summer of 2019.

The rich program uniting people from different countries, ages, nationalities is designed to show how people do better when they are together, acting in unison. Plovdiv has been the stage for a host of events since 2018, and 2019 is going to be rich in cultural events too. Thus both the city and Bulgaria will celebrate the European Capital of Culture initiative.

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