The main project, the European Apple Tree Parade, a planned highlight of Chemnitz as European Capital of Culture 2025, has been put on hold. Stefan Schmidtke, executive director of the program, announced Friday that the project will be redesigned in the area of "Living Neighborhood" by the end of the year. He said this is a regular process to put more emphasis on participation and sustainability. "It's about bringing people together who haven't met before - something that is sorely needed in our city."
The original curator, Barbara Holub, had planned for the European Parade of Apple Trees to be an artistic intervention in the city to highlight themes of power representation, environmental awareness, future collaboration and boundary crossing, and food stewardship. The project, which began with the first plantings in 2021, had so far planted more than 400 apple trees.
However, some concerns have been raised that have been of great concern to Chemnitz residents. Questions were raised about why only apple trees were planted, why they should be in a line, and whether the soil and planned locations were even suitable for the trees. "We want the project to be initiated by the citizens and not imposed from above," Schmidtke said, explaining the new direction. A new concept is to be developed by the end of the year.
Chemnitz will share the title of European Capital of Culture with Nova Gorica in Slovenia in 2025. The motto "C the Unseen" will aim to make the hidden visible and activate the "silent center" in urban society. The projects outlined in the application book also include a creative center in virtual space, a cultural path called "Purple Path" and a project on garages as hidden creative places. Chemnitz is the fourth German city to receive the title, following West Berlin in 1988, Weimar in 1999 and Essen in 2010.
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