Window of opportunity for youth
We have a window of opportunity open for everyone and every opinion counts in the Žilina Beskids 2026. During the almost two-year process of our candidacy, we have tried to develop civic participation and get as many suggestions as possible from the inhabitants of Žilina and the Beskids region. At the end of the candidacy we focused on young people, we had several meetings with young people who participate in cultural activities in the region, but we did not leave out the students of primary, secondary and art schools on three sides of the border in the region!
Over the past month, we connected with dozens of primary schools, high schools and art schools in Žilina, Frýdek-Místek and Bielsko-Biała to find out what kind of cities and region young Beskids citizens envision in 2026. Thanks to the involvement of thousands of students, we have collected a lot of interesting messages, ideas and aspirations of how the cities and the Beskids region should look like if Žilina, together with its partner cities Frýdek-Místek and Bielsko-Biała, becomes the European Capital of Culture 2026.
The students in Žilina wrote their messages and ideas on white and blue textile triangles. They did not choose the shape, colour or material by chance. The white-blue colour combination is the main colour of our candidacy, the triangle represents Žilina’s cross-border cooperation with the cities of Bielsko-Biała in Poland and Frýdek-Místek in the Czech Republic. Textile refers to our programme pillar Factory for the Future, which includes several planned projects referring to the textile tradition in the Beskids region. Almost 2000 flags with messages were subsequently processed by local artist Daniela Danielis, founder of the Wnoozow weaving studio in Prague and also of the Textile Craft Centre in Čadec, which is a partner of our project. Daniela created an art installation from flags with messages in a public space, located in the arcade on Horný Vál Street – the headquarters of Žilina Beskids 2026.
In addition to the textile flags, the students also sent us hundreds of paintings and drawings in which they visually represented their ideas about the future of the towns and the region. We exhibited the artworks by students from primary and art schools from the three cities in the children’s workshop of the Rosenfeld Palace in Žilina.