WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITIES
We choose to run for the European Capital of Culture 2026, not because we believe we have already tackled all the existing challenges, but because we see Žilina’s enormous potential. The candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2026 is an opportunity for our city and the surrounding region to deal with the complex legacy of the past and define its future together with its citizens and its creative forces.
For the generation who bears the experience of the transition of 1989, “culture as a driving force of change” is not a mere statement but rather an expression of a generational formative experience. 20 years ago, hardly anyone would have expected Žilina could once aspire to be a European Capital of Culture; extremism was on the rise, while local democracy was in deep crisis. Yet, since then, Žilina’s story has been one of creative resistance and the rise of civil society in addressing those issues. A momentum of change has been created in Žilina and we need to use this opportunity to propel ourselves to the future.
We chose Window of Opportunities as the project’s tagline, a credo that precisely captures and communicates our current state of mind. Originally a NASA phrase indicating the spatial and temporal limitations for the launch of a rocket, it eschews alibistic fatalism in favour of the idea of a certain momentum which must be produced and sustained. We like it, because it emphasises a proactive, constructive, problem-solving approach, and because it encourages grand visions and pursuit of long-term objectives.
Window of Opportunities also refers to a critical period in child development when specific vital neurological functions must be acquired. In this sense, the concept captures the position we are in and our aim to offer multiple opportunities to citizens and local communities for participation, learning and growth.
Programme of Žilina
Our concept of the programme involves a plan for positive change, whereas we believe the following three main elements need to be addressed in order for it to be implemented successfully: ≈ nature, » productivity, and oo discourse.