Capitals of Culture An introductory survey Steve Green October 2017
An updated version of the paper will be released in September 2018 to take into account the CoCs in 2019 and the new programme in Slovakia.
A note on the 2018 CoCs is also on blog.
In the paper, link at the top of the post, I survey all the Capitals of Culture programmes: who set them up, objectives, selection and programmes. There is a comprehensive directory of programmes including tables of every title holder for all programmes.
The European Capital of Culture programme is well known. But do you know that since the first edition, in Athens in 1985, there have been over 30 similar titles around the world? In 2017 23 cities hold a title. Over 300 cities have held a title, some more than one title, some two titles at the same time and some more than once. Three programmes have yet to start, and 10 have been closed.
The European title has generated a substantial library of reports, evaluations, theses, commentaries and controversy. Little has been written about the other programmes. Under the auspices of international organisations, national ministries of culture, regional administrations and NGOs the Capitals illustrate different processes, share some common factors and differ in intention and activity.
My aim is to broaden awareness of the programmes, to trigger more analysis of them. More programmes are in the pipeline, there is no indication the trend for more titles will slow down.
The survey is an introduction. I welcome more information on titles (except ECOC) and will keep the paper up to date.