What is European Capital of Culture?

European Capital of Culture – more than just art and culture

Being a European Capital of Culture (ECoC) involves a great opportunity to rethink and develop not only the culture sector, but the society as a whole.

Nordland is doing great. Unemployment rates are close to zero, and we export more than ever. Still, our future is not just bright and free from challenges.

Like other parts of Norway – and the rest of Europe – young people gravitate towards larger cities and urban areas.

This is a true challenge for Bodø and Nordland. One of the main reasons Bodø is preparing this bid is that we are confident this project has the potential to help reverse this trend.

Though an ECOC project, new jobs will emerge and existing industries will get a boost and keep evolving.

Photo: Dan Mariner

Bodø is facing great change, as the military air base is closing down, the civil airport is rebuilt on a new location, and a whole new district will emerge on the land of the current airport. The new district will together with the old city become a new Smart City. As the city is on the verge of change, you can hardly find a better time for a large-scale, comprehensive culture project, supporting and influencing the process.

Bodø 2024 includes the county and the larger region, and Bodø is proud to take on the task of handling a project that can benefit all of Northern Norway, and even the rest of Arctic Europe.

Photo: Dan Mariner

It’s time for Bodø’s cultural ARCTICulation and to truly open our doors to Europe. Time to challenge the notion that this is simply a cold region, far from civilisation. Only coming alive for a couple of months a year when we frolic in the midnight sun, until we descend once again into winter darkness and cold.

In 2024 we want to articulate how and why people have settled in our region for thousands of years. That it’s because of – not in spite of – how nature and the climate make Nordland an abundant land.

Since people set foot in this area some 10.000 years ago, they have restructured and adapted their way of living in response to the change of times. Most importantly, people here have shaped a cultural system which has been absolutely central to our ability to survive and thrive in a region which some would find forbidding and inhospitable.

ARCTICulation provides an opportunity to show that there is much more to our part of Northern Norway than the stereotypical Arctic image which most Europeans have.

ARCTICulation is our chance to show Europe the pulse of the Arctic.