On Thursday 6th of October 2016, the Organisation European Capital of Culture – Pafos2017 presented its programme of events in the gardens of its headquarters.
A few months prior to the official opening of the institution, the Organisation “opened” its doors to the public of Pafos for the presentation of its programme, on a special and unique evening.
“If I were to reach Cyprus,
the land of Aphrodite,
where love wanders,
and enchant the hearts of the mortals.
In Pafos, which is endowed, without rain,
the flow from a hundred spouts of another river”
The presenter of the event, Neoklis Neokleous, together with a group of children from the Pafos Music Lyceum opened the evening with a poem by Euripides, “Bacchae”, which was followed by a speech by the Mayor of Pafos, Mr Phedonas Phedonos.
In an atmosphere of emotion and pride, hundreds of locals and foreigners embraced the evening and were informed of everything that is about to happen in 2017 in Pafos, which as mentioned in the speech of the Organisation’s Chairman, Dr Christos Patsalides, “(Pafos) will transform into an Open Stage with works and events throughout the whole district, as a new and dynamic town”. Through a retrospective, beginning with the claiming of institution of the European Capital of Culture in 2012 up to this day, the Organisation’s Chairman recounted the course of the Organisation, pointing out the difficult economic and social conditions under which the programme of the European Capital of Culture was created.
Next, Georgia Doetzer, the Organisation’s Artistic Programme Director, referred to the planning of such an institution – “this is an institution different to a Festival or similar events, which involves a complex and long in duration programme that lasts for a whole year, during which activities, events, co-operations and exchanges will take place and whose results will not wear out during this year but will affect, influence and change the town as well as its citizens’ life in the long term”.
The programme of the European Capital of Culture consists of the following thematic sections: Myth and Religion, Travellers of the World and Stages of the Future, as well as The Travelling Stage, an extensive platform that runs through all three aforementioned thematic sections. The projects (which include many more cultural events, activities and interventions) come from different kinds of artistic expression and in order to connect conceptually and to be harmoniously understood by the audience, these have been allocated in subcategories that set the framework and define the philosophical and thematic reference horizon.
Opening Ceremony, 28 & 29 January 2017
The opening ceremony is inspired by the thematic section “Myth and Religion”, within the context of the opening weekend’s events on the 28th and 29th of January 2017. In light of the founding myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, which reminds us that Pafos – the result of their erotic union – is already a work of art, since Galatea was a statue that came to life, the main goal of the Open Air Factory is set: that of the comeback of Pafos as a town of creativity and cultural production. The opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture resets Pafos on the cultural map as a place of creativity and perspective, and the Open Air Factory as a the driving force that creates the preconditions for get-togethers, dialogue and exchange.
The Artistic Programme Director of the Pafos2017 Organisation also referred to the grand event of the Berlin Philharmonic, one of Europe’s leading ensembles with hundreds of concerts, appearances and recordings throughout the world, which will take place on the 1st of May 2017 at the Castle square. She also mentioned the Great Summer Event – Eternal Travels, which, as opposed to the Opening Ceremony, will be placed in the harbour area and will tell the stories of travellers from antiquity to this date.
Almost 1500 creators, artists, 152 projects and 300 activities will create a year of celebration, dialogue and exchange that will doubtlessly mark Pafos and its people, shifting the focus of everyday life towards culture, art and beauty.