Umeå in northern Sweden took together with Riga in Latvia over the baton on January 1st from Marseille in France and Kosice in the Slovak Republic. The title last until end of 2014.
Umeå was awarded the capital of culture designation by an independent panel on the basis of cultural programs they submitted for consideration. Inaugurated in 1985 in Athens, Cultural Capitals highlight the diversity and richness of European culture while also fostering a European identity, the European Parliament writes in a press-release.
The city is the northernmost EU city ever to be cultural capital and the first in the Barents Region. Umeå receives €1,5 million in cultural funding from the European Union for activities in 2014.
Umeå’s aim for the year is to show Europeans northern Sweden and to increase cultural exchanges between the city and the rest of Europe.
A rich cultural event program is already in pipe for throughout the year including festivals, concerts, exhibitions and shows. The Sami perspective is especially highlighted in several events. The official inauguration weekend as the Capital of Culture takes place from January 31 to February 2 with festivities and royal attendance, according to the Umeå2014 portal.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.