Alueen ihmisille kulttuuripääkaupungin pitää olla muutakin kuin "jänniä juttuja Tampereelta"

From left, Satu Vuorinen, Eija Oravuo and Else Christensen-Redzepovic visiting the popular Moomin Museum.

The Importance of Sauna and Regional Unity

What might the Capital of Culture offer its residents? And what might this impressive title yield for the residents of Tampere’s neighbouring municipalities in particular?

Else Christensen-Redzepovic was once in charge of the Capital of Culture bid of Sønderborg, Denmark. Now living in Brussels, Christensen-Redzepovic visited Tampere, bringing good news about a new way of thinking in Brussels:

“It is important to find a way for the city to interact with the region. You must reach the people who live outside Tampere. These people must be made to feel that they are part of the bid and know what benefits the bid will bring them. Everyone wants a better life. You must drive home the point that this is what’s going to happen, that the Capital of Culture project is something more than just some exciting stuff coming from Tampere,” Christensen-Redzepovic explained.

“A new trend is to promote regional development, unifying regional development to be exact. As a result of this trend, various discussions are also currently being held in the EU’s cultural networks: How to link urban areas with rural areas? It is a new approach in developing cities and rural areas.”

Recommending Honesty

Else Christensen-Redzepovic spent a few days in Tampere, also briefly offering good instructions on compiling our bid-book. We can’t reveal all, but this we can reveal: Christensen-Redzepovic recommended honesty.

“We must be open about what our problems are and what kind of cultural programme would solve these problems. There is no other prescription than to write an application that you honestly feel would benefit Tampere Region. And to convince the jury that you need this particular ‘extra muscle’ to succeed.”

Yes, about that sauna. Else Christensen-Redzepovic saw sauna as a big part of the great story of equality in Tampere:

”One moment, you are sitting at a meeting wearing a business suit, and the next you are sitting in a sauna naked and side by side with the same people!”