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Humans of Nürn­berg

 

Colourful, diverse and yet unique - these are the people of Nuremberg! We regularly tell a personal story in our series #humansofnürnberg.

“New per­spec­ti­ves, cross­over for­mats, net­wor­king – brin­ging tog­e­ther what didn’t belong tog­e­ther befo­re, that’s what ener­gi­zes and dri­ves me. For over 25 years for the showmen’s asso­cia­ti­on, as a Nürn­berg resi­dent for 60 years! What keeps me fit? Mee­ting new peop­le, dis­co­vering new topics, con­coc­ting new ide­as whe­re at first peop­le often say, You’re cra­zy! But isn’t it the cra­zy ide­as that move us ahead: try­ing things out, explo­ring limits? A fair with show­men and rides at the Nürn­berg Aller­hei­ligs­ten would have been unt­hin­ka­ble until a few weeks ago, but it’s part of our life, our job, to be able to deal with situa­tions fle­xi­b­ly, to be ver­sa­ti­le, to remain crea­ti­ve and to take advan­ta­ge of oppor­tu­nities. And for all the dama­ge it does to us, the cri­sis also gives us oppor­tu­nities for growth. Cri­tics? The­re are always cri­tics. That’s okay; the­re should be cri­tics. What I don’t like is envy. Of cour­se, I am in the pri­vi­le­ged posi­ti­on of being able to mix my job and per­so­nal life in such an enri­ching way, a chan­ce to approach unknown topics – but ever­yo­ne is free to get invol­ved in new for­mats, to find out whe­ther they can find access and see what the city has to offer them. And hey, the city real­ly has a lot to offer, and the fair busi­ness, with its 1000-year-old tra­di­ti­on, is an important cul­tu­ral asset that you can’t just let fall apart. Every social unit can only func­tion through the uni­fy­ing com­mon ground, so why not search for it, explo­re, try – be more dar­ing? Wit­hin the city admi­nis­tra­ti­on, whe­re the bureau­cra­cy has incre­a­sed more and more in recent years, it works just fine, they’re very accom­mo­da­ting; with new solu­ti­ons and crea­ti­vi­ty that I hope will stay. We’ll never plea­se ever­yo­ne. But if ever­yo­ne con­tri­bu­t­ed just a litt­le, ever­ything would be so easy.”

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“The­re are a few pla­ces in Nürn­berg that I miss. That cosy litt­le Lin­de-sta­di­um, for examp­le, whe­re we had drinks in the Straf­bank­stüberl during the EHC 80 Lumum­ba matches. The are­na can’t com­pe­te with that. Or the demo­lis­hed bridge over the Nord­ring: part of my bike rou­te was to work up momen­tum befo­re I reached the bridge, then to brief­ly dive into the dark and out into the light again. And I espe­cial­ly miss the pan­ora­ma view – the one from the ‘Fern­seh­turm’. As a kid, I super­vi­sed its con­struc­tion, so to speak. On the way to my grand­par­ents from the Nord­stadt to Gebers­dorf we always went past it and so we could watch its con­struc­tion ring by ring. Later I was up in the restau­rant a few times – a uni­que atmo­s­phe­re, which I hope will be regu­lar­ly acces­si­ble again at some point (as soon as pos­si­ble!) and, abo­ve all, more often than now, when it is open only once a year. Wouldn’t that be gre­at for the Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re? Nürn­berg has long held a very dif­fe­rent tit­le: the Capi­tal of Food Trucks! Ten years ago I laun­ched Rib­Wich, the first truck – the rest is histo­ry … I had actual­ly lar­ge­ly with­drawn from my acti­ve busi­ness. I orga­ni­zed the SFC Street Food Con­ven­ti­on in Nürn­berg and Essen, but have ori­en­ta­ted mys­elf pri­ma­ri­ly as a men­tal coach, I’m wri­ting a book and I’m on the move as a juice expert. But when my foodtruck col­leagues were also exis­ten­ti­al­ly threa­tened with the onset of the coro­na­vi­rus cri­sis, I did ever­ything I could and crea­ted a deli­very ser­vice tog­e­ther with my col­leagues in two night shifts. Am I affec­ted and worried mys­elf? Affec­ted, yes, for examp­le if my tra­de fairs get can­cel­led. Worried, no. Life always goes on, may­be dif­fer­ent­ly, but it goes on. You have to be adap­ta­ble and pain­less, then you’ll always find a way. ‘Not­hing is more rela­xing than accep­t­ing what is com­ing’ (Dalai Lama)”

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“Is ulti­ma­te tole­ran­ce some­thing cool? I don’t know. In school, my class­ma­tes used to tease me, call me “nose” and “tri­ang­le head.” I did­n’t care. I fought back. I had to fight back. Today, ever­ything is wrap­ped up in wad­ding. Insta­gram is to bla­me for that too. Peop­le no lon­ger have to deal with things direct­ly. They have beco­me extern­al­ly for­med bein­gs. Do you remem­ber when you were a child, when you had plasti­ci­ne in dif­fe­rent colours and did­n’t want to mix them tog­e­ther becau­se then ever­ything beco­mes a brown mix­tu­re? That’s how it feels with Insta­gram. Unde­fi­ned. Mana­gers used to tell me: “You don’t need peop­le” — but ever­y­bo­dy needs peop­le. There’s no point in coo­king your own soup. It feels like Nur­em­berg isn’t evol­ving. But that’s not true. As a pho­to­gra­pher I’ve been to Dubai, New York, Ita­ly. If you go away for a few mon­ths and come back, you see how ever­ything chan­ges. Espe­cial­ly in Gos­ten­hof. The­re used to be a grey cloud over the district. Today peop­le walk along Für­ther Stra­ße like on a board­walk. The har­bour does­n’t feel like a city any­mo­re. That is cool. Some­ti­mes you could think that Ber­lin is a Fran­co­ni­an “refu­gee colo­ny”. So many peop­le who live the­re today come from Nuremberg.But espe­cial­ly they say: “Nur­em­berg is cul­tu­ral­ly crap”. That’s non­sen­se! The­se peop­le grew up here. That shapes you. Nur­em­berg is in the midd­le of ever­ything, has a good infra­st­ruc­tu­re and good acces­si­bi­li­ty. Ber­lin may be cool, has the style, that’s true. But it has to come from some­whe­re, right? For examp­le, the Kolb, the pret­zels — that is a cul­tu­ral asset! My Ber­lin friends rave about them. That’s just one of many examp­les. If you can grum­ble about the city all the time, then something’s wrong with you — not with the city.”

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“Inte­gra­ti­on is a word that always sounds so vague to me, so intan­gi­ble — what is it sup­po­sed to mean any­way? I am final­ly star­ting to rea­li­ze through the impor­t­ance of lan­guage. I am Rus­si­an and I had lear­ned Ger­man in my home­town St. Peters­burg, but com­ing here to Ger­ma­ny in 2016, I rea­li­zed that spea­king a lan­guage is some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent from lear­ning it. The first mon­ths were hard, I often thought to mys­elf: Never mind, I’ll pack my bags now and go back. It was espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult at work sin­ce I stu­di­ed tou­rism busi­ness in Rus­sia, but my degree was not reco­gni­zed here. On top of all this, the­re was the lan­guage bar­ri­er — that was a huge hurd­le. Final­ly, the cul­tu­ral dif­fe­ren­ces bet­ween Nur­em­berg and St. Peters­burg is noti­ce­ab­le in the smal­lest things.  For examp­le, in Rus­sia, the bell pla­tes don’t have a name on them, but a num­ber — so that peop­le can remain anony­mous. Now, after three years, I can say: I made it. Nur­em­berg is very spe­cial, espe­cial­ly when it comes to cul­tu­re and events. I always dis­co­ver some­thing extra­or­di­na­ry here. In sum­mer: the “Blaue Nacht” and the “Bar­den­tref­fen” make me feel at home, even though I am sur­roun­ded by many stran­gers. At least, by now, I can talk to them without any pro­blems. And I can see: Rus­sia and Ger­ma­ny aren’t so dif­fe­rent when it comes to the peop­le.”

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“As much as I’d like to, I sad­ly can­not give away my favou­rite place in Nürn­berg – it’s so gre­at main­ly becau­se hard­ly anyo­ne knows about it for some rea­son. But I pro­mi­se the­re are qui­te a few pla­ces in the city that may not be obvious at first, but are defi­ni­te­ly worth dis­co­vering. All in all, after moving here from Wei­ßen­burg 40 years ago, I dis­co­ve­r­ed Nürn­berg for mys­elf without any ambi­ti­on to live any­whe­re else. It’s per­fect for me just as a cyc­list – well, becau­se of the size of the city, not becau­se of the con­di­ti­ons. And it’s high time that city plan­ning paid atten­ti­on to the cycle path net­work. Inci­dent­al­ly, that would be a more important aspect for the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re bid than all the small-sca­le cul­tu­ral deve­lo­p­ments. Becau­se I have the idea, the desi­re that long-term deve­lo­p­ments emer­ging from the pro­cess could bene­fit the popu­la­ti­on. In terms of urban plan­ning, for examp­le, in the sen­se of housing: Why not call a com­pe­ti­ti­on for new archi­tec­tu­re, perhaps in coope­ra­ti­on with the WBG? As the maker of the Stra­ßen­kreu­zer CD, I have been dealing with the local music sce­ne for 19 years and am hap­py about the sheer over­whel­ming num­bers of good artists in the regi­on, which has an almost end­less pool of bands and musi­ci­ans. The fact that Nürn­berg isn’t a spring­board to gre­at care­ers is pro­bab­ly less due to the city than to the Fran­co­ni­an men­ta­li­ty, which likes to hide behind a sen­se of world modes­ty. But the same app­lies here as for the pla­ces in Nürn­berg I men­tio­ned at the begin­ning that you have to look for: They’re wai­t­ing to be dis­co­ve­r­ed. Abso­lute­ly!”

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“I love to tra­vel to war zones and at the same time I fear not­hing more than death. For many peop­le, the­se two aspects are incom­pa­ti­ble. As a young woman, I was dia­gno­sed with can­cer. I bare­ly had a chan­ce to sur­vi­ve and des­pi­te that could fight the dise­a­se. After my reco­very, one thing was clear to me: I want to tra­vel and see the world! First, I went to India several times. I am fasci­na­ted by this color­ful, posi­ti­ve coun­try, whe­re so many peop­le live in pover­ty and yet are in good spi­rits. Sin­ce a few years I‘m tra­vel­ling regu­lar­ly to war zones. I tra­v­eled with nomads through Kur­di­stan, lived with war refu­gees in tent camps and lived tog­e­ther with the Yazi­dis army. Many times, I was under fire, out­doors and at home with friends I met on my jour­neys. My last trip took me to nort­hern Syria in the Kur­dish war zone. I always have my came­ra with me, but I do not shoot bloo­dy corp­ses or sol­di­ers. I am inte­res­ted in the peop­le, how they are fami­lies, main­tain friendships, lead their lives and live their cul­tu­re des­pi­te the devas­ta­ting cir­cum­s­tan­ces. I have met so many lovely and hel­pful peop­le who sur­vi­ve in the most dif­fi­cult cir­cum­s­tan­ces, fear for their exis­tence every day, yet smi­le, be cour­te­ous and open­ly share their sto­ries. I also had exhi­bi­ti­ons in Nur­em­berg with pic­tures of my expe­ri­en­ces. But you only reach a cer­tain group of peop­le with the­se exhi­bi­ti­ons. I would like to see art and cul­tu­re in Nur­em­berg made more acces­si­ble to ever­yo­ne in public space. My dream would be to rea­li­ze a pho­to exhi­bi­ti­on out­doors.”

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“Born in Fürth, I didn’t move to the big city of Nürn­berg until I was 19. From the­re I moved to Munich – and retur­ned quick­ly. Becau­se the­re, I mis­sed ever­ything that makes Nürn­berg spe­cial: It was too imper­so­nal, too big… The char­ming thing here is that you can expe­ri­ence a lot of leisu­re acti­vi­ties, cul­tu­re and histo­ry on foot wit­hin the old town wall, but the area around it is real­ly gro­wing, too. A lot is hap­pe­ning in districts like Eber­hards­hof, but also in the metro­po­li­tan regi­on. Nürn­berg is the cent­re of it all, it’s eco­no­mi­c­al­ly and cul­tu­ral­ly superb and an insti­tu­ti­on whe­re a lot’s hap­pe­ning – regard­less of the bre­we­ry den­si­ty. With Bam­berg, Bay­reuth or Schwa­bach, I have not­hing but beau­ti­ful cities less than an hour away, even litt­le Wen­del­stein has a lot to offer. I mys­elf live on the out­skirts, almost in the coun­try, in a vil­la­ge com­mu­ni­ty with a func­tio­n­ing infra­st­ruc­tu­re. If I want to expe­ri­ence some­thing dif­fe­rent, I get on the bus and can be any­whe­re in 20 minu­tes and my three child­ren are gro­wing up safe­ly. We don’t lack anything here. Fear isn’t a big issue here, but peop­le often turn out to be not very cos­mo­po­li­tan; it would be fan­tastic if they could open up more to other cul­tures and accept their way of life, unli­ke you’d expect often grum­py Fran­co­ni­ans to do. I think the attempt to put in a bid as Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re is jus­ti­fied, the poten­ti­al is here – but the­re are other cali­bres, so I think the bid is a very bra­ve move. But, well – there’s always some­thing to com­p­lain about. I still don’t want to live any­whe­re else.”

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“Of cour­se, like many young peop­le, I was drawn to Ber­lin 15 years ago – It was the place to be. From my visits with friends, I‘ve gai­ned the expe­ri­ence and know­leg­de, that with cer­tain­ty, I do not want to live the­re. In Ber­lin you just live in your litt­le neigh­bor­hood. Here in Nur­em­berg, the who­le city is my neigh­bor­hood. The advan­ta­ge of Nur­em­berg is, that I have the cul­tu­ral pro­gram of a who­le city — and it is incredi­b­ly diver­se. It upsets me when peop­le say, with their old fashio­ned men­ta­li­ty, not­hing is going on here in Nur­em­berg! Open your eyes, ears, nose, get out of your com­fort zone, and explo­re! Cer­tain­ly, peop­le enga­ged in the cul­tu­ral sec­tor often have a hard time get­ting atten­ti­on and reco­gni­ti­on for their work. And I hope that as a cul­tu­ral jour­na­list, I can at least put pro­jects or peop­le in the spot­light. To all crea­ti­ve peop­le who stay here des­pi­te of adver­si­ties, having the cou­ra­ge and wit: Respect! As an edi­tor at the social maga­zi­ne Stra­ßen­kreu­zer, my view has shar­pe­ned even fur­ther in the last cou­p­le of years, espe­cial­ly my poli­ti­cal point of view. The artist, who is poor and drinks wine every day at the same coun­ter, is somehow cool becau­se he is an artist. But we look in con­tempt at the per­son who sits always on the same bench and drinks his can­ned beer. Why is that so? My job for­ces me to often look bey­ond my own box, to embark in other cul­tures and rea­li­ties of life — and in almost every case I hap­pi­ly come back from the trip. I can only recom­mend this trip. Ope­ning yourself to new things is good for you and for the city, becau­se the city is only as good as you make it. Cul­tu­re is wai­t­ing on every cor­ner, you just have to say hel­lo. Be curious! Nur­em­berg is so much more than brat­wurst, brown, and cast­le!” .

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“I didn’t rea­li­se that I grew up in a neigh­bour­hood that the who­le city cal­led a ‘ghet­to’ until much, much later. I had a gre­at child­hood. My mother left my sis­ter and me to play out­side unsu­per­vi­sed, the­re was a lot of green, we were often in the near­by forest, we also always met in the neigh­bour­hood as teen­agers to hang out the­re – and then at some point I heard peop­le say: You live in Lang­was­ser with the low­li­fes? I didn’t under­stand what that meant, I wasn’t awa­re of it. For me it was just nice the­re. But it was also nice after my appren­ti­ce­ship when I had the first flat of my own – right in the midd­le of the old town. What I’d only known from short wee­kend trips has sud­den­ly taken on more shape and colour. And apart from the fact I final­ly had ever­ything on my door­step at the prime par­ty­ing age, I only then dis­co­ve­r­ed how diver­se the city’s cul­tu­ral pro­gram­me is – and I can well remem­ber the first Blue Night that we visi­ted on inli­ne skates back then. Today I have two very young child­ren mys­elf; of cour­se I want to give them the best pos­si­ble child­hood. But that’s easy in Nürn­berg, espe­cial­ly here, whe­re I have the park and Mari­en­berg right on my door­step. I wouldn’t dare send the child­ren the­re to play alo­ne like my mother did in the day. You’re so afraid that some­thing could hap­pen. But I don’t think it’s beco­me more dan­ge­rous in the city – there’s sim­ply a lot more repor­ted on. The kids are real­ly tying me up right now, but they’re also for­cing me to open up, for examp­le for con­ver­sa­ti­ons with seni­ors we’ve never met from the reti­re­ment home. That’s good. Until they’re big enough that we can take them with us for the gre­at cul­tu­ral offer for the litt­le ones, we just take them to crea­ti­ve and music cour­ses. And by the way, nobody’s said for a long time that I come from a ghet­to.”

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“I’m a born Stutt­gar­ter who hap­pi­ly ended up in Nürnberg’s open arms. (After working for many years in theat­re, I’m now working as acoach and con­sul­tant with my pas­si­on, the effect in various con­texts.) I live with my fami­ly in the cast­le district, in the midd­le of a post­card para­di­se. It’s won­der­ful, but also a nui­sance, becau­se this beau­ti­ful city­scape is incre­a­singly being floo­ded by bus and fer­ry and other tou­rists. Of cour­se we need tou­rism, but, say, 10,000 spe­cial per­mits to the old town for inco­m­ing coa­ches per year are sim­ply too many. I guess I have to deal with that – until the city emp­ties in the evening and reve­als its atmo­s­phe­ric beau­ty. While the cast­le district only gets quiet in the evening, right here in the cent­re of histo­ry the­re is a place whe­re hard­ly anyo­ne other than an occa­sio­nal wal­ker ends up: The Schnep­per­schüt­zen or crossbowmen’s asso­cia­ti­on, foun­ded in 1506, once held the last line of defen­se in the cast­le gar­dens against enemy attacks – and today holds 13 beau­ti­ful litt­le gar­dens. Ever­yo­ne knows the­se gems, but hard­ly anyo­ne knows what they’re all about. There’s neit­her a secret order behind it, nor are they allot­ments, but an asso­cia­ti­on who­se mem­bers are incre­a­singly young fami­lies who are inte­res­ted in pre­ser­ving tra­di­ti­on. What it loo­ks like? We meet four times a year and shoot with old cross­bows at sawn-out woo­den eagles and glass balls – a lot of fun! And it’s an incom­pa­ra­ble atmo­s­phe­re of histo­ry as well as for sto­ry­tel­ling. For me and my fami­ly, our gar­den is a litt­le pie­ce of para­di­se in the shadow of the cast­le. When Nürn­ber­gers hear the word ‘tra­di­ti­on,’ they immedia­te­ly think of dark times ins­tead of bright ones, but this wasn’t always just the city of the bad guys. As the asso­cia­ti­on of cross­bow­men, we try to pre­ser­ve this older pie­ce of cul­tu­re and natu­re, this tre­a­su­re, and in doing so, we help shape Nürn­berg a litt­le bit – qui­te clo­se to the heart of the city.”

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“I lived on the street as a homeless per­son for many years, I know Nürn­berg from the very bot­tom, and I have to say, the peop­le are real­ly big-hea­ded, look down on you or don’t look at you at all. They don’t think about how quick­ly they them­sel­ves could end up in the gut­ter. I worked for a long time, ear­ned good money, then life bro­ke my neck. I now have a flat, a job – and I feel rich. In expe­ri­ence. On the one hand, I lear­ned how important it is to open your eyes to other life­styles, other cul­tures, to try things befo­re pre­jud­ging. Always look first and then form an opi­ni­on. That would be good for a lot of peop­le here, and even if I can’t iden­ti­fy mys­elf with a topic – hey, may­be you’ll meet someo­ne you could help with your know­ledge? When I lan­ded on the street here, it was dif­fi­cult at first to find out how I could get help: infor­ma­ti­on isn’t shared rea­di­ly becau­se of the com­pe­ti­ti­on, and the city’s infor­ma­ti­on poli­cy isn’t empha­sis­ed enough. That said, the city’s aid pro­gram­me is real­ly good, Nürn­berg is well posi­tio­ned with regard to social insti­tu­ti­ons, even if it’s sad that they’re nee­ded at all. We also have a lot of good pro­gram­mes here for peop­le who have litt­le or no money, giving access to all kinds of cul­tu­ral events with the Nürn­berg-Pass. But for me, cul­tu­re is more than art. Cul­tu­re is urban socie­ty and living tog­e­ther, a respect­ful coexis­tence with ever­yo­ne ins­tead of with reser­va­tions, and I often miss dia­lo­gue here. What’s a real pro­blem for me? The way peop­le in need are often accom­mo­da­ted. Some of the faci­li­ties that I know of don’t meet mini­mum hygie­nic stan­dards, in my opi­ni­on, are neglec­ted and bleak. How can a per­son get back on his feet, how can he even think about it if he has to live like this? I’m not sur­pri­sed that they try to beam away as much as pos­si­ble throughout the day. Shel­ter has to be fit for human habi­ta­ti­on.”

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“Space to be crea­ti­ve, acti­ve house pro­jects, end­less crea­ti­ve growth oppor­tu­nities – during one and a half years in Dres­den, I lear­ned why artists from Nürn­berg move the­re and not the other way around. I couldn’t say that crea­ti­ves from else­whe­re move here becau­se things do so well here, they can deve­lop their skills and test them­sel­ves here. As a result, the suc­cess­ful artists or musi­ci­ans don’t come from here, but from Colo­gne, Leip­zig or Ber­lin. Nürn­berg actual­ly has incredi­ble poten­ti­al in peop­le who could be incen­ti­vi­zed to stay here with just a fer­ti­le cul­tu­ral land­s­cape. I came back mys­elf becau­se I am deeply roo­ted here, but I brought along inspi­ra­ti­on and I’m always try­ing to get things rol­ling: as an orga­ni­zer, as a musi­ci­an with “We Brought a Pen­gu­in”, as an initia­ti­ve with the Kol­lek­tiv­Kol­lek­tiv, now also poli­ti­cal­ly as part of the Polit­ban­de, who­se repre­sen­ta­ti­on on the city coun­cil shows us the incredi­ble num­bers of things that can be done ins­tead of just watching and grumb­ling on the side­li­nes. All of the par­ties are loo­king for con­ta­ct, for con­ver­sa­ti­ons – you just have to see whe­re it leads, and of cour­se they all pur­sue their own poli­ti­cal goals, but we feel that we’re being taken serious­ly, well recei­ved. Final­ly, the inte­rests of the sub­cul­tu­re can be posi­tio­ned in the pro­per pla­ces and right now we are actual­ly moving some­thing with the ‘Kul­tur­oa­se’. I mys­elf had to learn that you have to get off your butt and stick with it; but the results are sim­ply bril­li­ant. I’m defi­ni­te­ly hoping we get the tit­le of Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re becau­se it’s not an award but a means of pro­mo­ti­on. As it is now, the city would cer­tain­ly not have deser­ved the tit­le. What we’re alrea­dy see­ing, howe­ver, is that the bid pro­cess is ope­ning up a dia­lo­gue that, I think, would not other­wi­se have exis­ted; at least a wil­ling­ness to lis­ten to the sub­cul­tu­re, even if we have to admit that the­re aren’t many results yet. But I see how many peop­le are working on it. It will hap­pen!”

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“We deci­ded, we wan­ted to see, if the­re is anything else out the­re. We wan­ted to explo­re a new cul­tu­re, the­re­fo­re we were loo­king for jobs in Aus­tria and Ger­ma­ny. When Bran­ko found a job in Nur­em­berg, our decisi­on was made. We both work in the IT sec­tor, so it was not so hard to find a job and get along, as ever­ything is in Eng­lish. For us it is always inte­res­ting to see dif­fe­rent cul­tures, to meet dif­fe­rent peop­le and learn new things. We came from Ban­ja Luka in Bos­nia and Her­ze­go­vina to Nur­em­berg in Febru­a­ry. What we love about Nur­em­berg is that we can go almost any­whe­re by bike, that’s excel­lent. We visit our fami­ly and friends every cou­p­le of weeks, back at home, thus we don’t get home­sick. But we would like to build our own com­mu­ni­ty here too. We can’t wait to impro­ve our Ger­man-skills. In our opi­ni­on it is very important to speak the lan­guage to inte­gra­te here. It is not ok to expect, that you can do ever­ything in Eng­lish here. We love spen­ding time in natu­re after work and visit the many parks in Nur­em­berg, as the city is very green. Some­ti­mes we go to con­certs which we hear about in Curt Maga­zin . We wish that ever­yo­ne would have this pos­si­bi­li­ty. We hope that one day, all peop­le are free to tra­vel and live whe­re­ver they want to, and that walls will fall and not rise again, espe­cial­ly in Euro­pe. But not only the wisest are deci­ding, unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly. When we first came here, we did­n’t know anything about Nur­em­berg, except the Nur­em­berg Tri­als. To be honest, we hoped it would be as we expec­ted, and we dis­co­ve­r­ed that it is. We real­ly like it here and are very hap­py to be here. Peop­le are open and we get along very well. I’m very hap­py for one cli­ché being true: The beer here is much bet­ter than whe­re we come from. But the “Schnaps” is bet­ter in Ban­ja Luka.”

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“What’s most important to me are the oppor­tu­nities of a big net­work that Nürn­berg offers. And not least becau­se of its per­fect size for making and main­tai­ning lots of con­ta­cts. Here, I can obser­ve pro­jects, initia­ti­ves, peop­le in their deve­lo­p­ment for a long time and be a part of it. Becau­se a huge amount of deve­lo­p­ments are going on, as demons­tra­ted by the N2025 Open Call, which brought many slum­be­ring ide­as back to life. For me as a pas­sio­na­te cul­tu­ral per­son, it’s important to be able to expe­ri­ence the cul­tu­ral land­s­cape in all its diver­si­ty and to dis­co­ver the many cos­mo­ses. On the one hand, I enjoy get­ting to know the actors behind the pro­jects, and on the other hand, as the direc­tor of the Künst­ler­haus Nürn­berg , to act as a faci­li­ta­tor. And an awful lot is pos­si­ble – but you have to talk about it, get tog­e­ther per­son-to-per­son, deve­lop ide­as, some­ti­mes reject them and think again. With my pro­ject work, I try abo­ve all to sup­port the inde­pen­dent initia­ti­ves, which I know have litt­le fun­ding. Finan­ces are a pro­blem, as is the lack of space. Some pro­ces­ses are long and drawn out, but I don’t think you can say that not­hing works here. It’s a ste­reo­ty­pe to speak of ‘the city’ in gene­ral as put­ting the bra­kes on cul­tu­re. The­re are door ope­ners in many pla­ces that open up oppor­tu­nities and I hope that the public per­cei­ves that we are open to chan­ge pro­ces­ses and that some things are alrea­dy moving. I expe­ri­en­ced an important aspect of the cul­tu­ral sce­ne after the fire in the Kan­ti­ne: the gre­at soli­da­ri­ty, the city­wi­de vol­un­ta­ry and full-time sup­port that we expe­ri­en­ced. It show­ed that the sup­po­sed­ly com­pe­ti­ti­ve situa­ti­on can sud­den­ly take a back seat and then the­re are only orga­nisers who stick tog­e­ther. It’s the­se very con­nec­tions that make it pos­si­ble for us, during the pre­sent reno­va­tions of the Künst­ler­haus, to main­tain ongo­ing ope­ra­ti­ons of the groups and asso­cia­ti­ons based here at alter­na­ti­ve loca­ti­ons. And isn’t it gre­at what col­la­bo­ra­ti­ons have alrea­dy deve­lo­ped from it? For examp­le, an app-sup­por­ted live per­for­mance in St. Mar­tha, punk in the Katha­ri­nen­saal or a mar­ket for sus­tainab­le gifts at AEG.”

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“It’s important to me that peop­le do some­thing for the envi­ron­ment. I’ve also been to a Fri­days for Future demons­tra­ti­on in Nur­em­berg, and it was cool that ever­yo­ne par­ti­ci­pa­ted and peace­ful­ly demons­tra­ted, so that the poli­ti­ci­ans final­ly do some­thing. Many do not take the envi­ron­men­tal issue serious­ly and make fun of it, but if we con­ti­nue pro­du­cing so much trash and emis­si­ons, it gets worse and worse with the gar­ba­ge in the world. I love to go out­side, I often go to the skate­park or ride my down­hill bike at the Mari­en­berg­park. When I’m ska­ting and biking I always get a ’nice flow’, I enjoy it and loi­ke to be out with my friends. I think it’s just a pity that the­re is only one real skate park with a half­pipe in the cen­ter of Nur­em­berg and it is often beleague­red by older teen­agers who drink alco­hol and smo­ke and have not­hing to do with skate­boar­ding. I do not always feel so good with my friends around the­re. With the skate­board you can only ride on asphalt and con­cre­te and becau­se I like to be in natu­re, I often ride on Mari­en­berg with my down­hill bike. Tog­e­ther with my friends I build ramps out of dirt and do dif­fe­rent tricks. In Nur­em­berg the­re are stran­ge peop­le on every cor­ner. For examp­le, guys who dri­ve with their gre­at sports cars way too fast and almost hit peop­le. I would like to see all peop­le in Nur­em­berg beco­me more atten­ti­ve to the envi­ron­ment and their fel­low human bein­gs.”

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“I was working as a pho­to­gra­pher in New York City and had had a very busy sum­mer, so I went to Hawaii for a vaca­ti­on, wan­ting just to relax by mys­elf. While hiking through the beau­ti­ful natu­re on Maui, I bum­ped into this guy. With his red hair and beard he loo­ked like Van Gogh. We tal­ked a lot and made many trips tog­e­ther and star­ted a long-distance rela­ti­ons­hip bet­ween Ger­ma­ny and Ame­ri­ca. We deci­ded to live tog­e­ther and mar­ry. As we were sear­ching for pla­ces to live I found out I was pregnant. My husband‘s mother had recent­ly died and so a house in Nur­em­berg was avail­ab­le for us. I didn’t like the idea of rai­sing a baby in Man­hat­tan, so we deci­ded to go to Nur­em­berg tem­pora­ri­ly in 1987. When I told friends and fami­ly about our plan, I was often gree­ted by sho­cked loo­ks: how could I go the­re? The city of Nur­em­berg still had a pret­ty nega­ti­ve repu­ta­ti­on in the US, and com­ing from a Jewish fami­ly, it did feel a bit weird. I did not like living in Ger­ma­ny at all. I found it very dead and the peop­le clo­sed. After we had our second child in 1991 we bought a house north of San Fran­cis­co and we were rea­dy to move. Then 9/11 hap­pen­ed. I was gro­ce­ry shop­ping when the news spread that New York City had been atta­cked. I tried to stay calm. I remem­ber dri­ving home from the store through Eibach, lis­tening to brea­king news on the radio while pas­sing by the poor, stun­ted forest that sur­rounds the har­bor, and it sud­den­ly loo­ked ali­ve and beau­ti­ful. I began to see life here in a dif­fe­rent light and began to ques­ti­on the values and life in Ame­ri­ca. I star­ted having second thoughts about lea­ving. Espe­cial­ly in the last few years, Nur­em­berg has been chan­ging. The socie­ty is less homo­ge­nous and with the chan­ge in genera­ti­ons the­re is more open­ness. Life here is more basic and sta­ble, but I feel a lot more com­for­ta­ble about that now. What I still love about Ame­ri­ca are the peop­le. They are so open and friend­ly and easy to deal with. I would wish that for Nur­em­berg, too.”

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“As a teen­ager, I came to Ger­ma­ny with my par­ents from Ukrai­ne. I did not like it here at first, I did not get along and did not feel like I belon­ged here. I did not know whe­re to go, had no goal, no per­spec­ti­ve. Then I found my love for sport. I star­ted to run regu­lar­ly and deve­lo­ped self-disci­pli­ne and a sen­se of free­dom. Just for fun, I signed up for a body­buil­ding con­test. I could not find a coach so I trai­ned by mys­elf for the com­pe­ti­ti­on. I was so sur­pri­sed when I won in my weight class. I wan­ted to pro­ve it to mys­elf and did it! Today I try a lot of dif­fe­rent sports, do Pila­tes and Yoga, still enjoy run­ning and also train my own group of women regu­lar­ly. Many of my cour­se par­ti­ci­pants have been through hard times, fled their home coun­tries and are part­ly new in Nur­em­berg. My cour­ses not only con­nect us in sports, we lis­ten to each other, help each other out and grow tog­e­ther into a com­mu­ni­ty. At one of our mee­tings at Wöhr­der Wie­se, a group of women wat­ched us. They wore ker­chiefs and did not speak Ger­man. Care­ful­ly they approa­ched our group and as we ani­ma­ted them with hands and feet to join in, the ice was bro­ken quick­ly. They tried the exer­ci­ses and ever­yo­ne had a lot of fun in this encoun­ter. I live as a woman with Polish and Ukrai­ni­an roots in Ger­ma­ny — today I do not feel torn any­mo­re, but I crea­te my very own iden­ti­ty and coach other women as an Inte­gral Coach in semi­nars and indi­vi­du­al­ly. Sport can con­nect peop­le, redu­ce inhi­bi­ti­ons and pre­ju­di­ces and con­tri­bu­te to inte­gra­ti­on. It would be nice if the­re were more such offers. ”

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“One day, our father did not come home from work. He was mis­sing for two weeks, we asked all friends and col­leagues, no one knew whe­re he was. Then sud­den­ly he came home and told us we have to lea­ve our beloved home­land Afgha­ni­stan immedia­te­ly, becau­se it is no lon­ger safe for us. We left in the midd­le of the night, my mother, my father, my litt­le bro­ther and me. I was 16 years old at the time. We fled to Iran and even­tual­ly wan­ted to get from Tur­key to Greece by boat. My bro­ther and I took the first boat, my par­ents the second. Howe­ver, their boat never arri­ved in Greece and so we bro­thers were on our own. Due to my good Eng­lish skills, I was able to work as an inter­pre­ter and at least arran­ged a tent in the refu­gee camp. Others were not so lucky and had to sleep on the bare ground in the win­ter. We took a fer­ry to Athens and from the­re to Ger­ma­ny. An aunt, who has been living in Nur­em­berg for a few years now, awai­ted us here. In the past few years, my ever­y­day life con­sis­ted only of school and stu­dy­ing. In the morning I went to class and then I con­ti­nued to stu­dy late into the night. The hard work was worthwhile: in three years I‘ve lear­ned Ger­man, gra­dua­ted from school and I got my uni­ver­si­ty-ent­ran­ce diplo­ma this sum­mer. Now I have recei­ved the let­ter of accep­t­ance of a lar­ge IT com­pa­ny in Nur­em­berg and start trai­ning as a qua­li­fied IT spe­cia­list. We came to Nur­em­berg with not­hing more than our clothes on our backs, today my bro­ther and I live in an apart­ment and have ever­ything we need. My par­ents would be very proud. ”

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“My first years in Nürn­berg? Con­stant sur­pri­ses! Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, I have to say that com­ing from Bay­reuth, I wasn’t spoi­led by cul­tu­ral events bey­ond the Wag­ner Fes­ti­val, and I can’t even iden­ti­fy with that one major event – the rest of the city, or at least the decisi­on-makers, appar­ent­ly can. You’ll hard­ly find any small, self-admi­nis­te­red sub­cul­tu­ral spaces in Bay­reuth, which is a mys­te­ry to me con­si­de­ring the count­less stu­dents. So Nürn­berg was a real dis­co­very for me: events, spaces, styles, peop­le … Always dif­fe­rent, always new – and always done with so much love! It only gra­du­al­ly beca­me clear to me that crea­ti­ve peop­le still need some­thing else bes­i­des pas­si­on. Lots of con­ver­sa­ti­ons, the oppor­tu­ni­ty to look behind the sce­nes, taught me how often many batt­les have to be fought, how hard it is for some initia­ti­ves to stay afloat, to jugg­le with small amounts of money – and how very much is bor­ne exclu­si­ve­ly by vol­un­te­ers’ shoul­ders. I belie­ve that many Nürn­berg resi­dents are not awa­re of that, that too few peop­le move out of their com­fort zone, out of con­su­me­rism, which often goes hand in hand with dis­sa­tis­fac­tion. I find that dis­con­cer­ting. I can only say from my own expe­ri­ence that it’s worthwhile in every respect to dare to do new things, to try new things. If someo­ne had told me five years ago, “Go to the bal­let!” I would have laug­hed out loud. And today? I’m a fer­vent fan of Goyo Mon­te­ro, for examp­le … As a gar­de­ner and land­s­caper, I walk through the city with com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent eyes any­way and find that many oppor­tu­nities are was­ted and litt­le cou­ra­ge – future-ori­en­ted or con­tem­pora­ry – is demons­tra­ted. Peop­le often argue for that by say­ing we need to save money or it’s not safe enough. I’ll put it this way: If the city has any ques­ti­ons about how to chea­ply design open spaces for muni­ci­pal bud­gets and the envi­ron­ment, they’re wel­co­me to con­ta­ct me. One thing works pret­ty well here: the beer gar­dens are all beau­ti­ful!”

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“Com­ing to Nürn­berg was like a holi­day for me. I grew up in Schwa­bach, brea­thed Nürn­berg air as a teen­ager, even lived by the Neu­tor, and of cour­se I thought it was cosy and nice here, and the­re were a few pla­ces we enjoy­ed going to, but that’s all. Back then, I thought I knew the city … At 17, I moved to Munich, spent a very inten­se six years the­re and retur­ned to Nürn­berg last year with all the­se expe­ri­en­ces and impres­si­ons – and could­n’t belie­ve all the things this city has to offer. I expec­ted not­hing. You see a city com­ple­te­ly dif­fer­ent­ly when you’ve been away for a while, and for me it was sud­den­ly like living in a pic­tu­re book, final­ly unpacking my bike and explo­ring ever­ything. And it’s won­der­ful! The fee­ling of being at home, being part of Fran­co­nia. It may grum­ble, but doesn’t take its­elf too serious­ly – the peop­le are con­tent and plea­sant, which is some­ti­mes just bet­ter than a hip, big-city atti­tu­de. And ever­ything is so easy; I feel safe and secu­re here, I don’t have to be afraid, and I am not com­ple­te­ly over­whel­med by all that’s on offer sin­ce I can’t do it all any­way … But the­re is so much to do, expe­ri­ence and dis­co­ver here. Over the past few mon­ths, I’ve redis­co­ve­r­ed my home town, atten­ded lots of events and visi­ted pla­ces for the first time, I’m bow­led over – even if I think it is pret­ty sil­ly that this is about the only city whe­re you can’t sit out­side in street cafés all year round! And I also think pla­ces like the city beach or the plan­ned sur­fing wave are qui­te odd – Munich has its Eis­bach, Nürn­berg doesn’t. But Nürn­berg has a lot of gre­at natu­ral river­banks, why aren’t they used dif­fer­ent­ly, bet­ter, more beau­ti­ful­ly, pla­ces whe­re you can spend time, come tog­e­ther? I also miss the roof­tops – beer gar­dens, par­ties, roof­top cafés, for examp­le, on par­king gara­ges, or bet­ter use of the nume­rous roof ter­races. What could be more lovely than to sit out­doors abo­ve the roofs of a…of this city?”

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“Even though ever­ything insi­de me resists it, I’ve boar­ded pla­nes again and again for 10 years so I can make a dif­fe­rence in poo­rer regi­ons of the world. The fee­ling I get when I’m on the pla­ne is hard to descri­be. I have anxie­ty, break out in sweats, and, last but not least, endu­re incredi­ble phy­si­cal pain in every limb that real­ly wears me down des­pi­te pain­kil­lers. As a child I was a mem­ber of the Regens­burg cathe­dral choir. My dream was to beco­me a sin­ger and artist. I expe­ri­en­ced atro­cious abu­se, vio­lence, and mistre­at­ment the­re over the years. During my time the­re I felt dread­ful and even many deca­des later, what I expe­ri­en­ced caught up with me. Of cour­se, the expe­ri­ence lea­ves its mark. I was in tre­at­ment for 25 years and used various the­ra­pies and medi­ca­ti­ons to grapp­le with tho­se ass­aults and events. But even today, over and over again, I’m grip­ped by a fee­ling of fear that para­ly­ses me. I just want to lock mys­elf in the house, meet no one, and speak to no one. But when that hap­pens I for­ce mys­elf to go out and try – espe­cial­ly in my role as a social worker – to trans­form this nega­ti­ve ener­gy into posi­ti­ve actions. So a few years ago I deci­ded to tra­vel to pla­ces like Thai­land, Cuba, and the Domi­ni­can Repu­blic to help child­ren and women the­re. During my tra­vels I deal with the local peop­le, give Ger­man and Eng­lish les­sons, dis­tri­bu­te tea­ching mate­ri­als and books, and empha­sise how important schoo­ling is. Not infre­quent­ly, women in need come to trust me and tell me their sto­ries. Just recent­ly, a woman from Thai­land proud­ly sent me a copy of her divor­ce decree after she final­ly got up the cou­ra­ge to lea­ve her vio­lent hus­band. In addi­ti­on, I use my crea­ti­vi­ty as a pain­ter, poet, and caba­ret artist to pro­cess my expe­ri­en­ces and have been doing my part in Nürn­berg for many years. My wish is that many insti­tu­ti­ons and the press would take artists more serious­ly. The­re are a lot of good things emer­ging in Nürn­berg, but it’s sad­ly not visi­ble.”

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“Izmir, Buda­pest, Nürn­berg … I’ve tried other cities, tes­ted other cul­tures, brea­thed dif­fe­rent human worlds – I always only wan­ted to live here. I’m deeply roo­ted in Nürn­berg, I like knowing the city insi­de and out by heart, but still fin­ding new cor­ners, new pla­ces, new ide­as. This pro­bab­ly works par­ti­cu­lar­ly well if you are both open-min­ded and con­stant­ly tra­vel­ling by bike ‑which I am. Thanks to super short distan­ces and the cen­tral loca­ti­on in the regi­on, you can cycle to ever­ything insi­de the city as well as in the sur­roun­ding area. You are fle­xi­b­ly mobi­le and, without much effort, make the pathway your desti­na­ti­on ‑Even when the city is more inte­res­ted in making sure tin boxes can roll smooth­ly or sim­ply was­te living space with par­king. The desti­na­ti­on is only one part of the jour­ney, here I can find the per­fect con­di­ti­ons for any occa­si­on: Forests, mea­dows, and famous hiking trails prac­ti­cal­ly on your door­step, all sur­roun­ding a major city. This com­bi­na­ti­on in the so-cal­led plea­su­re regi­on inclu­des Germany’s hig­hest bre­we­ry den­si­ty – it’s out­stan­ding to me! While I com­mu­te hap­pi­ly bet­ween open-air con­certs and bar­be­cues in the war­mer mon­ths, during the col­der mon­ths I have more time to won­der about various deve­lo­p­ments. For me as a busi­ness eco­no­mist, the VGN in par­ti­cu­lar is an opa­que, unpro­fi­ta­ble com­pa­ny who­se pri­cing and unsa­tis­fac­to­ry offers are not a good look for a city like Nürn­berg. But the peop­le in char­ge have prac­ti­se in sugar coa­ting cri­ti­cism. Okay, but befo­re I live up to the cli­ché of the grum­py Fran­co­ni­an: I love the flair of the old town, the warm­th that the sand­stone radia­tes deep into the night when peop­le in the alley­ways make room for silence. I love the many brid­ges we like to sit on, watch the goings on, beco­m­ing part of the city – ide­al­ly with a glass of white wine in hand. La dol­ce vita in the midd­le of Fran­co­nia. Per­fet­to!”

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“Five years ago, we first beca­me awa­re of this: we were on an island on a fami­ly vaca­ti­on and saw a lot of pack­a­ging, plastic and was­te on every beach — some of this rub­bish comes from the main­land and is flus­hed or blown to the beach. We just star­ted picking up the gar­ba­ge. At that time peop­le loo­ked at us weird — nobo­dy hel­ped. Today, many cities take part in our “Beach Clea­ner” initia­ti­ve — in Euro­pe and even Ame­ri­ca. We meet for collec­ting trash, give lec­tures and sti­mu­la­te dis­cus­sions on sus­taina­bi­li­ty and was­te pre­ven­ti­on. It is high time to do some­thing, our beaches, the natu­re and green spaces in the cities are lit­te­red and ever­yo­ne can and should par­ti­ci­pa­te, so that our future genera­ti­ons also have a liv­a­ble envi­ron­ment. The young peop­le have unders­tood and are rai­sing the alarm, whe­ther at the Fri­days for Future demons­tra­ti­ons or on the inter­net and on the social net­works — I think that’s gre­at and I abso­lute­ly sup­port them. In my opi­ni­on, the Gre­ta Thun­berg bashing and the cri­ti­cism that the young peop­le just want to skip school is embarr­as­sing and out­da­ted. Pre­vious­ly, the youn­ger ones were accu­sed of lack of inte­rest in poli­tics, now they are com­mit­ted and demand what they deser­ve: a future! It would have been necessa­ry to set the cour­se for green deca­des ago, but now, when it is almost too late, the chan­ge is of cour­se incon­ve­ni­ent. It is so easy to cau­se less or no was­te in ever­y­day life: We buy our vege­ta­bles direct­ly in the „Knob­lauchs­land“ in Nur­em­berg, make our own deter­gent and clea­ning pro­ducts and other­wi­se go shop­ping in a store whe­re not­hing is packed. I would very much like Nur­em­berg to beco­me a ‘Zero Was­te City’, get advice and deve­lop stra­te­gies for was­te pre­ven­ti­on. With our initia­ti­ve and the Blue­pin­gu club the­re are many com­pe­tent peop­le here who could make a dif­fe­rence. Other cities are alrea­dy going green — let’s see when Nur­em­berg moves in.”

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“What is the best thing about the cul­tu­ral land­s­cape of a big city? We are all no lon­ger geo­gra­phi­cal­ly con­fi­ned but ins­tead free to find our­sel­ves ever­y­whe­re – espe­cial­ly in cul­tu­ral terms. That’s pre­cise­ly why I think that the most important task of a big city is defi­ning its self-image — as a place whe­re many dif­fe­rent peo­p­les and cul­tures are gathe­red, joi­ning the­se peo­p­les and cul­tures tog­e­ther and actively offe­ring the pos­si­bi­li­ty for this to hap­pen. That’s why I find Glo­bal Art Nürn­berg so gre­at. Here it is about con­nec­ting two see­min­gly oppo­si­te and com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent cul­tu­ral aspects with each other and let­ting some­thing new emer­ge from it. I am a mem­ber of the Tamil com­mu­ni­ty. My par­ents came 30 years ago as civil war refu­gees from Sri Lan­ka to the recep­ti­on cent­re Zirn­dorf. They have worked hard to pro­vi­de their child­ren with opti­mal living con­di­ti­ons, and abo­ve all, an excel­lent cul­tu­ral edu­ca­ti­on. For them this always inclu­ded the pre­ser­va­ti­on of our Tamil tra­di­ti­ons, and I lear­ned clas­si­cal Indian temp­le dance from an ear­ly age. For me, dance is the hig­hest form of con­scious­ness, a form of medi­ta­ti­on — and some­thing I would like to pass on to ever­yo­ne, reaching even out­side our com­mu­ni­ty. We teach not only the dance, but also the histo­ry and respect, which comes with the cul­tu­re of dance, an atti­tu­de that I feel, is not very pre­sent in the cur­rent cul­tu­re. Howe­ver, this work is often made dif­fi­cult for us here in Nur­em­berg – most­ly becau­se  the­re are hard­ly any rooms avail­ab­le for us to teach and prac­ti­ce in, which is part of the task of the city admi­nis­tra­ti­on. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, the city often pre­fers to pro­mo­te the fami­li­ar rather than try out new things. The work of N2025 has crea­ted an important ope­ning. We are on the right track.”

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“Nürn­berg? It’s actual­ly per­fect for me, apart from the fact that I’d like to grow old in the coun­try. I’ve seen too many peop­le who went to Ber­lin or Ham­burg with big hopes and dreams. And they go down the­re, stray from their dream, somehow try to sur­vi­ve – or sim­ply come back. Here, you have more oppor­tu­nities becau­se the­re are fewer peop­le who make art and cul­tu­re, there’s enough space for ever­yo­ne, whe­ther pho­to­gra­phy, pain­ting or theat­re. But sad­ly everything’s ter­ri­b­ly bureau­cra­tic; com­pa­red to other cities, the effort requi­red to set up an event is insa­ne, the­re are always stones being put in the way. I don’t know whe­ther that’s a Nürn­berg pro­blem or a Bava­ri­an pro­blem in gene­ral. In Ber­lin, there’s a self-admi­nis­te­red art and cul­tu­ral cent­re on a par­king gara­ge roof in the midd­le of the city – how gre­at would that be for us? But if you app­lied for some­thing like that here, the city would just laugh at you, you shouldn’t even bother asking. I get the impres­si­on that it’s easier for some insti­tu­ti­ons than others. Perhaps the­re are too few peop­le in the posi­ti­ons respon­si­ble who real­ly have a clue about the cul­tu­ral sec­tor, espe­cial­ly sub­cul­tu­re. In spi­te of all that Nürn­berg  is per­fect for me, it has this won­der­ful­ly mana­ge­ab­le size in which you can achie­ve ever­ything, you can get ever­ything if you want, it has an incredi­ble num­ber of good peop­le who run a gre­at cul­tu­ral sec­tor – but unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly often go else­whe­re becau­se they can’t move ahead here. If you under­stand Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re as an award that means ‘you’re doing ever­ything right,’ then Nürn­berg doesn’t deser­ve the tit­le in my opi­ni­on. But it would be gre­at if the bid pro­cess brought chan­ges – for examp­le, bet­ter finan­cial sup­port for the sub­cul­tu­re. Abo­ve all, easing the bureau­cra­tic hurd­les. If someo­ne deser­ves the award, it’s the crea­ti­ve artists them­sel­ves.”

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“As a 12-year-old, I dis­co­ve­r­ed an orches­tral ver­si­on of Metallica’s “Not­hing Else Mat­ters” on a Bra­vo Hits CD. I had never heard anything like that befo­re, so my love for Metal was born. When I heard that Nürn­berg is app­ly­ing for the tit­le of Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re, my first thought was that I would like to get actively invol­ved. If the­re is any pos­si­bi­li­ty to do more for the cul­tu­re in our city, I would also like to see my gen­re repre­sen­ted. For some years, I and five to ten friends have been orga­ni­zing metal con­certs and sin­ce 2015 I am a sin­ger in a metal band. In our under­ground sce­ne, it is often not so easy to get an oppor­tu­ni­ty to per­form, so we just took it in our own hands and foun­ded the con­cert seri­es “Schep­per­core”. We felt immedia­te­ly that the­re is an insa­ne demand. An incredi­ble num­ber of bands con­ta­ct us, most­ly from the regi­on but also from out­side, and would like to play shows with us. On average, we have seven shows a year throughout Bava­ria, for examp­le in the Z‑Bau or in the E‑Werk Erlan­gen, whe­re 150 to 200 peop­le show up. Again and again I rea­li­ze that many bands of the metal sce­ne in Nürn­berg or Fran­co­nia do not know each other. With our con­cert seri­es we have set up a mee­ting place, you get to know each other and inter­chan­ge. Espe­cial­ly in the under­ground you have to stick tog­e­ther and actively do some­thing for the com­mu­ni­ty, that’s very important to me. We do it all out of love and pas­si­on for our music. Howe­ver, it does not work without sup­port — from cul­tu­ral insti­tu­ti­ons, for examp­le. But we would like to have a bit more sup­port, rehe­ar­sal rooms and mee­ting pla­ces have been mis­sing in Nürn­berg for years and also afford­a­ble venues are rare. May­be the tit­le of cul­tu­ral capi­tal can have a posi­ti­ve influ­ence.”

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“Alt­hough Ger­man is my nati­ve lan­guage, I pre­fer to sing in Eng­lish and wri­te all my songs in Eng­lish. I real­ly like the lan­guage and somehow I find it easier to express mys­elf artis­ti­cal­ly. Often, I am con­fron­ted with the ste­reo­ty­pe that I natu­ral­ly have more rhythm becau­se of my Afri­can roots. I do not see it that way and find such state­ments qui­te blunt. At some point it was just logi­cal for me to beco­me a pro­fes­sio­nal sin­ger, becau­se that’s what I like to do. Befo­re I’ve star­ted stu­dy­ing, I did not ful­ly know what to expect. As a sin­ger, you often live from enga­ge­ment to enga­ge­ment, but sin­ce I do not have a very high need for secu­ri­ty, I get along with it super. I also somehow mana­ge to afford ever­ything I want to do. I like to tra­vel, but I do not need a luxu­ry hotel, I do not care for big cars and I do not have any child­ren to look after. I am cur­r­ent­ly free and can do what I love and what feels right for me. I am very gra­te­ful for this pri­vi­le­ge.”

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“I had to reinvent mys­elf and bum­ble through my life mul­ti­ple times. After the war, I made my way on a freight train to Sile­sia and tra­ded salt and sugar on the black mar­ket to get my fami­ly out of the camp. Later, I won the lot­te­ry, built a mobi­le cine­ma from the pri­ze and final­ly worked for a Fran­co­ni­an beverage manu­fac­tu­rer. At the age of 16, I lear­ned to fly a gli­der in the Hit­ler Youth. In 1943, I vol­un­te­e­red for a spe­cial unit and was trai­ned to lead a car­go gli­der and parachutist. One day it was said that we should exchan­ge our avia­tor clot­hing for sailor suits. We were sent to Kiel, then to Ita­ly. During the trai­ning as a ‘mari­ne figh­ter’ we swam hund­reds of laps every day until late at night. Our under­sea diver equip­ment con­sis­ted of a rub­ber suit of 3 mm thic­kness, top and pants were con­nec­ted by a rub­ber belt. Under­ne­ath we wore wool laund­ry. In Octo­ber 1944 we recei­ved the order to sink war­s­hips in the port of Anco­na. During the mis­si­on sub­ma­ri­nes were loca­ted and orde­red the retre­at. In a swell of five meters, it was all about sur­vi­val and when our ’nut shell’ ran out of fuel, we swam for 13 hours to reach safe land. In the spring of 1945 my troop on the Oder was assi­gned to blow up brid­ges to stop the approa­ching Red Army. We lear­ned about the end of the war a few days later. I came to Schles­wig-Hol­stein in Eng­lish cap­ti­vi­ty — I was 19 years old. What is war? The power obses­si­on of a few poten­ta­tes who want to chan­ge the world. Their ego is so big that they lose the rea­li­ty to their envi­ron­ment. When you grow up as a young per­son in such a sys­tem, you see a lot of things in retro­spect. When I look at young peop­le today, I often miss a cer­tain inge­nui­ty and cou­ra­ge. My life has had so many epi­so­des, but I never gave up. I want to pass on this ener­gy to future genera­ti­ons.”

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“As a social media edi­tor, you need a thick coat. On the one hand you meet and get to know stran­gers in ever­y­day life with cour­te­sy and under­stan­ding and on the other hand, many peop­le seem to lose their inhi­bi­ti­ons and good man­ners in the world wide web. Of cour­se, ‘I should be allo­wed to say so’ and I would abso­lute­ly not attack the free­dom of speech. A cri­ti­cal mind is always good and a pro­crea­ti­ve dis­cus­sion is in my opi­ni­on more effec­ti­ve than a con­sen­sus of con­ve­ni­en­ce. That’s exact­ly what I found so exci­ting at the Nur­em­berg app­li­ca­ti­on as a cul­tu­ral capi­tal: you put your fin­ger in the wound, draw atten­ti­on to grie­van­ces and start chan­ges in many are­as. Of cour­se, we often can not imple­ment impro­ve­ments or chan­ges immedia­te­ly, some­ti­mes we can only give thought-pro­vo­king impul­se or shift the focus. Many pro­ces­ses also take time. I would like to see more peop­le in Nur­em­berg being con­struc­tively invol­ved in shaping their city and their living space. Just do it yourself, deve­lop some­thing or let ide­as matu­re ins­tead of just cri­ti­ci­zing and rejec­ting inno­va­tions. I belie­ve that posi­ti­ve ener­gy can cau­se more than nega­ti­ve. In my opi­ni­on the peop­le in Nur­em­berg could be more open for out­side influ­en­ces, for inno­va­tions and for the unknown.” Some­ti­mes peop­le who meet me are sur­pri­sed that I was born in Roma­nia. ‘Man, I didn’t noti­ced that at all’, is a sen­tence I hear a lot. I often won­der if this should be a com­pli­ment and how the­se peop­le ima­gi­ne a Roma­ni­an. I real­ly hope that we bring the peop­le in this city and in Euro­pe clo­ser tog­e­ther and help to take down inhi­bi­ti­ons and pre­ju­di­ces. That’s why I inven­ted #human­s­ofnur­em­berg. This way we do not only live side by side peace­ful­ly, but crea­tively and open­ly and shape our world tog­e­ther.”

Oli­via Barth-Jur­ca, Public Rela­ti­ons — Media Rela­ti­ons, Online & Social Media N2025 Bid Office

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“Com­ing to Nur­em­berg as a South Ame­ri­can was a gre­at adven­ture for me. I real­ly just wan­ted to spend a few mon­ths vaca­tio­ning here. It was a beau­ti­ful, very hot sum­mer and I fell in love with this city and the peop­le. As a stu­dent I moved to the dor­mi­to­ry here in the Hei­lig-Geist-Haus, whe­re our office is now — I even used to live on the same floor. At the end of my stu­dies, I always wan­ted to return to Peru, when I met my hus­band, I got mar­ried and we had our daugh­ter. I’ve been living in Nur­em­berg for over ten years now. I am some­ti­mes asked how I hand­le the men­ta­li­ty of the Ger­mans or Nürn­ber­ger. South Ame­ri­cans are konwn to be always friend­ly and open, while the Ger­mans are more likely to be uptight and stiff. I can not con­firm this cli­ché at all. I‘ve met very lova­ble and inte­res­ting peop­le here. What I find curious to this day is that peop­le here are often very sus­pi­cious of others and have litt­le con­fi­dence, whe­re ever­yo­ne here has a lot of secu­ri­ty and not much to fear. Through cul­tu­re I got to know Nur­em­berg, the tra­di­ti­ons but also the modern life. That’s why I like it so much working for N2025. Working in admi­nis­tra­ti­on, I get in con­ta­ct with many dif­fe­rent peop­le — often inter­na­tio­nal­ly. The tit­le Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re repres­ents a major chal­len­ge for Nur­em­berg in many aspects. In the app­li­ca­ti­on pro­cess, all resi­dents are invi­ted to actively par­ti­ci­pa­te, with ide­as but also with their own beha­vi­or and the exter­nal impact. Until the year 2025 I would wish that every Nur­em­ber­ger par­ti­ci­pa­te, be it the taxi dri­ver, the brat­wurst sales­wo­man or the stall owner. Addi­tio­nal­ly, I hope each Nur­em­ber­ger under­stands them­sel­ves as an ambassa­dor in Nur­em­berg and meets all guest and tou­rists so friend­ly and open­ly.”

Maria Rink, Admi­nis­tra­ti­on N2025 Bid Office

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“I immedia­te­ly found the idea exci­ting that Nur­em­berg, the city whe­re I was born and grew up, is on its way to beco­m­ing the Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re. As part of my master’s pro­gram ‘Cul­tu­ral Edu­ca­ti­on and Cul­tu­ral Manage­ment’ I joi­ned the team as an intern and am now part of the app­li­ca­ti­on office as a pro­ject assi­stant. I have worked in various cul­tu­ral insti­tu­ti­ons and for various pro­jects in cities like Augs­burg or Mön­chen­glad­bach, but in my opi­ni­on the­re is no more com­plex pro­ject than the app­li­ca­ti­on for the euro­pean cul­tu­ral city. N2025 is about the who­le city, inclu­ding the regi­on, about urban deve­lo­p­ment and about spin­ning and making ide­as pos­si­ble under the umbrel­la of a broad cul­tu­ral con­cept. I find it par­ti­cu­lar­ly nice that in our work we get in con­ta­ct with many peop­le in various ways and enga­ge with the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re advo­ca­tes, artists, cul­tu­ral workers, acti­vists from the most diver­se are­as, but also with cri­tics of the idea. In our actions with the mobi­le office or the ‘Plausch­be­cken’ you can feel immedia­te­ly a lot of posi­ti­ve vibes, but we also recei­ve gre­at ide­as at the office. You can feel that the­re is a lot of poten­ti­al in Nur­em­berg and it is incredi­b­ly exci­ting to embark on a jour­ney into the future of our city and our regi­on. This means for all of us: try­ing out, ques­tio­ning, rethin­king, thin­king out­side the box, expe­ri­men­ting, play­ing, dis­cus­sing, sharing, crea­ting, shaping — tog­e­ther.”

Han­nah Straub, Pro­ject Manage­ment & Metro­po­li­tan Regi­on N2025 Bid Office

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“The fact, that I am pre­pa­ring Nürnberg’s Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re Bid is somehow fun­ny, as I am ori­gi­nal­ly from Munich and also do have Ukrai­ni­an roots. In the cour­se of my life I moved away from Nur­em­berg several times – but I always came back. I like living here. Nur­em­berg has so many secrets and hid­den poten­ti­al that I find super exci­ting and just need the chan­ce to come to the sur­face. That’s what makes my job so exci­ting. I can give many peop­le the oppor­tu­ni­ty to make and crea­te cul­tu­re and gra­du­al­ly chan­ge our city. Some peop­le would like to chan­ge ever­ything immedia­te­ly, pre­fer­a­b­ly alrea­dy yes­ter­day. Howe­ver, trans­for­ma­ti­on pro­ces­ses also need time and pati­ence to be sus­tainab­le. As a kid, I‘ve lived in the north of the city. I have never been in the south part of Nur­em­berg, the­re was no rea­son. Today I live in the south city, get to know many exci­ting new aspects of Nur­em­berg and our diver­se socie­ty and come across a lot of incredi­ble con­trast. Alrea­dy from home I know trans­cul­tu­ra­li­ty, I grew up tri­lin­gu­al, which of cour­se influ­en­ces my point of view on dif­fe­rent ways of life and ste­reo­ty­pes. Recent­ly, an elder­ly gen­tle­man came up to me and told me that I did not look Ukrai­ni­an at all. This shows you the ste­reo­ty­ped thin­king we are still suroun­ded with. I sin­ce­rely hope that through the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re we can break up such thoughts and bring the city com­mu­ni­ty clo­ser tog­e­ther in its diver­si­ty.”

Tan­ja Ehr­lein, Out­re­ach & Audi­ence Deve­lo­p­ment N2025 Bid Office

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“I grew up in a con­tem­pla­ti­ve — sor­ry Peters­au­rach — ‘hicks­vil­le’ in the metro­po­li­tan area and came as a teen­ager espe­cial­ly to Nur­em­berg, to go shop­ping, to go to the cine­ma or even to visit a con­cert in the club ‘Hirsch’. Today, whe­re I‘ve lived here for 2 years, of cour­se I see the city with com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent eyes. To work on such an app­li­ca­ti­on is a gre­at adven­ture that brings sur­pri­ses on a dai­ly base. Nur­em­berg is a gre­at city for me, full of con­trast. A city that can be incredi­b­ly beau­ti­ful, but in some cor­ners also remar­kab­ly ugly. The­re is so much inter­na­tio­na­li­ty, cos­mo­po­li­ta­nism and mad­ness here, but then the­re are also are­as that are sur­pri­sin­gly small-min­ded, clo­sed and old-fashio­ned for a city of this size. We fran­co­ni­ans are very proud and yet somehow caught in self-doubt. All the­se con­tra­dic­tions tog­e­ther make up the charm that only exists here. Nur­em­berg is on the go, you can feel it. The­re are so many initia­ti­ves that want to pro­mo­te the city. The app­li­ca­ti­on for the Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re can be an addi­tio­nal cata­lyst for this. And Nur­em­berg has a lot to tell Euro­pe. My wife is Hun­ga­ri­an, the­re­fo­re I’m often in Buda­pest. I’ve also lived the­re for 2 years. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, you can see right now in Hun­ga­ry how the past is explo­i­ted for natio­na­list rhe­to­ric and for dubio­us poli­ti­cal pur­po­ses. The racial laws from 1935, the Nur­em­berg Ral­ly from 1927 and the Nur­em­berg Tri­als from 1945: Nur­em­berg can nego­tia­te like no other city with the who­le of Euro­pe, why natio­na­lism in the 21st Cen­tu­ry can not be a good idea. Lear­ning from histo­ry is as important to Euro­pe today as it has never been. At the same time, howe­ver, we must not stop at ‘com­ing to terms with the past’. We could also switch to future mode and go new ways in the right direc­tion. That’s exact­ly what the mot­to of the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re app­li­ca­ti­on ‘Past For­ward’ means to me.”

Nico Degen­kolb, Euro­pean Dimen­si­on & Metro­po­li­tan Regi­on N2025 Bid Office

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“In the app­li­ca­ti­on office, no day is like the other. Admi­nis­tra­ti­ve acti­vi­ties in the field of cul­tu­re are anything but mono­to­nous and dull, on the con­tra­ry, the work at N2025 is very diver­si­fied and exci­ting for me. I have always been very inte­res­ted in cul­tu­re, the inter­na­tio­nal guests who visit us, the exci­ting artists we deal with, the many crea­ti­ve ide­as that reach us … Once, unex­pec­ted­ly, I had Rena­te Schmidt on the pho­ne. That was some­thing spe­cial for me. I am glad to be part of this trip to the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re and I am also a bit proud that I can con­tri­bu­te to it. Espe­cial­ly sin­ce I beca­me a grand­mo­ther, the topic of sus­taina­bi­li­ty is very important to me. I would wish for my two grand­child­ren that Nur­em­berg gets gree­ner and had more play­grounds. I tra­vel a lot by bicy­cle and also cove­r­ed 900 kilo­me­ters on my bike during my sum­mer vaca­ti­on this year. The bike path net­work in Nur­em­berg has to be expan­ded, so that more bicy­cles and fewer cars are tra­ve­ling in the city. The bike path struc­tu­re in Hol­land could ser­ve as a good examp­le. In addi­ti­on, many pla­ces in Nur­em­berg are hard­ly used, often they are paved or con­creted. I would like more reve­ge­ta­ti­on and enli­ven­ment of such pla­ces. I am sure that we can get the tit­le as Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re and thus chan­ge a lot in the city posi­tively.”

Bir­git Kor­der, Admi­nis­tra­ti­on N2025 Bid Office

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“I‘ve lived in Nur­em­berg and sur­roun­ding area sin­ce my birth, I feel at home here and emo­tio­nal­ly con­nec­ted to this city. The­re­fo­re it is very exci­ting for me to help shape the way to the Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re. You get to meet many peop­le, get to know new facets about the city — all that makes our pro­ject so spe­cial for me. In public rela­ti­ons you are often con­fron­ted direct­ly with opi­ni­ons, cri­ti­cism, and reac­tions of the peop­le. Some peop­le don’t want to hear anything of the topic of the bid as Euro­pean Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re any­mo­re. The others cri­ti­ci­ze, they get too litt­le infor­ma­ti­on and we haven‘t reached the popu­la­ti­on yet. But the pro­ject N2025 is a mara­thon and not a 100 meter sprint. It is not easy to eupho­ri­ci­ze peop­le now, for an idea that seems so far away. But I have the fee­ling that we have alrea­dy reached a good part of the peop­le in Nur­em­berg and I hope, of cour­se, that we can inspi­re many more for the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re. One of my high­lights, so far, was to expe­ri­ence the gre­at group Rimi­ni Pro­to­koll in the city. Through their per­for­mance thea­ter I got a com­ple­te­ly new view of Nur­em­berg. Moreo­ver, I like our new design and our claim PAST­FOR­WARD. Some­ti­mes it hap­pens in news­pa­pers that com­men­ta­ries about social issu­es are play­ed off against cul­tu­re issu­es, which I think is a pity. Of cour­se, social aspects must be right — good schools, kin­der­gar­dens and infra­st­ruc­tu­re are important. But art and cul­tu­re should not be for­got­ten — a city always needs both. This is espe­cial­ly important today if you want to find ans­wers to the big pro­blems of our time. I wish that the peop­le of Nur­em­berg would come clo­ser tog­e­ther and beco­me a litt­le more open and rela­xed when dealing with each other. One of the big issu­es of our time is the envi­ron­ment. In this case I wish for a rethin­king that’s sus­tainab­le – not just plan­ting a few trees — but an envi­ron­men­tal awa­reness that is ancho­red deep in the mind.”

Andre­as Kist, Public Rela­ti­ons N2025 Bid Office

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“Befo­re I came here as head of the N2025-office, I did not have an idea what Nur­em­berg would be like. At first, I didn’t like many aspects of this city. Colo­gne, whe­re I spent many years of my life, is archi­tec­tu­ral much more open. The inner city of Nur­em­berg is shiel­ded by the cast­le wall, and the struc­tures are here in some pla­ces rigid and over-regu­la­ted. But the­re was a moment in the spring when I sud­den­ly saw Nürn­berg with com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent eyes. It was one of the first mild evenings of the year, peop­le were out and about sit­ting tog­e­ther. I wal­ked through the city and thought, ‘Oh, it’s actual­ly real­ly nice here’. The Nur­em­ber­gers have the image of them­sel­ves that they are reser­ved. But from the begin­ning I have come across open, hel­pful, and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ve peop­le. I always chat with my neigh­bors when we meet. Whe­ther I talk to are­si­dent at the Süd­stadt­fest about our plans for the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re, or work on the bid book with the mayor, every day is dif­fe­rent in my job and that is exact­ly what is exci­ting for me. I am con­stant­ly being con­fron­ted with new things. I’ve worked in cul­tu­ral sup­port befo­re and topics like acces­si­bi­li­ty or urban deve­lo­p­ment are new are­as for me, but they are essen­ti­al to our assess­ment. The­re are also many dif­fe­rent expec­ta­ti­ons of the peop­le that we cer­tain­ly can not all meet. Whe­ther it is the woman who turns to us for the qua­li­ty of the yel­low bag, or the father, who wis­hes to be able to sit quiet­ly with his son on the bal­co­ny in Wöl­kern­stra­ße, without car noi­se and exhaust fum­es. In many sec­tors we can only initia­te chan­ge and point in the right direc­tion. Nur­em­berg is in many minds still “Dürer and Füh­rer”. We want to oppo­se this cli­ché with the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re, becau­se Nur­em­berg is much more.”

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joa­chim Wag­ner, Head of Bid Office N2025

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“In 1945, I had to lea­ve my home­land the Czech Repu­blic very quick­ly becau­se I was mar­ried to a Ger­man sol­dier. With the help of my father, I mana­ged to pass the Ger­man bor­der in the midd­le of the night and I came to Michel­au and star­ted a carpenter’s shop with my hus­band, Karl. The begin­ning was very hard for us, we had to work all day, and all night to make the busi­ness suc­cess­ful. In 1968, once the shop star­ted to take off, Karl died. I stay­ed in our house in Michel­au for many years until I moved to a reti­re­ment home in Nur­em­berg in 2005. My belon­gings were packed away and my beloved house emp­tied. Howe­ver, I’m glad I could take my pho­to­graphs with me to my new apart­ment. Now, I am very hap­py to live here. Life is much easier and I can afford things that I only drea­med of as a young woman. In the past, cul­tu­re didn’t play a big role in my life sin­ce we had to work hard for our busi­ness and were not able to dri­ve to the clo­sest theat­re which was in Coburg. During the last cou­p­le of years, I dis­co­ve­r­ed the cul­tu­ral varie­ty of Nur­em­berg: I visi­ted the theat­re and the ope­ra with a friend who also lives in the reti­re­ment home, I took part in a vin­ta­ge car tour, and even visi­ted a bur­les­que show. In Novem­ber, I turn 99, but I never think about it. The­re are many peop­le here, who whi­ne about their medi­cal con­di­ti­on every day. My hands hurt too and I can­not see very well, but I would never com­p­lain about it. That’s just the way it is. I still want to be part of ever­ything, I would never miss one of my granddaughter’s con­certs and I’m loo­king for­ward to dance at the wed­ding of my second grand­d­augh­ter this year. To be sur­roun­ded by my fami­ly, to be the­re for them, that’s what keeps me young at heart and gives me strength.”

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“I don’t think that the peop­le in Fran­co­nia are as grum­py as peop­le say. Peop­le tre­at you just as you tre­at them. It is like that all over the world, and of cour­se, also here in Nur­em­berg. I love this city very much and in my opi­ni­on, Nur­em­berg is the per­fect size. It is big, but not too big. I can dance until dawn in a club but also take in a quiet view from the cast­le. I moved here from Hers­bruck when I was 23 years old. After, I gra­dua­ted from fashion-school as a dress­ma­ker, after that I beca­me a pro­fes­sio­nal hair­dresser. A few years ago, just for fun, I took part in a wrest­ling event (NBG Trash Wrest­ling) and sur­pri­sin­gly, I deve­lo­ped a gre­at pas­si­on for it. When I told my par­ents, that I wan­ted to start wrest­ling, they thought I was total­ly cra­zy. They couldn’t under­stand why I wan­ted to start figh­t­ing as an adult when they pro­tec­ted me for my ent­i­re child­hood. The wrest­ling school in Heß­dorf beca­me my holy place. Here ever­yo­ne is the same. No one cares that I am a hair­dresser or even a woman in a per­cei­ved mas­cu­li­ne domain. When wrest­ling, you switch off your brain and dive ful­ly into the moment. I have never expe­ri­en­ced this befo­re with other sports or hob­bies. I love my job as a hair­dresser but wal­king around a chair is just not enough for me. After a wrest­ling ses­si­on, I always feel full of ener­gy and I feel strong — as if nobo­dy could ever harm me. Even though ever­yo­ne says that I have a screw loo­se, I want to impro­ve my skills and may­be even beco­me a pro­fes­sio­nal wrest­ler some­day.”

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“I have been mar­ried to my wife for 8 years now. We used to live in Odes­sa whe­re I worked as a pho­to­gra­pher and she ran a cof­fee shop. In the Ukrai­ne, we suf­fe­red from hos­ti­li­ty and our friends and fami­ly tur­ned away from us, when they found out about our rela­ti­ons­hip. One day, our car was set on fire and we deci­ded to go to a safer place to live. In Ber­lin, we lived with my wife’s uncle befo­re we were sent to a refu­gee camp in Zirn­dorf. For us, this was the most hor­ri­ble place on earth. We had to move all the time and slept in con­tai­ners, cel­lars and tents. During that time, we felt safer pre­ten­ding to be sis­ters, as we shared small spaces with stran­gers, Mus­lims, and con­ser­va­ti­ve peop­le. Des­pi­te the dif­fi­cul­ties that we have been through, we have never ques­tio­ned our decisi­on to lea­ve. Our hope for free­dom and self-deter­mi­na­ti­on have always pushed us to go on. I still find it very sad that Odes­sa, this beau­ti­ful city by the sea, with all its tou­rists and nice pla­ces, couldn’t be a safe home for our fami­ly. Here, our daugh­ter is now in the second gra­de and she is very hap­py and has many friends. My wife and I also have found peop­le who we alrea­dy hold clo­se to our hearts. In Nur­em­berg, we can have a free and safe life and we find many peop­le are open, sweet, and very accom­mo­da­ting. Soon I wish to work as a pho­to­gra­pher in this beau­ti­ful city and live a peace­ful, nor­mal life. Yet, the sea is some­thing that I will always be mis­sing.”

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„It is kind of cra­zy, how the pathways of peop­le cross some­ti­mes. Five years ago, I did a semes­ter abroad in Ire­land with the Eras­mus pro­gram of the Euro­pean Uni­on. Up until that time, I had only lived with my par­ents and so I had to stand on my own two feet for the first time. I sear­ched for a room via a Face­book group and through this, I met my girl­friend Han­nah, who is Irish. Han­nah stu­dies Ger­man and during her stu­dies, she had been to Bam­berg for qui­te a long time, whe­re I on the other hand stu­di­ed eco­no­mics the­re. But, we never met. It’s qui­te fun­ny, as we now are a cou­p­le for more than three years. And while, having a long distance rela­ti­ons­hip can be very chal­len­ging, becau­se you don’t see your part­ner every day and you miss the other per­son, it can also ensu­re that the time you do get to spend tog­e­ther is very spe­cial. Sin­ce we are tra­vel­ling wit­hin the EU, the flights luck­i­ly aren’t too expen­si­ve and we nor­mal­ly mana­ge to see each other every three to four weeks. We also go on holi­days tog­e­ther qui­te often to visit dif­fe­rent coun­tries or pla­ces. We also love to take road trips, lis­ten to music in the car and sing along to rock music or even Dis­ney songs. Of cour­se, I want to find my own path after uni­ver­si­ty and make decisi­ons about my care­er inde­pendent­ly, but, one of the big­gest goals is to live tog­e­ther in the same coun­try one day – no mat­ter if it’s Ire­land, Ger­ma­ny or some­place else.”

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“Gro­wing up in com­mu­nist Roma­nia under the dic­ta­tor Ceau­ses­cu, my friends and I would always look lon­gin­gly towards the free­dom and oppor­tu­nities offe­red in West Ger­ma­ny. As an adult, I worked as an Eng­lish and Ger­man tea­cher and was the vice head­mas­ter of a school in Sibiu, whe­re the Ger­man sett­lers had shaped the Roma­ni­an lan­guage and cul­tu­re sin­ce the 12th Cen­tu­ry. In 1989, after the fall of Ceau­ses­cu, I came to Nur­em­berg with my two litt­le girls, cha­sing my teena­ge dreams of free­dom and oppor­tu­ni­ty. As a sin­gle mother, I sear­ched for a job that would sup­port us and app­lied to dozens of posi­ti­ons. Final­ly, I had my first job inter­view as a secreta­ry for the direc­tor of a medi­um-sized busi­ness in Nur­em­berg. The inter­view was going gre­at until he took a second look at my docu­ments and asked, sur­pri­sed, “You stu­di­ed at Uni­ver­si­ty? But aren’t you from Roma­nia?” I asked him why he had invi­ted me even though he thought that I wasn’t qua­li­fied for the job. He ans­we­red that he just wan­ted to meet “one of the­se peop­le,” and that he only knew Roma­ni­an women as house clea­ners or careta­kers. He see­med sur­pri­sed that it was pos­si­ble to have an intel­lec­tu­al con­ver­sa­ti­on with me. I was not offe­red the job, citing that I was over­qua­li­fied for the posi­ti­on.”

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“Gos­ten­hof was not always this hip neigh­bour­hood. When I was five years old, my fami­ly and I moved here and at that time, the district was very dif­fe­rent. Most of the peop­le, who lived here had very litt­le money, were refu­gees or had a migrant back­ground. Gro­wing up here I was con­fron­ted every day with social issu­es: girls got pregnant very young and every now and then someo­ne I knew was sent to jail. As a kid, I spent most of my day play­ing with friends on the street in order to spend less time at home with my abu­si­ve mother. When I was a teen­ager, I would hang around all day with my friends in Jam­nit­zer Park, whe­re alco­hol and drugs whe­re often con­su­med right next to us. Once we found an inani­ma­te body in the trees the­re – I think he was dead. Life was hard and I felt that I was pre­dis­po­sed to fol­low what was in front of me. I couldn’t afford nor­mal things, like going to a cof­fee shop. When I was 13, I ran away from home and was put into a children’s home and later a shared home. Here, I had peop­le who cared for me. In this quiet envi­ron­ment, I could con­cen­tra­te on school and my care­er. Today, I am a lawy­er and I often return to Gos­ten­hof to the palace of jus­ti­ce on Für­ther Stra­ße. Many peop­le, who hear my sto­ry see it as a hap­py ending or they try to roman­ti­ci­ze what hap­pen­ed to me. But I did­n’t choo­se this life. I had to be strong and look after mys­elf sin­ce I was a child. May­be that made me stron­ger, but at what pri­ce? Now when I see all the hap­py moms in Gos­ten­hof drin­king their cap­puc­ci­no in the sun, I am on the one hand hap­py, that this is pos­si­ble for more peop­le now but on the other hand, I pity that time lets peop­le for­get how hard it was to grow up here.”

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“Peop­le are final­ly star­ting to rea­li­ze that not every tat­too­ed per­son ine­vi­ta­b­ly went to pri­son or was a sailor. I’m hea­vi­ly tat­too­ed, pier­ced, I’m a sin­ger in a metal band and I’m also into mar­ti­al arts. What sur­pri­ses most peop­le when they get to know me is that I’d rather spend time cuddling my cats than rob­bing a gas sta­ti­on. Pre­ju­di­ces make me sick, but you can never com­ple­te­ly avoid them – for examp­le, when I tell peop­le about my job. I’ve worked in the games indus­try for qui­te a long time now. Befo­re beco­m­ing the pro­gram direc­tor for one of Europe’s big­gest game deve­lo­per con­fe­ren­ces, I was the edi­tor-in-chief for a B2B maga­zi­ne. Gaming has always been my pas­si­on, sin­ce I was a kid. And while it is one of the big­gest indus­tries world­wi­de, games for many peop­le are still seen as a glo­ri­fi­ca­ti­on of vio­lence or sim­ply chil­dish. Howe­ver, they can be so much more! Games can help you deve­lop social­ly cri­ti­cal and tac­ti­cal thin­king. They are high­ly immer­si­ve, many are serious pie­ces of art, and they more than often trig­ger a broad varie­ty of emo­ti­ons. An exci­ting game makes me laugh, cry, or shud­der more inten­se­ly than many movies do. When I play, I’m not just con­suming. I’m pro-actively diving into vir­tu­al worlds, explo­ring unchar­ted ter­ri­to­ries and mys­te­rious loca­ti­ons. I sol­ve ridd­les, I over­co­me nume­rous chal­len­ges and some­ti­mes I even have to face serious moral dilem­mas: Could I sur­vi­ve in a war sce­n­a­rio? With only one rati­on left, who gets to eat, and who doesn’t? Movies don’t for­ce you to make tho­se decisi­ons – games do, and it can feel pret­ty devas­ta­ting, even though it’s just a fic­tio­n­al sce­n­a­rio. Cer­tain­ly not every game is meant for every per­son of every age, but neit­her are movies or books. Par­ents and adults should take more inte­rest when it comes to con­tent ins­tead of lea­ving that respon­si­bi­li­ty to other aut­ho­ri­ties – it’s that type of igno­ran­ce that real­ly makes me crin­ge. Bes­i­des, games are not just for teen­agers and kids any­mo­re. Who knows, may­be some par­ents will even find a game that they love to play!”

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“Sin­ce moving to the north of Nur­em­berg a few years ago, the St. Johan­nis­fried­hof has fasci­na­ted me, not only as a place of mour­ning, but also as a place of aes­the­tics and cul­tu­re. The ques­ti­on of how we deal with death and our ances­tors is, for me, a very important aspect of our cul­tu­re and iden­ti­ty. It is cer­tain­ly unusu­al for me to deal with death so inten­se­ly at the age of 35. With the Nur­em­berg Epi­ta­phia Foun­da­ti­on, I am com­mit­ted to the pre­ser­va­ti­on and care of this uni­que place whe­re peop­le like Dürer, Feu­er­bach and Pirck­hei­mer were buried. Of cour­se, as a his­to­ri­an, I ask mys­elf in par­ti­cu­lar: what have the­se important per­so­na­li­ties con­tri­bu­t­ed to the city that makes Nur­em­berg what it is today? What else can this place tell us? In addi­ti­on to death and sad­ness, the­re is also so much joy and posi­ti­vi­ty here. The­re are bap­tisms and wed­dings in the church, and I also mar­ried my hus­band here. With lay­ing tomb­stones, the orna­te epi­taphs, the care­ful­ly cul­ti­va­ted flower bowls and bloo­m­ing roses, the St. Johan­nis gra­vey­ard is sim­ply a beau­ti­ful place. In Nur­em­berg you are typi­cal­ly very modest, does not bother a lot about the spe­cial fea­tures of this city. Other cities would boast about such an extra­or­di­na­ry place. I think that the Capi­tal of Cul­tu­re is a gre­at oppor­tu­ni­ty to show all peop­le of Nur­em­berg as well as visi­tors, what is gre­at here and what makes us uni­que. From our past, we can also crea­te some­thing new that we have never dar­ed to do. At my age, it’s chic to stri­ve for moder­ni­ty. Often, howe­ver, things that initi­al­ly seem out­da­ted and old are not so old-fashio­ned and have gre­at signi­fi­can­ce for the pre­sent and the future. ”

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