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NÜRNBERG 2025

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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.

“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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