Last Friday Braga officially announced its intention to run for to the European Capital of Culture 2027. In a Public Session broadcasted online, the Mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio, received as guests Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, and Alberto Núñez Feijóo, President of the Regional Government of Galicia, both having expressed their support for the candidacy of Braga. Cristina Farinha, Member of the International Selection and Monitoring Jury for the European Capital of Culture, was the third guest of this session, bringing to the debate the impact and importance of this title for the future winning city.
In his speech, Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, shared recommendations from a city that was already Capital of Culture (in 2001), focusing on the importance of infrastructures and access and a strong city identity that prevails over throughout this process.
Alberto Núñez Feijóo pointed out the historical connection between Braga and Galicia and the importance that the city of Braga has for the Galician people. He also mentioned the importance of the year 2027 in the Euro-Region of Northern Portugal – Galicia: Holy Year and European Capital of Culture in Braga, in case the city wins.
The concept of Spirituality was also at the center of this session. The President of the Regional Government of Galicia mentioned the “Caminho de Santiago” as an example of this spiritual dimension of the territories. For Alberto Núñez Feijóo, “Spirituality is the encounter with oneself, it is not linked to any religion. It is taking a backpack and walking a path, going through moments of reflection.”
Cristina Farinha, Member of the International European Capital of Culture Selection and Monitoring Jury, brought the perspective of “the other side” of the application process, talking about the opportunities that this process can bring to the city of Braga and mentioning that the process has no immediate results, but it must be seen as an engine of development. For Cristina Farinha this strategy should not be seen as a project of the Town Hall but as “a project for all citizens, a living force”.
Watch the Public Session here.