Culture plays a special role in Chemnitz, which is hosting the next EUROCITIES culture forum in April, yet the recent spotlight on the city in the international press has reflected a different picture.
In a video ahead of the forum, the mayor explains how the city has responded to this picture and what the reality of its creative and cultural scene looks like.
'Chemnitz is the third biggest city in the east of Germany but is still relatively unknown despite having a lot to offer, says Mayor Barbara Ludwig in the EUROCITIES video interview. Last August, however, the city hit the headlines when a far right protest turned into a witch hunt targeting refugees who had been welcomed by the city. As the mayor said in a New York Times interview, '[Far right movements] are challenging the democratic state in a way they have not done before'. The international media were suddenly able to place Chemnitz on the map, but not for good reasons. Barbara Ludwig is clear that, 'We must not forget that this reflects only one part of the city, and not its whole'. A rock concert last summer rallied thousands behind the message 'There are more of us' and the city is working hard to show the reality - that Chemnitz is a dynamic city that gives space to culture, creativity and pilot initiatives.