Let start the journey in the years, in our history, in our youth. In 1997 student from over 20 countries came to take part in cultural events, discussions and of course in some parties. That was the First International Culture Week in Pécs (FICWiP).
In 1998, we organised the Second International Culture Week in Pécs (SICWiP). The event became more and more known, so in 1999 already 300 students participated in the festival. ICWiP which motto was: “In Search of Youth Culture”. That year had another interesting occasion, the total eclipse, which we celebrated with the expected seriousness – with a horror party, of course.
In 2000 the main topic of the Culture Week was the European Union and our motto was: “EUtopia? – Change through exchange!” We had discussions and lectures about the expectations and reality of the European Union.
By this time we already created some traditional programme elements, like Country Show, ICWiP Soccer Cup, Swimming Pool Party, trips around the countryside, museum-tour, sight-seeing in Pécs, and – of course different kind of parties.
The Fifth Jubilee ICWiP was held in 2001. The motto was “MEDIArt – Welcome to the Real World!” Before we started to organise the festival we asked the participants what topics they are interested in. The answer was the media and its effect on the people.
We decided to make the conference more interactive. The Eurhythmics workshop performed a play, the Media workshop wrote some articles, the Film workshop directed two short films etc. On the last night all participants had the possibility to see the results of the different workshops. There was cultural programme, too. We went together to the cinema and dressed for the Hollywood Party. In the Gala Evening, which is the highlight of the whole week, we celebrated the whole night with the citizens of Pécs on the main square of the city. We had famous Hungarian bands, like Anima Sound System, Venus, and Chrystal. These bands made a really hot atmosphere on the square…
This event was not the only programme where the participants could meet the citizens of Pécs. We organised a Rag Fair, where everybody could spend the whole day in shopping, drinking delicious Hungarian wines, in listening and watching some performances in the heart of the old town.
The 6th International Culture Week in Pécs was held between 9 and 18 August 2002. The motto was “W(H)Omen – Human! Gender Topics in the 21st Century”.
Why did we choose this topic? Expressions and prejudices of gender are with us everyday, so we think it is important to debate over this topic. The questions we discussed were: What is the role of women and men in the society of the 21st Century? What are the cultural differences between men and women? What about the gender minorities? What are their rights nowadays? Is there any difference how women and men think and what are those?
The subject of the conference of ICWiP 2003 dealt with current social and youth issues. The organisers wanted to challenge the students to realise the role of their responsibility and participation in today’s democratic societies. These issues, first of all, were examined in the spirit of the European Union and other regional institutions and organisations. However, opinions and experiences of students coming from other continents played a significant role in this workflow, too.
In 2004 it was the eighth time that the International Culture Week in Pécs was held between 23 July and 1 August. It bore the motto “rEUnion”, and the topic was the joining the European Union. The discussions and the lectures were focused on the concepts of cooperation, common thinking, tolerance and getting to know one another better.
The motto in 2005 suggested the goal to create a meeting point so as to give ground for communication and co-operation for young people. Participants from several countries had the opportunity to present their national and individual approaches, thus we managed to introduce and teach about the different cultures represented at the encounter.
Hear and listen! We focused on real-life intercultural dialogue. The aim of the 9th Culture Week was to get to know each other by hearing different opinions about current, important topics and questions. Exchanging opinions and ideas created an intercultural athmosphere where participants could learn the importance of cultural diversity and common thinking at the same time.
Co-operate! Since more than 250 young people for more than 30 countries came to ICWiP in 2005, it was a good occasion to learn each others’ culutral and social background in order to find a common field of co-operation. We have been devoted to enhance youth activities with international perspectives streching thought borders.
9th ICWiP laid a special emphasis on the concrete fields, activities and possibilities of democratic youth participation and international youth co-operation.
10th ICWiP emphasised the respect and role of diverse cultural heritage of nations in a tolerant and co-operative international community. The theme of the year was motivated by the prime importance that young people understand and value the heritage of their ancestors to be able to better express themselves, find their places and roles in our ever globalising world. In 2006, ICWIP will offer the opportunity to discover cultural diversity and develop personal skills and attitudes to realise innovative activities and practice intercultural dialogue.
Beside the traditional events of ICWiP, like the ever popular Country Show and ICWiP Soccer Cup, participants could make excursions in the picturesque region of Pécs. We have discovered a brand new sport as joining the international waterbasketball competition organised by the Pécs Club at Lake Orfű. In the Statue Park of Nagyharsány, participants had the opportunity to see contemporary pieces of Hungarian statuary, and to do clay handcrafts for self-expression. A new event entered ICWiP programme: the Countryside Show. In the mountains of Mecsek, participants took part a real Hungarian evening with live folkmusic and open-air dinner. The fascinating evening inspired people from different nations to join and give a touch of their folk songs as well.
Neighbouring the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the heart of Pécs, Barbakán Moat provided a new and wonderful venue of the concerts, dance shows and gastro-market. Participants could meet local people and foreign visitors of Pécs too, while enjoying together the diverse cultural performances. During ICWiP, 12 groups from 7 countries (like Austria, Columbia, UK, USA) played for the audience, and local youth dance groups gained the opportunity to introduce themselves.
ICWiP 2007 - Summary by I. ILKER BACAKSIZ from Ankara, TURKEY
When ICWIP first launched on 1996, there was about 30-40 participants with a few hosts/ess and for the last three years the festival welcomed more than 200 young people for each year. A warm, welcoming atmosphere with some drinks were waiting for us while we are proceeding for the registration. People who knew each other before, were doing a hug of love and screaming. Some of the new participants were surprised with this scene but I guess they did understand it at the end of the event.
Although there were less participants than expected – the organizers were a bit disappointed – this lead a group of more integrated people who learned a lot about lots of people from lots of different cultures. Apart from the other years this year there were also participants from Tanzania, Guinea, Vietnam, Singapore and India.
This year there was an addition of cheerleading contest to the classic ICWIP Soccer Cup, and Romanian girls took the title. And one of the best activity in ICWIP07 was the ‘Mecsextreme Park’ it was a nice park full of extreme sports like climbing, mountain biking, horse riding etc. and although getting exhausted the participants joined as many activities as they could. There were great do-it yourself parties but everybody were thankful to what Luca-from Italy- did on the DJ desk in Cyrano. Even the owner of the place couldn’t believe that performance. And it was meaningful that Turks and Greeks do the party together to give the message of friendship.
The organizers also made a lot of effort for lectures with important speakers. But I want to point out mostly on Dóra Pásztory – Paralympics World and European champion in swimming, world record holder – from whom we learned about Paralympics and admired her and her colleagues a lot. And inspired for sure by what they are doing.
Although I underlined something on the schedule, I would like to describe ICWIP as a whole event which integrates lots of people from different cultures with a great atmosphere and by using excellent ways. Helps people to have lots of friends from all over the world. Keeps your mood up at least for 10 days and causes some tears at the end.
I think the government or the City Council has to force them to write a warning table saying that “Attention: The fun level that you will live on next 10 days can cause addiction”
ICWiP 2008 – „Be the Change You Wish to See in the World!”
With the participation of students from 3 continents of the world the 12th ICWiP was launched on 17 July and ended on 27th July. The ten-day thematic festival offered dozens of academic and cultural programmes for the participants and the citizens of the host city, the 2010 European Capital of Culture, Pécs. While the ICWiPers enjoyed local Hungarian culture in 5 towns of South Transdanubia, several unique performances brought different national cultures closer to the inhabitants.
After the welcome speech of dr. Róbert Gábriel, the Rector of the University of Pécs, Prof. Ervin László the founder and president of the Club of Budapest, world-famous philosopher held the keynote speech at the International Conference on Sustainability and the Environment at the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Pécs. In his holistic approach, Prof. László touched upon the various elements of the complex issue of “planetary consciousness”, which is fundamental to a better understanding of our world, which leads us to personal and local actions for a more sustainable way of life. “Sustainability starts at home.”
The festival of ICWiP2008 opened with the concert of the Hungarian leading techno-electro band NEO. Other concerts of German, Croatian, Russian, Romanian, Moroccan, some mixed Afro-Hungarian and local Pécs bands followed up until 26 July. Rock’n'roll was guaranteed for a week!
ICWiP2009: Global Crisis – Brave New World?
This year students come to the youth festival from 53 countries for the 13th ICWiP. From 18-26 July they will participate in sports, games, concerts and dance, as well as in workshops, plenary sessions and forums. The topic of the summer university is the global crisis with the motto “Brave new world”.
ICWiP has definitely become one of the most popular thematic youth festivals of Europe. The aim is to give young people an opportunity to understand other cultures by personal contacts, they can develop their knowledge. Good experience, relationships and cooperations inspire them to become open and active participants of today’s global society. Another important aim of the culture week is to introduce the historical-cultural values and traditions of Baranya and Pécs, thus contributing to the reputation and touristic attraction of the region and Hungary.
The Culture Week is comprised of a high-standard summer school discussing highly topical youth issues, diverse intercultural activities, and an inspiring festival presenting the values of various cultures and diverse branches of arts providing opportunity to discover, learn, exchange thoughts, and build lasting contacts.
“The Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pécs is more and more deeply involved in this summer school – said Gábor Rappai, dean of the Faculty – ICWiP is a wonderful and useful experience for our students who are hosts and hostesses of the youth conference.” Dean Rappai explained that there is an ever growing interest in applying for staff at ICWiP, since students will gain a unique experience which will help them to be more successful on the job market.
“Next year, in 2010 Pécs will be the European Capital of Culture, we plan to have 2010 participants at ICWiP from all over the world” – said István Tarrósy, founder and main organiser of ICWiP. The International Culture Week is financially supported by the ECoC 2010 project, it is distinguished a pillar programme of ECoC in 2009. The organisers would like to run Pécs for the competition for European Youth Capital as well.
ICWiP 2010 – Balkans: Re-loaded
The International Culture Week 2010 in Pécs (hereafter ICWiP) embeds a youth forum conference, focusing in its lectures on local democracy, democratic citizenship and youth participation, as well as improving cultural cooperation as a means of building democracy. Balkans: Re-loaded (the topic of the 14th ICWiP) stems from the concept of the original European Capital of Culture application of the city of Pécs. In 2010 Pécs may become the first European Capital of Culture to open a gateway to the rich multiculturalism of the Balkans, including its Islamic heritage.
Beyond all that, the Pécs2010 programme intends to establish a cultural region – under the name of the Southern Cultural Zone – that presents the special cultural experience of the broader region that is very different from that of the West and seeks to find a place and a mediating role for the city in a network of relations that span across national borders.
Regionalism is a bottom-up process, so it can create an opportunity to shape the image of the region and communicate it in accordance with its own identity and cultural composition that is very different from other regions. Through joining forces and becoming a special region based on common cultural values this part of Europe may become known all over the world.
The topics of the previous ICWiPs since 2000
2013: Culture and Diplomacy in our Global World / Summer Debate Academy
2012: Energy-policies for a secure future
2011: Whose World?’ – Transnationalism and Glocalisation
2010: Balkans: Re-loaded
2009: Creating Global Democracy?
2008: Naturally YOUth
2006: INherit 2 INnovate
2005: CO2 – COmmunicate & COoperate
2004: Joining theEU: rEUnion
2003: Social and Youth Issues
2002: “W(H)Omen – Human! Gender Topics in the 21st Century
2001: MEDIArt – Welcome to the Real World!
2000: EUtopia? – Change through exchange!