Initially project "Cities on the edge" was a partnerships in the cultural field between six port cities - Liverpool, Bremen, Istanbul, Marseilles, Naples and Gdansk, which all combine specific location "on edge"  - away from the cultural centre of the country - with incredibly rich culture and history. The project enabled the transformation of this border cities from places focused on the neighboring countries to centres, windows through which a closer look at the particular culture and people can be taken.

In 2008 Gdańsk was involved in several activities within ’Cities on the edge’. First project ‘For the Likes of Us...’ concerned the subject of socio-cultural animation. It has posed the question of how to deal with excluded areas in the city, their revitalization and re-restoration. Another project was  called ‘Contacting the Word’ - a program that opened the project to non-European cultures from Asia, South America and Africa. Music project ‘Streetwaves’, that turned out to be a huge success, had presented in years 2009-2011 local artists and less-known places in Gdańsk.

After 2008, the project ‘Cities on the edge’ was continued as a partnership at the level of individual organizations, for example the project ‘Under the bridge’ was done in cooperation with Liverpool Biennial. In the years 2009 - 2011, the project was developed further on three levels featuring Gdańsk, as 'edgy city', 'city on the edge'  (a port city in the Baltic Sea region) and ‘open city’.

Gdańsk - `edgy city`

This part of the project is planned for the years 2011 – 2014. It consists of a series of exhibitions that focus on art from outside the European continent. Every year works of artists from places where art is rarely presented are shown. Last year there was an exhibition of young artists from Palestine entitled Here & Now. In 2012 we will present works created by artists from Chile - a country that experiences a military dictatorship, centered around the Caja Negra. It is planned  also to exhibit works by artists from Cuba (2013), as well as cultural exchange between the Poland and China (2014).

Gdańsk - ‘city on the edge’

It is the part of the project implemented from 2010 to 2013 that shows Gdańsk as a port city the Baltic Sea region. ‘City on the edge’ consists of several projects, one of them is an international cooperation Art Line, carried out cultural institutions in Elbląg, southern Sweden and Rostock. During the project we debate about art in public spaces as well as digital art. We also participate in collection of  stories from "sea people", all those who are associated with sea professionally. Materials collected by the artists are to inspire them to create their works. Additionally, within Art Line the international conference Towards a Third Culture. Coexistence of art, science and technology, was held in 2011.  It has focused on the complex relationships between artists and scientists, posing the key questions of contemporary ethics. Thus, the project was complementary to the "Art & Science Meeting," which is continued within the Cities on the Edge. Within the project there were also exhibitions held that were presented at the Festival Vilnius in Gdansk.

Gdańsk – open city

To build an image of Gdansk as an open city we are pursuing a number of activities to start to be involved in the international art circuit. Within the project there was an exhibition held Gilbert & George Jack Freak Pictures, presenting the largest series of paintings that artists have created in their career so far and BritCult - a festival dedicated to British culture. There is also a quarterly published online magazine Intertext publishing articles about different aspects of contemporary culture (in Polish and English).

Young Polish Artists on Tour  is also a part of this project. It is a series featuring works perpetrated by young Polish artists shown in European capitals, in 2011 in Berlin and Madrid, which aims on promotion on one hand, and on the other it is asking a question to what extend art can influence the image of the country.

In following years it is planned to develop new and strengthen existing basis of the partnership with Liverpool - projects City States (2012), in the Baltic Sea - Art Line (2012-13) and the project of Danish artist May Hasager (2012), analyzing the characteristics of the city of Gdansk as a port city.

Municipal Institution of Culture