Get inspired by Mecklenburg
Unless you live in/close to Germany, the state ‘Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’ probably sounds foreign to you. To those who know this region, you probably associate it as a summer seaside destination (e.g., Kühlungsborn) or university city (e.g., Rostock). But how many of you have visited this little gem during Autumn/Winter time?
Well, I have!
I was lucky enough to be invited to stay for a week in Kühlungsborn and I was truly inspired by its beauty and charm. The main purpose of my stay was to get to know more about the Mecklenburg Inspires project, which at the core consists of an international residency program. More information on the project is located at the bottom of this post.
// Location //
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is bounded to the north by the Baltic Sea, with Schwerin as the state capital, and Rostock as the biggest city in the state. The place I was mainly staying at was Kühlungsborn, a town famous for its sandy beaches and spa.
By train Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is less than three hours away from Berlin and two hours away from Hamburg.
// My impression //
Kühlungsborn is a very lively place during summer time, but when it comes to fall and winter, it is very calm and serene. Because it is fairly small and cozy, you could basically travel by foot with ease. What fascinated me the most about this charming town is its nature: the town has a long promenade alongside white sandy beach; then on the other side, you can find a majestic forest, with light filtering the tall branches. I was truly inspired by the tranquility of the place. And the fact that it’s away from all the distractions and noises of big cities gave me plenty of time and space for self-reflection.
Besides Kühlungsborn, I also traveled to neighboring towns in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern such as Heiligendamm, Bad Doberan, Schwerin and Rostock. They are all special in their own way. What I liked about these towns and cities is that they are still relatively unexploited places, unlike some tourist destinations in Germany, so you can really see the originality without having too much gentrification getting in the way.
Here are some photos that I took in while I was there (on my iPhone!)
More photos can be found on my personal album here.
// Artist-residency program //
So back to the purpose of my trip – I was invited by one of the organizers of Mecklenburg Inspires to learn more about the operation and goals behind this long-term cultural and tourism project.
The core of Mecklenburg Inspires consists of a residency program that provides artists and cultural operators from all disciplines to create in the beautiful German Baltic coast. It is also a cultural project for the region as it facilitates a dialogue between international artists and the local community. Last but not least, the organizers hope to incorporate arts and culture to increase the region’s attractiveness and sustainability in the otherwise off-peak tourism period.
Each participant in this residency program gets his/her own room, with half-boarding, provided by a 3-5 stars hotel in the region. In addition, the program is set in German Riviera; so not only do the artists have a nice private space to rest and work, but they can also get to be inspired by the beautiful nature surrounding them.
The organizers are now taking applications for the Nov/Dec 2014 and Feb/March 2015 sessions. Click here to find out more about the conditions and details of this residency program. If you have any questions about this post, please feel free to send me a message on our Facebook page or leave a comment here!