I perceive the ECoC as a challenge - to be part of kind of cultural renaissance here below Ještěd

In the sixth of the series of interviews with the ambassadors of the European Capital of Culture Liberec2028 project, we bring the view of Paulie Garand, a native of Liberec and a Liberec patriot. He is musician with a completely uniue style, he has released eight solo albums and, in addition to completely lyrical or moody songs, he is not afraid of those who are critical of social events. In addition, he also has its own fashion brand - Garand Brand. Since the autumn 2020, he has been one of the ambassadors of the Liberec2028 project - the European Capital of Culture. Ivan Langr, Deputy Mayor for Culture, Education, Social Affairs and Tourism, asked.

You are great musician and composer with emphasis to appeal especially teenagers and young people. At the same time, you agreed to be part of ECoC in the role of Ambassador. Why?
Liberec is a place I am extremely connected with and as a patriot I take European Capital of Culture initiative as a challenge - to be a part of a kind of cultural renaissance here below Ještěd. Many artists gave up on Liberec already and turned it down. I would like to show them that it makes sense to stay at home and continue to fight for the culture in my city. As I say, Liberec is kind of a "dream pot where no one can see in" and I would like people could peep in there.

What are the chances of Liberec to succeed in the candidacy?
Liberec is a city with potential that should get a chance. It is ambitious in many respects, both in its proximity to the German-Polish border, in its history of architecture and art, in the urban basin surounded by the mountains, in the sporting lifestyle of the majority of the population, and in the many young people who have something to say, they are creative and waiting for their space that the candidacy can bring.

How can Liberec and its surrounding region change thanks to winning the ECoC 2028, what can it bring to our citizens?
I would be glad if there is rebourn of deserve spaces. To bring life back to the city and the center pulsates with culture and diversity, similarly as in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. It could help thrive theaters, festivals, sports venues and other places that are important for people to break out the stereotypes. Vivid cultural space works for me as a therapy and it is important to take care of it. It forms the soul of the city.

Dream from the future - Liberec won the title and we are in year 2028. What should be definitely not missing in the city that particular year (programme, construction, etc.)?
If I take it as a dream and at the same time subjectively, there should be definitely not missing a world-class music festival with a big headliners. I also perceive Liberec as a city with huge film potential, great locations, whether in the center, on the periphery, or in the surrounding mountains, and my big dream is the film school below Ještěd. And last but not least, our city deserves a full-fledged and high-quality skate park, because in most major Czech cities we find beautiful areas for skates, scooters and bicycles, and Liberec, as a city of sports, is quite a disgrace in this regard. I grew up in the skateboarding subculture and it is an increasingly popular industry that has an incredible charm and is a symbol of freedom for me.