The start of the year of culture offers an ideal opportunity to present a few highlights from the programme. However, as it is impossible to choose from among the hundreds of projects, events and performances, all unique in their own way, we aim to present you with some very special places, which have been redeveloped and revitalised for Esch2022 and beyond! Join us on this cultural journey through the south.
La Massenoire, Belval
The name Massenoire refers to the black mass, a black material that was produced in the blast furnace. The site was in operation from 1965 until the late 1970s. Today, the Fonds-Belval organises exhibitions and events at this historic site to document the history of the factory and the heavy industry in the Belval district.
From February 2022 until 2023, Massenoire will take you on a journey through the past, present and future:
- "Remixing Industrial Pasts" is an interactive audiovisual exhibition by Tokonoma and 2F Architettura in collaboration with the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) and the University of Luxembourg on the process of industrialisation and de-industrialisation in Luxembourg and the relationship between industry, people and the landscape.
- "Respire" ("Breathe"). We all need clean air in order to live. L'École nationale supérieure d'art et de design de Nancy (ENSAD) provides this exhibition with informative information about air quality and breathing, and asks whether a more sustainable policy could be adopted in order to prevent us from running out of air one day.
- "Frontaliers. Des vies en stéréo" is a documentary project by the photographer-director Samuel Bollendorff and the documentary film maker Mehdi Ahoudig about the cross-border region, the "frontaliers" (the cross-border workers) and the social disparities between France and Luxembourg.
And while you're in the neighbourhood, visit the Möllerei too! Formerly a storage facility for iron-ore and coke, it is now an exhibition space for digital and interactive installations. The "Digital Spaces" project presents multimedia creations in this key-venue of Esch2022.
The Bel-Val source pavilion, Sanem
The municipality of Sanem is the largest municipality of the Esch-Alzette canton. With the birth of the metal industry around 1900, the area of Belvaux experienced significant population growth. It still has the highest number of inhabitants of the entire municipality.
In 1885, Joseph Steichen, adviser to the Superior Court of Justice in Luxembourg, inherited the "Ernshof" farm in Belvaux, and discovered a source of mineral water displaying exceptional quality. The water, which is rich in mineral salts, calcium and iron and therefore has healing properties, was bottled and sold from 1893 to 1935. The mineral water earned an international reputation and was exported all over the world.
Rediscovered during survey work on the region's industrial wastelands, the municipality decided to raise awareness of the history of the Bel-Val source and its little-known success in the history of Luxembourg by building a recreational pavilion for Esch2022. The structure has a circular shape and is adorned with large "umbrellas". The connection to the source (200 metres away from the pavilion) is created by augmented reality.
Rumelange was a mining town until 1978. For the cultural year, this dynamic and open municipality wants to showcase its roots, anchored in the past and yet striding confidently into the future.
The sculptor, restorer and professor in art education Albert Hames (1919-1989), a native of Rumelange, influenced the cultural life of the town throughout his life. His houses and workshop are being renovated by the municipality into a setting to target creative tourism. SPEKTRUM is the flagship project of the municipality of Rumelange. It includes the Albert-Hames-Haus site, which itself consists of tourist accommodation, a cultural space and artists' residences. The programme includes highly innovative workshops and artistic projects. The Albert-Hames-Haus thus offers different formulas to tourists, visitors and temporary residents, who can slip into the role of passive or active consumer, creator, artist or observer, according to their wishes.
The multi-functional approach and contemporary artistic creation are at the heart of the project and transform this traditional place of remembrance into a dynamic experimentation space. The site, which is listed as a national monument, reflects the rich industrial heritage of the region as well as the intangible legacy of its former owner, the artist Albert Hames.
Stay informed about the development of the project and the agenda of events on www.spektrum.lu.
"The cloakroom and wagon workshop", Dudelange
In 2005, the Laminoir de Dudelange S.A. d'Arcelor (now ArcelorMittal ) was permanently closed and the Neischmelz project of the City of Dudelange was initiated. The 36-hectare former steel site in Dudelange, located between the existing Italian and Schmelz districts, has been redeveloped into an environmentally friendly district , respecting the principles of the circular economy. The energy concept is innovative in Luxembourg; it uses deep geothermal or solar energy, as well as greywater treatment on various buildings.
Since 2020, as part of a project for the European Year of Culture, the DKollektiv has invited you to take part in Dkollage, a collective and participatory process to renovate the old cloakroom building and the wagon workshop (VeWa). The objective is to revive and re-purpose this heritage site for its future role in the new urban district through creative, ecological and alternative initiatives. "Working together" is the principal slogan!
The building, a symbol of a bygone era, is also the home to a new collective and creative endeavour, which takes advantage of its potential and enhances its character. The reconstruction work is also held alongside art events and workshops. In 2022, VeWa will become a constantly evolving third cultural and experimental area, and visitors, citizens and artists will be active contributors.
The Marxeweier, Schifflange
The history of the municipality of Schifflange goes back to the time of the Celts. Major artefacts of the Gallo-Roman period have been discovered in this town. Today, the municipality is the third most populated in Luxembourg, after Luxembourg City and Esch-sur-Alzette.
Hiking trails around the Schëfflenger Bierg are perfect for forest bathing and discovering the old mines that bear witness to the history of the Land of the Red Rocks. Through the "D'So vum Marxeweier" project, the commune of Schifflange has enhanced its natural spaces with an old, almost forgotten tale.. This multidisciplinary project includes sculptures by the artist Tom Flick, a children's book illustrated by the painter Pit Wagner and a musical work (on the theme of water) created by the Harmonie municipale de Schifflange (Municipal Harmony). Visitors have the pleasure of following a footpath which takes in all the places mentioned in the story and showcased in a sustainable way.
According to the legend, the Marxeweier was located at the top of the hill and was so deep, that nobody managed to dive to the bottom. On nights when the moon was shining bright, the redemption song of the water lilies echoed across the land at midnight. The water in the pond was said to have magical powers: anyone who drank it for eight nights would not die as a young man or girl. Girls and boys from far afield came to drink at the pond and often, on the first evening, the first couples were formed. It was the good old days! During years of drought, the pond, filled with the tears of the damselflies, had become the only water source in the area. The villagers began to dig for more water, but the day they found it, the level of the Marxeweier began to decrease...
For more information and interviews with the different artists and partners, visit the Youtube channel of the municipality of Schifflange!
L'Arche, cultural centre, Micheville (FR)
In Micheville, Villerupt, a third location dedicated to the arts, music and new technologies connects the past to the future. The building is located on a former industrial site where steel was produced. At the time, around 5,000 workers were employed at this site.
In 2022, l'Arche will have multiple vocations and has three performance areas.
- The main hall, a hybrid space that can be adapted to cater for various activities, concerts and live performances.
- The cinema room linked to the reception area with the bar-restaurant, a place to relax and talk, offering a menu based on sustainable development and local products.
- There is also an exhibition room dedicated to digital arts, with immersive video, 3D environment and Gaming
It supports various off-site projects as part of Esch2022 and is the "information totem" of the European Capital of Culture in France. It is a lab which brings together industry, start-ups and culture, while offering the general public free access to the latest technologies. The MediaLab is a production facility with five studios for rehearsal, recording, editing, etc. It is made available to various stakeholders to design and develop their cultural projects. It also has a video and photo studio, a PixelLab (data processing) and a Fablab (production lab).