On Thursday morning, the organisers of "European Capital of Culture Esch2022" held a press conference on the site of the future Micheville cultural centre in the French town of Villerupt; the meeting focussed on the involvement of the Communauté de communes Pays Haut Val d'Alzette (CCPHVA) in the project.

Esch-sur-Alzette and eighteen other Luxembourgish and French municipalities will together form the European Capital of Culture 2022. The municipalities of the two countries are working together to launch projects that will benefit all residents and visitors to the region, beyond 2022.

Sustainably pursuing the development of the southern region is one of the objectives of the European Capital of Culture Esch2022. The project will thus put the spotlight on the whole region in 2022. The municipalities involved include Bettembourg, Differdange, Käerjeng, KälTéiteng, Mondercange, Pétange, Rumelange, Sanem and Schifflange in Luxembourg and Aumetz, Audun-le-Tiche, Boulange, Ottange, Rédange, Russange, Thil and Villerupt in France.

Patrick Risser, President of the CCPHVA, explained: “We quickly realised that Esch2022 would take on a big scale and act as a development catalyst for CCPHVA. We are all the more delighted to participate in the European Capital of Culture with our neighbours and friends from Esch and from the entire 'Pro-Sud' region”. 

The press meeting took place on the site of the Micheville cultural centre, which is still under construction and will open its doors in September 2021. This cultural centre will play an important role in Esch2022, as Sylvain Mengel, cultural coordinator for the municipalities of the CCPHVA, explained: “Several projects linked to the European Capital of Culture will be organised in front of and inside the building - and sometimes both at the same time. This richly equipped cultural centre will be an important point of support for artists in the region, well beyond 2022”. The official name of the cultural centre, chosen by the population, will be unveiled on the evening of 4 September. 

The brownfield land of Micheville will host projects such as the Eden Europa project. By 2022, shared gardens will be created in which nature and art meet. Various workshops will be organised in these green spaces, as well as theatre and dance and musical performances.

Speaking of the project led by Man'ok & Cie and Merci Raymond, artistic coordinator Emmanuel Fleitz commented: “Our sustainable project will bring together the cultures of the Franco-Luxembourg border region and will go much further. The few kilometres away should not prevent the residents of Esch-sur-Alzette and its surroundings from taking part in cultural experiences in the municipalities of the CCPHVA".

Eden Europa is one of the 20 or so French projects currently planned within the framework of Esch2022. The collaboration necessary for these projects is based in part on local partnerships, for example with the Chor’à corps dance school in Audun-le-Tiche, several schools, youth and cultural clubs and choirs in the area. The organiser of the Villerupt Italian Film Festival, the Pôle de l'Image, will also organise a project: Les Estivales de l'Alzette, a series of outdoor film screenings and cultural activities in the old Micheville swimming pool.

Other renowned figures from all over France will also participate in the European Capital of Culture. The Memories, Images and History across Borders project will be carried out jointly by the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) du Grand Est, the Centre de Recherches sur les Médiations (CREM) of the University of Lorraine and the Direction Générale des Affaires Culturelles (DRAC-Metz) on the French side and by the Centre National de l'Audiovisuel (CNA) on the Luxembourgish side. For this project, in the spirit of the "remix" approach of the European Capital of Culture, experts from Lorraine and Luxembourg will bring together audiovisual archives from the cross-border region of Esch2022. 

In order to achieve together the European Capital of Culture, the heads of Esch2022 and the CCPHVA will maintain daily contact.