Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg's second largest city, has transformed itself into a European Capital of Culture this year, together with the cities of Novi Sad in Serbia and Kaunas in Lithuania.
The programme kicked off on 26 February 2022 with the Esch2022 REMIX Opening, which attracted about 18,000 visitors to the two sites in Esch-sur-Alzette and Esch-Belval and another 14,000 livestream viewers – the opening ceremony went on to receive the Golden Award of Montreux (Switzerland) in the "Online / Hybrid Events" category.
Since then, highlights have included various exhibitions related to the region's industrial past, present and future in the historic Möllerei and Massenoire buildings in Esch-Belval, the European Youth Music Festival and Luxembourg Pride Week in Esch-sur-Alzette, the Usina22 open-air music festival (featuring a performance by Kings of Leon) and the Zeltik and Fête de la Musique festivals in Dudelange, the Open Air Belval concert series (featuring performances by Black Eyed Peas, Imagine Dragons and The Killers) against the backdrop of the Esch-Belval blast furnaces and four of five planned Nuits de la Culture in Esch-sur-Alzette (the final event is taking place from 2 to 10 September 2022).
With lots of events still to come, Chronicle.lu has rounded up a selection of this week's Esch2022 activities:
- "Idea of Peace" exhibition: The National Museum of Resistance and Human Rights (Musée National de la Résistance et des Droits Humains - MNRDH) is currently hosting an art exhibition called "Idea of Peace" based on the works of Belgian expressionist Frans Masereel (1889-1972). The text for this temporary exhibition, which is open to the public until 14 August 2022, is in English, French and German. The exhibition forms part of the "Qui cherche la paix" (who seeks peace) project and presents the works of Frans Masereel, a convinced pacifist and witness to two world wars; his works call for peace and the respect of human rights. The MNRDH is located in Place de la Résistance in Esch-sur-Alzette. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. Further information: https://mnr.lu/en/exposition/idee-de-paix
- "Tableaux de Fusion" exhibition: This visual art exhibition is comprised of artworks combining photography, painting and graphic design, among other art forms, and brings together more than ten professional artists of different nationalities, cultures and beliefs. Their works showcase different places, people and events from around Europe. The emphasis is on the process of creation. The exhibition, in various languages including English, is taking place at the Kamellebuttek Contemporary Art Gallery in Esch-sur-Alzette until 30 September 2022. Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 15:00 to 20:00. More information: https://www.tdf-esch2022.lu/
- "Wou d'Uelzecht" soundwalk: This multilingual soundwalk (also available in English) takes participants along the river Alzette from Audun-le-Tiche (France) to Esch-sur-Alzette with fifteen stops along the way. The walk can be done any time, alone or in a group. The duration is approximately three hours (5 km) when taking the free train journey to Audun-le-Tiche and back. The soundwalk is available until 22 December 2022. Further information (including downloads): http://www.catherinekontz.com/wouduelzecht/
- "Earthbound - In Dialogue with Nature" exhibition: This visual arts exhibition (available in English, French and German) presents eighteen artworks by international artists which reflect on urgent environmental themes. Artistic practices and technologies range from artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to interactive and video installations. The exhibition is being held at the Visitor Centre in Esch-Belval until 14 August 2022. Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00. Book free tickets: https://frontoffice.byemisys.com/shop/Esch2022/C91626463970/fr/products/?product_id=70215#/tickets
- "MinettREMIX" exhibition: This exhibition seeks to spark curiosity about the diversity of the Minett region and an interest in the historical and current importance of industrial culture. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about different aspects of industrial culture, from its social elements such as the lives of women in the region to the economic impact and how nature and landscapes have changed. The multilingual exhibition (also in English) is open to the public until 31 October 2022 at Hall Fondouq et Aciérie in Dudelange. It forms part of the "MinettREMIX" project, coordinated by the non-profit organisation Industriekultur-CNCI (Centre national de la culture industrielle). Opening hours: 14:00 to 19:00. Further information: https://cnci.lu/en/
- Minett Trail: This 80 km route taking participants through the Land of the Red Rocks has been integrated into the UNESCO "Man and the Biosphere" programme. It is currently dotted with eleven lodges, the design of which was the subject of an architectural competition launched by the Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs-Conseils (OAI) and the Pro-Sud union. The idea is to offer hikers or cyclists the option to follow the long trail and book a night in the lodgings of their choice, thus promoting "slow" tourism. More information: https://www.minetttrail.lu/.