Health crisis, financial crisis, refugee crisis, ecological crisis. Epidemic, globalisation, Brexit, sustainable development, growth, decline … Europe is confronted with a series of challenges and questions, and is struggling to respond to its citizens’ aspirations. And, just when everything seems to be moving too fast, what if we took our time? Time to reflect, to listen, to exchange with one another, to compare opinions and ideas?
In the autumn of 2021 we will go out along the southern Luxembourg border, armed with walking boots, a rucksack, cameras and recording equipment. All along the way, we will document this “Europe in miniature” which groups together within a radius of 30 kilometres no fewer than four countries, founders of the European Union. We will discuss with the inhabitants, present their initiatives and collect their opinions and views on living together, languages, cultural differences, ecology or solidarity. “La grande marche” is a unifying project, within people’s reach, which seeks to put together an alternative route for Europe, at a human level, with an approach that is both documentative and participative. During 2022, this project will lead to the production of an exhibition, a dynamic web platform and a medium-length documentary film covering the whole of the cross-border region.
“La grande marche” exhibition will open in June 2022 in four of the towns in the south Luxembourg cross-border region: Saarbrücken (DE), Thionville (FR), Aubange (BE) and Esch (LU). At the time of writing, three of the four partners are known: “Kultur am Hauptbahnhof” (KuBa) in Saarbrücken, the “Puzzle” in Thionville and the Cultural Centre of the town of Aubange and its exhibition space the “Harpaille”. The exhibition is conceived as a grand exhibition that will exist simultaneously in the four places, giving the project an original and truly cross-border character. The visitor will have access to content that is also available in the other places (audio, videos, photos etc), but will be encouraged to go to one of the other three towns to enrich his/her experience: for example, (s)he will discover a “geographical” focus on a particular region on the itinerary, or a “thematic” focus on a subject-specific to the town in question (for example, immigration and language, the question of work and mobility, of neighbourhood, or the industrial past and the transformation of the countryside). The overarching theme of the exhibition will in any case be that of borders, and the words of people dwelling on the border will be at the heart of the presentation. This will be the case throughout the sound installations, videos and a website in the form of a web-access documentary which will accompany the project (on the model of the Border Bistro project – www.borderbistro.eu).
According to the spatial and technical characteristics of the exhibition spaces and their public, certain formats will be given priority: large-format photo prints, videos or sound installations will have a greater or lesser importance in each place, offering visitors a different experience. Furthermore, a planned installation that will permit interaction and dialogue between visitors in the different places (via webcam, for instance) is under consideration. Finally, inspired by “La grande marche”, partners are invited to graft onto the exhibition complementary programmes related to the border theme, and to coordinate their activities: on the occasion of the opening ceremonies, for example, but also through the organisation of events such as screenings, meetings or stage plays. The three partner organisations have expressed keen interest in this, and plan to get together to develop concerted programming.
See you on September 12 to share a drink on the occasion of the official inauguration of the project at the Aubange Town Hall.
Discover the video of the project: