The municipality of Boulange, formerly a village of the Duchy of Bar and parish of the diocese of Trèves, is located in the canton of Fontoy. In 1812, the small town of Bassompierre was attached to Boulange by decree. Boulange’s history is reflected in its heritage, both ancient and recent, such as the Saint-Quirin Chapel destroyed in 1949 to free up space and facilitate traffic. Its former location is now symbolised by a cross.
The Grube Reichsland mine dominated the life of the town until its definite closure in 1969. The iron ore for the Knutange plant was mined there at a depth of nearly 200 meters. Today, Boulange’s cultural life revolves primarily around the socio-cultural centre ‘Le Sillon’ and its varied programme of activities, including workshops, concerts, board game discovery days and literary events organised in partnership with the library ‘Jacky Aliventi’. This open and convivial space will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2022. Community life is very active, with organisations such as Label Cadence, the successor of Vache d’asso, the organiser of the famous ‘Vache de blues’ festival, which helps young groups meet other musicians.
As part of Esch2022, Boulange will host the project ‘RDV STAMMDËSCH – It was better tomorrow’. Around 4 ‘Stammdëscher’, or ‘regulars’ tables’, the cross-border playwright collective Le Gueuloir will invite citizens from both sides of the border to share their stories and imagine new legends as part of workshops. The results of these meetings will materialise as a theatrical play presented to the public.
The municipality of Ottange is made up of the two villages Ottange and Nondkeil, both located at the bottom of a valley carved by the Kayl river and surrounded by forests. This densely wooded area covers 1,513 hectares, 840 of which are made up of forests. This natural heritage is promoted through the commune’s network of non-profit organisations. The Ottange speleology club regularly offers participants the opportunity to explore the ‘Dame Blanche’, the most spectacular calcite formation in the Audun-le-Tiche cave. Although this former mining town is subjected to many constraints linked to its industrial past, the town is actively working on its transformation and development.
Thanks to the implementation of several housing projects, the population of Ottange has rejuvenated and continues to grow. This momentum of renewal is sustained by the various venues at the disposal of the city, such as the community building in Nondkeil, the multipurpose space adjoining the L’Espace Ottange Nondkeil (L’EON) and a now desecrated former chapel that has been converted into a versatile public venue. Finally, the municipality has carried out several major public works including, in 2007, the Parc Transfrontalier des Fenderies, implemented in collaboration with the Luxembourg municipality of Rumelange. Located on the border between the two countries, this park symbolises the understanding and friendship connecting the inhabitants of France and Luxembourg.
As part of Esch2022, photographer Jessica Theis will present the participatory travelling exhibition ‘Spieglein Spieglein – mirror mirror’ in the two municipalities of Boulange and Ottange-Nondkeil. This photographic mirror installation will take the shape of photo and telephone booths inviting viewers to photograph themselves in dialogue with the installation and share their snapshots on social networks.