A tour of European words in Bettembourg,
Municipality of the Month from 22.04. to 21.05.2022
In spring 2022, the spotlight will be on Bettembourg. The LiteraTour festival, which has been organised by the municipality for several years now, will for the first time expand to the rest of Europe. This large-scale literary event, conceived as a genuine ‘tour’ of words, will bring together spoken and written words in the form of rap, graffiti, etc., from numerous European countries in 4 main events and accompanying performances. The word ‘tour’ (echoing the Tour de France) is here synonymous with freedom of expression and literary exploration extending well beyond the three-week-long festival.
The first event is the seventh edition of the Prix Laurence, a literary competition for young writers. The contest, which was initiated by the municipality of Bettembourg, has been successful in stimulating the creativity of young authors in all literary genres without restriction. Its openness and desire to push the boundaries are in line with the Remix themes of Esch2022. One of the key elements is diversity: a multilingual jury will appraise preselected manuscripts from Italy, Lithuania and Portugal. Beginning on 24th April 2021, the competition will be open for submission of manuscripts until the end of October 2021. The European finalists will be invited to read their manuscript in front of the Bettembourg jury and will take part in a residency in Luxembourg during which they will visit the region and participate in workshops and other projects such as L’Apéro Littéraire LiteraTour 2022.
The second major event is the creation of a graphic novel around the popular figure of the friendly giant of the Parc Merveilleux in Bettembourg. Set up in 1955, this enduring character has become an emblematic figure of the park and its region. Originally, the giant held a Little Thumbling in the palm of his hand, which has been stolen several times.
In the graphic novel created by author Lucien Czuga and designer Andy Genen, the giant will wake up and set off on an initiatory journey through town that will take him to the park of the Bettembourg Castle. The artists will bring certain key scenes from the graphic novel to life throughout the various stages of a thematic trail, inviting residents and visitors to follow in the giant’s footsteps. The novel will be published in the spring of 2022, to coincide with the LiteraTour festival and the opening of the Parc Merveilleux during the last weekend of March.
Furthermore, The LiteraTour 2022 festival will also aim to open a debate on artificial intelligence and digital ethics by inviting famous authors specialising in these fields. Can books be written by AI? Is it necessary to use AI? Does it represent an opportunity or a risk to literary creation? A musical programme will accompany the literary offer of workshops, round tables and readings.
Several projects resulting from the Esch2022 call for projects, such as 1001 Tonnen by photographer Jessica Theis, ‘The Assembly’, ‘Um Ball – 50 Joer Fraefussball zu Lëtzebuerg’ or ‘E Roude Fuedem Duerch De Roude Buedem’ by MASKéNADA will also be part of the LiteraTour festival.
Like many other non-profit organisations, Jean-Paul Moes’ Kaleidoskop Theater will contribute to the LiteraTour by commissioning a play on Europe from two Portuguese and two Luxembourgish authors. Other international partnerships have already been set up with Kaunas2022.
A large tent seating more than 400 will host public reading sessions in the park of the Bettembourg Castle. Another flagship site, the cultural centre of Huncherange, which is currently being refurbished, will also host plays. Finally, a lodge in connection with the popular theme of the ‘Renert’ (The Fox) is under construction at the Parc Merveilleux. Located at the entrance to the park, it will allow a limited number of visitors to spend the night on site.
LiteraTour 2021 I April 18-30, 2021
Find more information about Bettembourg here.