The French commune of Rédange (not to be confused with the Luxembourgian commune of Redange) is located in the Pays Haut du Val d’Alzette, a region bordering on Belval (Luxembourg). Formerly a part of the Duchy of Luxembourg (annexed to the parish of Soleuvre), it was ceded to Lorraine in 1602 and subsequently became part of the bailiwick of Villers-la-Montagne (1751–1790).
According to Mayor Daniel Cimarelli, ‘the town is easily accessible on foot or by bicycle via the Béler Valley, with its remarkable scenery of meadows and hills. The houses built by the mining and steel companies have shaped the landscape, which offers great possibilities for walks along the French-Luxembourgian border and onto the picturesque forest ponds, a popular meeting place for hikers from both sides of the borderThe centre of the village holds the nineteenth-century church and the old town with its eighteenth-century houses. We expect Esch2022 to highlight the appeal of our village and to intensify the existing cross-border exchanges with Sanem.’
Several lieux-dits have retained their unusual names: Sprett, Nock, Congo… Hikers will undoubtedly appreciate the cross-border walk that starts in the commune!
Russange, which was attached to the commune of Rédange from 1811 to 1836, was once the seat of a seigneury, a moving fief of the provosty of Villers-la-Montagne and a parish of the diocese of Trier (deanery of Luxembourg). It was also part of the former province of Barrois, seigneury of Audun-le-Tiche.
According to Jean-Jacques Bourson, Mayor of Russange, ‘in the old days, to reach Esch, you crossed the fields and walked along the border. The link we created between the municipalities through the establishment of the joint ARE outdoor swimming pool (Audun-le-Tiche, Russange, Esch) testifies to the deep mutual relationships in our history. In light of these long-standing relationships, Russange is honoured to participate in Esch2022. The implementation of a project of such importance will inevitably open up minds, stimulate encounters and discussions, encourage people to getting to know each other even better, enable them to discover new things and lead to common projects. Whatever expectations one may have, the links that culture will create between our municipalities will remain and will live on over time.’
The traditional dialect spoken in the two communes of Rédange and Russange is Luxembourgish Francique, whose vocabulary differs slightly from Luxembourgish. It was still widely in use by the elders in the 1980s. In 2018, the commune of Rédange had 995 inhabitants (against 230 in 1793), while Russange stood at 1,279 inhabitants (against 245 in 1793).
The project ‘RED’, officially launched on 16 September 2021, will unfold throughout the 2021/2022 school year at the Jules Ferry School in Russange. It revolves around two themes that will be explored in class. First of all, participants will familiarise with the history and industrial heritage of the region through a series of site visits (Mine d’Hussigny, Fonds Belval, Grands Bureaux de Longwy, Arche de Villerupt, etc.) and lectures by storytellers. The second objective is to produce a documentary album in a series of writing and graphic design workshops. Its narrative will reflect the experiences gained during the site visits and the encounters with the storytellers. The workshops will be supervised by author Alain Giorgetti and illustrator Vincent Bailly.
Alain Giorgetti was born in Villerupt and grew up in the Pays Haut. Today he lives and works in Strasbourg. An author, filmmaker and visual artist, he studied modern literature and published literary reviews before embarking on a literary career himself. In 2021, he was awarded the writing grant of the Grand Est region. In 2011, he wrote the script for the children’s theatre play ‘Couleur Corbeau’ for the Moska company. In 2020, his book ‘La Nuit nous serons semblables à nous-mêmes’ was published by Alma éditeur. He regularly leads writing workshops.
Vincent Bailly grew up in Saint-Nicolas-de-Port and studied at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg in the studio of Claude Lapointe. From 2000 to 2009, he taught illustration and graphic novel design at the National School of Applied Arts and Image (ENAAI). From 1991, he carried out various illustration works for Éditions Nathan, Coprur and Le Crédit Mutuel. In 1995, ‘Les Chevaliers-Guides’, the first in a series of three graphic novels entitled ‘Le Cœur de sang’, was published by Delcourt. In 1997, he began collaborating with Édifa Jeunesse on the monthly publication ‘Maxilien’, and later on the magazine ‘Terres lointaines’. In 2001, he published his first album with Humanoïdes associés, ‘La Vallée des Âmes Tordues’. ‘Lorraine cœur d’acier’, his graphic novel on the history of a popular pirate radio, was published in 2021.