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The Esch2022 programme celebrates Europe in all its facets

©Nuit de la culture

The European idea permeates the Esch2022 region and its cultural offer

A Europe without borders, living together with people from many different cultures, in solidarity and tolerance – these are the core values of the European Capital of Culture Esch2022. Since in our region people cross borders every single day, they constantly change languages and build new bridges, not only between regions, but also between residents and citizens, the European idea is omnipresent for Luxembourgers and cross-border commuters.

Esch2022, a micro-example for an expanded Europe
The south of Luxembourg can be considered a micro-example of an expanded Europe striving for a future characterised by a mixed society. Because what defines Europe is the wealth of different cultures living in a community where every individual counts. Bringing about a diverse, borderless society is only possible if we all work together: REMIX EUROPE!

9 May is Europe Day
To celebrate this truly special day, this year’s events will exceptionally take place mainly in the city of Esch and within the framework of Esch2022. For the detailed programme of the various events, click here. They include, among others, a celebration of religions promoting brotherhood starting at 10 am at the Rockhal. This event is organised within the framework of the project “Ensemble, même si différents” (Together, though still so different). In addition, the Harmonie Municipale d’Esch-sur-Alzette will give an aperitif concert at 11.30 am and from 11.30 am to 4 pm we will hold a “Rencontre Amicale de Toutes Nations et Toutes Religions” (Friendly Gathering of All Nations and Religions). May 9 also marks the beginning of the “Pop-up ma Parole” project in the Belval quarter. The architect Robert Ilgen and the graphic artist Janine Schlimpert will create artworks that animate the public space and invite the public to express themselves. “Esch-Belval is planned as an ideal residential area. You find yourself in a laboratory for multiple temporalities, which allow you to test new scenarios for living together more effectively.” In the framework of Europe Day and the exhibitions underway, Pop-Up Ma Parole offers a flexible and responsive platform starting at 12 pm where the public is as involved as much as creator and producer. The first workshop will cover “The Europe of tomorrow” and the temporary installations continue until 29 May 2022.

A multilingual Europe transcending borders
The theme of Europe is at the heart of numerous projects involving all population groups. The Bal Pop event, hosted by the Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture (MJC) in Villerupt (FR) on Saturday 7 May from 5pm to 11pm, perfectly reflects the character of our region. From 1945 up until today, through the various waves of immigration, through iron and steel working and then the closure of this industry, the territory has undergone profound transformation. The popular ball organised by the Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture (Youth and Culture Association, MJC) in Villerupt, mixing dance, music, theatre and graphic arts, seeks to reflect important moments in this collective history. Spectators are invited to participate in shared storytelling tableaux, interspersed with festive musical interludes organised by the various charities of the region. A lively “Cultural and social link” to experience together!

The “TOTEM ou un sens commun” project takes place in the framework of the Nuit de la Culture #3. “Totem” is a philosophical tale on a grand scale created by Compagnie Deracinemoa and inspired by English-language musical theatre. This philosophical tale conceived for hundreds of spectators brings together singing, music, theatre and dance and is based on the collective experience of a massive exile. “Totem” explores, for the duration of a stage show, the relationship between an individual and a group, in the heart of a public space. This bringing together of multiple artistic forces focuses on some powerful ideas: changing, shifting direction, leaving, beginning again … together! A multi-talented team of artists will inhabit a vast scenic space, surrounded by four towers, in a three-dimensional staging. The stage set will be supplemented by an original video-mapping creation.

The universal language of music
Numerous music projects, from pop to world or classical music, connect the people and nations of Europe by bringing together participants from all over Europe or even beyond.
It is in this spirit that the cross-border (Belgium-France) project La Jungle – Collaborations Brutes was born, which will take place from 17/05 to 10/06/2022 in the form of a major pop, rock and electro music project organised by the Communauté de communes Pays Haut Val d’Alzette (CCPHVA). It links the FrancoFolies in Esch-Alzette, the Belgian trance-noise duo La Jungle and the Institut Médico Éducatif d’Aumetz. Accompanied by the Parisian collective Brut Pop – musical pedagogy and inclusion, the young people of the Institute and the group La Jungle will meet to create a common sound piece. Following several periods in residence in Luxembourg and France, a number of these songs will be performed as part of the La Jungle concert at the FrancoFolies 2022 in Esch-Alzette and at the Arche (FR).

On 26-27 and 28 May, a major European event will take place at various iconic locations. We are talking about the “REMIX 22, European Youth Music Festival”. This will be the 14th edition of the European Youth Festival. Since 1985, this important festival has been organised in specific cities or regions within the European Union. It has also been associated with European Capitals of Culture in the past: in 2016, the EYMF took place in San Sebastian (Spain) or in 2018 in Sneek as part of the Leeuwarden-Frysland (Netherlands) European Capital of Culture. In the framework of Esch2022, 2022 talented pupils and students from various fields such as music, dance and theatre from 23 European countries will perform concerts at various venues over three days. In the spirit of the European idea, this youth music festival will showcase both the diversity of the different European musical traditions as well as their interconnectedness through the common language of music. The musical performances will be accompanied, among other things, by the EMU General Assembly and a conference on the development of arts and cultural education, which will focus on European themes.

“BELONG“ (05.03.2022 – 28.05.2022) focuses on European and international music and aims at preserving global cultural heritage while promoting cross-cultural understanding and exchange, by utilising folkloric arts and creating synergies between multidisciplinary and multicultural artistic forms. BELONG engages musicians and artists through a series of masterclasses, bootcamps, and workshops, whereby artists teach one another arts and music from their countries and cultures, and work on mixing their styles in a unique, artistic creation to be performed in a series of concerts throughout the projects.

Three Capitals of Culture share common values and projects
In 2022, Esch2022 will share the title of European Capital of Culture with Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, and Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia. To promote this unprecedented partnership, the three cities have launched a series of programmes celebrating many different disciplines, including visual arts, theatre, dance, history (memory of the Holocaust), music and literature. The projects are aimed at all audiences, including young people. The cooperation encompasses projects that have emerged from the Esch2022 call for projects as well as existing or specifically established partnerships.

One of the jointly implemented projects is called “Jazz Xchange” (05.05.2022 – 20.11.2022), a trilateral collaboration initiated by the municipal administration of Dudelange with the aim of creating a jazz-inspired musical production with musicians of varied cultural, historical and social origins. As part of the Nuit de la Culture 2022 organised by the non-profit organisation Escher Kulturnuecht asbl, the Luxembourgian graffiti artist Daniel Mac Lloyd will join forces with a Lithuanian and a Serbian graffiti artist to create a large-scale wall painting.

(For further info see Esch2022.lu/Agenda)

Perspectives of Europe
Curated in collaboration with Historical Consulting, Luxembourg, and the design agency tinker imagineers, Utrecht, the exhibition “Pure Europe”, which will be on display in the Möllerei starting December 2022, will take a closer look at the European idea. It will deconstruct existing clichés and examine what defines us as Europeans and to what extent political, cultural or geographical definitions of Europeanness still make sense in a globalised world. The other major exhibitions organised in the Möllerei and the Massenoire in the framework of Esch2022 all have a European dimension, not least through the collaboration with major European partners such as the ZKM, the HEK, etc.

A change of perspective and an open attitude towards other cultures: that is how to sum up “REMIX EUROPE” and best express what Esch2022 wants to promote in 2022 as well as in the future. That way, the European spirit permeates numerous pluridisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects that encompass many different creative fields. These diverse, mostly participatory projects may sometimes even take place in collaboration with two or more cities, structures and institutions, etc. Within the framework of Esch2022, we are creating an ever new dialogue between people and nations right in the heart of Europe.

In 2022, more than 2000 events will take place in the south of Luxembourg and in the neighbouring French border region. Concerts, exhibitions, gastronomy, performances, workshops… And half of the programme of Esch2022 is dedicated to young audiences. To make sure you don’t miss anything, simply subscribe to the Esch2022 Gazette.

By subscribing to our Gazette, you will receive a programme selection conveniently delivered to your mailbox every month. Alternatively, we can send you our weekly newsletter “La Gazette – Agenda” directly to your inbox.