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 triangular relationship and highlight their common values, the three cities have launched a series of programmes and collaborations that will be presented, among others, as part of their respective opening ceremonies. This unprecedented cooperation will be celebrated through an extensive programme of projects across numerous 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 projects carried out jointly by the three capitals is ‘Jazz Xchange’, 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 Culture Night 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.
Other projects will be implemented in cooperation by two cultural capitals. Meno Parkas Gallery in Kaunas will host two exhibitions in 2022, the first by the Luxembourgian-French artist duo Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil (from 21 January to 27 February 2022), the second by Filip Markiewicz (from 25 November to 31 December 2022), a visual artist with Polish roots based in Esch who represented the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015 with ‘Paradiso Lussemburgo’.
In Luxembourg, the Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevičius will present an exhibition at the Konschthal Esch (from 23 September to 28 January 2022). A trained sculptor, Narkevičius works with film and video to create works in which history is approached as a living artistic material conducive to the exploration of other themes through various storytelling techniques. The project ‘The Assembly’, which will be presented in Kaunas and in Luxembourg, consists of a multisensory performative installation presented on a 360° theatre stage. Combining the virtual and physical worlds, it will invite audiences to remix different digital interfaces and create a collective song with their own bodies and voices. The installation will be presented at the regional cultural centre Opderschmelz and subsequently at L’Arche in Micheville, before travelling on to Kaunas where it will be presented to the Lithuanian public.
Among the collaborations between Esch2022 and Novi Sad 2022 is also ‘Nouvelles Frontières – Urban Festival’, a project organised by the Rockhal that will take place at Socle C in Esch-Belval in July 2022 and is set to feature a Serbian rapper, among others. Besides these common projects, the three European Capitals of Culture collaborate on various related issues such as sustainable development and accessibility.