Photo by Katarina Dajč Spaceformers in Luxembourg Katarina Dajč (Udruženje Scenatoria) went to visit her Tandem partner Marlène Kreins (Centre Culturel Régional Dudelange Opderschmelz) in Luxembourg as part of their collaboration for Tandem Cultural Capitals. Their focus is on two endangered heritage sites: one in Novi Sad and one in Dudelange. Katarina brings back some insights from her placement. On 6 August, I went to visit Marlène Kreins in Luxembourg. Marlène was my host for this visit, and what an amazing host she was! Upon arrival at Luxembourg airport, where Marlène was waiting for me, we immediately visited Atelier D – a former industrial site in Dudelange, complex with several buildings, one of which today uses DKollektiv for its programs and projects (The Laminoir of Dudelange). Marlène is an essential part and one of the founders of DKollektiv, a group of people willing to preserve the industrial heritage of Luxembourg while creating interesting programs with artistic/cultural content. The main aim of DKollektiv is to offer artistic and cultural events and projects created with thinking-outside-of-the-box attitude, hence a natural connection to Scenatoria, whose mission is to create great cultural and artistic content that indicates value, potential and importance of the architectural heritage. Photo by Katarina Dajč The Laminoir of Dudelange is currently being redeveloped to become a new neighborhood with a joint establishment of housing, shops and educational socio-cultural infrastructure and in the process most of the remaining buildings are supposed to be demolished – similarly to the situation with industrial heritage in Novi Sad. After seeing what DKollektiv had achieved, I was certain that our collaboration was meant to be and that we have a lot to learn from each other. Industrial heritage site in Dudelange. Photo by Katarina Dajč On the next day, we visited ARBED – a former steel industry site located partly in Esch area and partly in Schifflange, predominantly destined for demolition; only thing to be preserved and redeveloped for cultural purposes for ECOC Esch 2022 is water tower with a plant and one workshop hall, while the rest of the complex is reimagined as housing after the planned demolition. ARBED Esch-Schiflange, watertower. Photo by Katarina Dajč The site has been used as a shooting location for the film industry since it had lost its purpose within the steel industry, and there is only one person remaining, to guard the entire complex. Guardian of an abandoned factory – Jos (the last person standing), took us on a tour around the site, where we were joined by Alain Guenther, a man who created the steel industry museum in a few buildings of this large complex, where he collects, preserves and exhibits “artefacts” which illustrate the development of this site from its founding to the day it was abandoned. His passion for this industrial heritage and work in this interesting museum is shared by sixteen-year-old Cedric Schumacher who was also with us on the walk. ARBED Esch-Schiflange Museum. Photo by Katarina Dajč Charles Wennig, one of the programme managers of ESCH2022, also happened to be at the site, so we exchanged ideas for the project and met to discuss some more in reconstructed industrial complex in Differdange, that currently houses the offices of ESCH2022, called 1535⁰C Creative Hub – very interesting space that seems to work great. At the ESCH2022 offices, we met with Nancy, the Managing director of ESCH2022, to discuss project ideas. She was quite interested in the ideas we presented and willing to support them, as well as other opportunities for collaboration between two ECOCs during and after NS2021 and ESCH2022. Industry Art. Photo by Katarina Dajč In the evening we visited Rotonde where we met Eric Marx – the architect from DKollektiv, and were we saw an interesting video art exhibition and listened to the concert, which was also attended by Tania Brugnani, director of 1535⁰C, so we shared some thoughts with her, as well. Rotondas are the great example of good practice in industrial heritage revitalisation, inspirational and very much alive, evidently a perfect response to local community needs. Rotondas. Photo by Katarina Dajč On the third day we visited Dudelange; we started with the city centre and some galleries, and afterwards, we went to Opderschmelz, the cultural centre where Marlène works. We met director John Rech to whom we presented joint project idea. His reaction was – “let’s do it”. Chiara Lentz, Marlène`s college walked us through the cultural centre, interesting new building fitted nicely in the surroundings, concerning the nearness of Dudelange industrial heritage site. After spending some time in the cultural centre we went to Atelier D for a Super8 workshop led by Guy Bollendorf. Opderschmelz. Photo by Katarina Dajč After the workshop, we visited the So So Summer event held at CNA – reconstructed and revitalized buildings of the former Dudelange industrial site – a prime example of good practice. There we saw a photography exhibition set in the water tower – “The bitter years” by the famous Edwaard Steichen, and enjoyed event at the Pomhaus. Watertower Pomhouse. Photo by Katarina Dajč On 9 August – the fourth day – we visited Belval – great architecture and an inspiring ambience, hosting the university city, unfortunately a ghost town during the holiday season. The offices of ESCH2022 are about to move there, so it may come to life even without students, the future will tell. After Belval, we visited the Cockerill Mines in Each where Heng Clemens – representative of the group of volunteers from the local community that renovated and revitalized the whole complex, presented their work. Energy and effort worth admiring and great example of good practice. Patric Diederich from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Luxembourg joined us on this visit to learn about the site and to share ideas and experiences. I was empowered by the visit, realising that even Luxembourg struggles with heritage preservation, and it seems that is a universal problem, but there are also people willing to invest their time, intellect and energy to try to find the solution. Belval. Photo by Katarina Dajč On the last day, we walked through the centre of Luxembourg and met again with Nancy to talk some more about the project and ECOC. My impression regarding ECOC is that all teams doing preparation are facing similar problems. The most striking difference is the financial aspect, which dictates the pace and complexity of productions, as well as their number, i.e. more things are realised, and most of them happen faster and easier since there are more funds available to implement ideas and projects. Behind the Mirror. Photo by Katarina Dajč The Novi Sad alternative scene is quite vibrant and in a way opposite to the “official” cultural scene. It is funded poorly, but well connected among each other, and supportive in activities and mutual promotion. It looks like Dudelange / Esch are thinking further into the future and take into great consideration what will happen after 2022, i.e. sustainability of ECoC, its possible lasting positive effects, and that they plan activities and programmes with this in mind. Le Fonds Belval The smaller size cities enable easier communication with officials, and Marlene did an awesome job of setting so many important and productive meetings, and my hope is that this is just the beginning of long term cooperation. I believe my contribution to Luxembourg scene is in sharing different approaches to solving heritage protection challenges, and insight into how persistent initiatives from small NGOs could generate wider involvement and amount to important impact. To sum it up, it was intense, rewarding, inspiring and very nice, Marlène was a great host, and I am very pleased to get to know her a bit better.