Last Sunday, Esch experienced an invasion. The artist collective Richtung22 marched through the city centre of Esch-sur-Alzette, celebrating a very unofficial opening of the European Capital of Culture Esch2022.
Richtung22 is a collective of artists known for critical arts and satirical happenings. The participants who marched through the rainy Esch on Sunday, wearing costumes, hats and arrogance, imitated the inhabitants from Luxembourg City. They came down to Esch, together with a counselling company, to import culture to Esch. Until now, there is none. Ada Günther, member of Richtung22 says: “Many people from the capital might think so. And we see this perception also in the organisation of the Esch2022-program. A lot of high culture, focused on technology and digital arts is brought here. But what’s with the culture that is already here? Will it have a place in the cultural year? We don’t see that much of it.”
During the cultural year, Richtung22 prepares several events and happenings. They’ll perform theatre plays, screen short films, and invite people to question the organisation of Esch2022. “In general, we are not opposed to cultural years”, Ada Günther clarifies, “a year where new cultural infrastructure is built and the inhabitants of a town enjoy a richer cultural offer, is great.” But the offer so far, according to Richtung22, is based on a top-down approach, as caricatured by the small group who marched through Esch the last weekend, yelling: “We bring culture to Esch.”
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