Public history Contemporary history of Luxembourg

Maschinen, Massen und Metaphern. Visuelle Konstruktionen von Industriearbeit(ern) im Luxemburg der Zwischenkriegszeit.

This paper examines images of industrial work(ers) as contributions to visual meaning-making. The selected examples illustrate the deployment of industrial work(ers) as a motif in a variety of artistic genres and media that circulated in interwar Luxembourg. The different depictions, which were distributed and promoted by different actors with different interests, show the industrial worker as affiliated with or a representative of a particular steel company, the industrial sector as a whole, the Luxembourg nation or the working class. All actors employed the figure of the worker for their own ends, drafting it into the service of their respective ideas and perspectives on industrial work. Suggesting specific ways of seeing, the images contributed to the perception and meaning-making of industrial work and were part of an overarching discourse on industrial work(ers) in times of economic and political change.

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