The project will be a sustainable contribution to the “European Capital of Culture Esch 2022” programme. It aims to strengthen links between the university in Belval and the city of Esch-sur-Alzette through the historical investigation of the region’s industrial past. Six sub-projects will explore the history of cultures, populations and territories of the Minette region from different perspectives and angles. They will look at the circulation and flow of ideas, people and goods between Luxembourg, France and other European countries. The project results will be disseminated among the international academic community and also, more importantly, be used to engage the general public through various means of digital storytelling.
The sub-projects will draw on a variety of public history tools and methods to engage with people living in the “Terres Rouges” region in southern Luxembourg: they will employ crowd-sourcing activities to retrieve photos, objects and stories from eye- and ear-witnesses of industrial transformations; they will reach out to cultural organisations and societies in Esch and other local communities and invite them to participate; and a temporary history lab will be set up in the city of Esch so that researchers can collect, scan, analyse and display historical sources brought in by local residents.
The project historians will contribute to the creation of a virtual exhibition entitled “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age”, designed as a way of inviting visitors to discover the rich and complex past of the Minette region in an interactive, light-hearted way. The virtual exhibition will attract and engage different audiences by offering independent but interconnected modes of navigation. It will serve as both a sustainable platform to showcase the industrial heritage of the Minette region and a digital archive enabling future research on the topic. In addition to the virtual exhibition, and with the twofold aim of attracting a younger audience and helping foreign visitors to Esch 2022 to discover the city and its surroundings, the project will also involve the creation of a mobile app entitled “Discovering the Industrial Past”. Drawing on the content of the virtual exhibition, the app will offer geo-based and mobile access to the industrial history of Esch.