On 19 October 2023 at the Maison des Arts et des Étudiants in Esch/Belval, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) held its annual Awards Ceremony, a celebration of science and research in Luxembourg where researchers and science communicators are recognised for outstanding efforts.
Dominique Santana wins the Award for Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public for her transmedia documentary ‘A Colônia Luxemburguesa’.
Over a hundred years ago, the steel giant established in Luxembourg, ARBED - today ARCELORMITTAL - inaugurated its Brazilian subsidiary in the heart of the State of Minas Gerais. At that time, the lack of qualified workforce caused the exodus of hundreds of Luxembourg migrants to Brazil in order to erect a colossal steel factory surrounded by its industrial city, thus giving birth to the cradle of the Brazilian steel industry.
You are this catalyst for a project that continues. It sparked and is going to make its wings now.
Michèle Weber, FNR Science Communicator
The interactive documentary, freely available at colonia.lu, unveils a century of intersecting stories between Luxembourg’s Minett Region and the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil - an interactive and participatory experience that draws a portrait of a curious colony forged by steel.
This transdisciplinary project has been developed in the framework of Dominique Santana’s doctoral research within the University of Luxembourg and in cotutelle with the University of São Paulo, supported by the National Research Fund (FNR). 'A Colônia Luxemburguesa' is a cutting-edge Digital Public History experiment involving the creative use of digital technology, transdisciplinary co-design techniques and public engagement. This is the first transmedia project ever to be developed as part of a doctorate in History.
It is very important to me, as a public historian, to give ownership to the communities who are involved in the project because it also gives sustainability to the project.
The documentary was produced by the C²DH (University of Luxembourg), the film production company Samsa Film, and the Centre National de l'Audiovisuel (CNA), with the support of the Film Fund Luxembourg, Esch 2022, the FVEMT – Fondation Veuve Emile Metz-Tesch, frEsch a.s.b.l., and the Rotary Club Esch-Bassin Minier.
Also nominated in this category was the HistorEsch project by Public historian Thomas Cauvin and Joëlla van Donkersgoed.