Sustainable contributions to Esch2022
In 2022, Esch-sur-Alzette held the title of European Capital of Culture together with the ten Luxembourgish municipalities and eight French municipalities along the border. The focus was set on the history of a cross-border region located in the heart of Europe, from the industrial age to today’s knowledge society and its future digital potential. As a research centre based in Belval, a former industrial area of Esch-sur-Alzette, the C2DH contributed two public history projects to Esch2022: “Remixing industrial pasts” and “A Colônia Luxemburguesa”.
“Remixing industrial pasts” explored the history of cultures, populations and territories in the Minett region in Luxembourg, which has been shaped by iron ore mining and the iron and steel industry. The project results were disseminated in the Temporary History Lab, installed in the Annexe22 pavilion in Esch-sur-Alzette, the multimedia exhibition “Remixing Industrial Pasts: Constructing the Identity of the Minett”, which took place in the Massenoire, and the online exhibition “Minett Stories”. While "A Colônia Luxemburguesa” was a transmedia project that resulted in an internationally acclaimed documentary tracing a century of shared industrial, cultural and social heritage between Luxembourg and Brazil.
Both projects incorporated participatory practices with the aim of engaging with citizens in their storytelling approach. Another project showcased in 2022, Histor’Esch, also involves public engagement. C2DH historians met the residents of Esch-sur-Alzette to develop a new narrative of the town’s history. Histor’Esch led to several initiatives including an exhibition of objects provided by local residents, an audio tour presenting lived stories and a mural designed through a participatory process.
Rising to digital challenges in history
As an international hub for reflection on the methodological and epistemological challenges of history in the digital age, the C2DH has worked on the integration of digital methods and practices in Jewish studies. One major result in 2022 was the development of the Digital Shoah Memorial Luxembourg, which set a new milestone for Jewish history and memory in Luxembourg. This collaborative online platform does more than merely listing the names of people affected by the Holocaust; it brings their personal stories back to life.
Another key challenge in 2022 was the study of web archives and virality. How can we document, archive, preserve and study the web and social media when their content is ephemeral and constantly changing? This is a new field that C2DH researchers are grappling with via a critical and epistemological approach. Hands-on exploration is also an integral part of the C2DH’s research methodology. Using experimental methods, the “Doing experimental media archaeology” project has been breaking new ground by working with analogue sound and visual technologies. The results of this experimentation are shared in a two-book set dedicated respectively to the theory and the practice of experimental media archaeology.
Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age
The Minett Stories online exhibition explores the history and identity of the Minett, the industrial region in southern Luxembourg, in 21 stories. For a century (approx. 1870-1970) the Minett was shaped by iron ore mining and the iron and steel industry.
A Colônia Luxemburguesa
Innovating history with a 360° transmedia documentary
One hundred years ago, the Luxembourg-based steel giant ARBED – today ArcelorMittal – inaugurated its Brazilian subsidiary in the State of Minas Gerais. Hundreds of Luxembourgish migrants settled in João Monlevade to work at the steel plant, bringing their social and cultural mores with them.
Making history more collaborative
History shapes towns and cities and the people who live in them. Esch-sur-Alzette has an extremely rich, sometimes forgotten history, one that is reflected in its buildings and heritage and above all in the lived experiences of its residents.
Jewish Studies in the Digital Age
About history and memory
In all humanities disciplines, scholars find themselves confronted with the rapidly increasing availability of digital resources, new technologies to interrogate and analyse them, and the question of how to engage with these developments. The field of Jewish studies is no exception. The C²DH aims to use the potential of digital technology to foster research in Jewish studies.
Analysing web archives
International networking to unlock recent web practices
For C²DH, 2022 was a particularly fruitful and intense year for the ongoing research on Web archives: two annual projects came to an end, the one in partnership with the DataLab of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, entitled Buzz-F, and the one with the Canadian team of Archives Unleashed, AWAC2, related to the Web archives of the COVID-19 crisis.
Doing Experimental Media Archaeology
New ways of "sensing the past"
The DEMA (“Doing Experimental Media Archaeology”) project studies the potential of hands-on experimentation as a means of better understanding and experiencing the materiality and use practices of old media technologies.