14. September 2013 - 02. March 2014 Dortmunder U, Level 6

From September 2013 to March 2014 the Dortmunder U presents the NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL in cooporation with the Hartware MedienKunstVerein, the TU Dortmund University, the U2_Centre for Cultural Education and Urbane Künste Ruhr on the premises of the Dortmunder U and in the surrounding urban space. Through various formats including exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, film screenings and performances, this four-month-long international festival explores the past, present and future of industry.

The structural changes in Europe’s former industrial regions such as the Ruhr, Northern England, Belgium and Upper Silesia epitomise the transition of societies from industrial to knowledge- and service-based societies and the so-called 'creative classes'. The NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL asks how we became what we are, how industry marks our lives today, and how individuals can influence or appropriate the mechanisms of the industrial and working world.

Based on the experience of the Ruhr and other former industrial areas, the festival will retrace the history of social and economic change caused by the transformation and displacement of industrial production. This mutation is echoed by shifts in economic, finance and social policies as well as changes in the workplace and in daily life. The promise of social and cultural emancipation thanks to long-term employment and social advancement has given way to working and living environments where self-reliance, initiative, flexibility, mobility and creativity are essential requirements to take part in society.

The NEW INDUSTRIES FESTIVAL maps the conditions and consequences of these changes. How does the process of (de-)industrialisation affect communities and landscapes? How do industrial culture and cultural industry interact? Is there any industrial work left in former industrial nations, and if so, what does it look like? What is the value of work after the end of the factory – and what if the factory extends beyond its physical walls? Are 'creative industries' industries in the traditional sense?

The festival furthermore explores the 'new industries' that have emerged in the wake of economic transformations – most notably the financial industry – and how they perpetuate the ‘might of industrial society’ (Adorno). The exhibitions and events span the time from the Second Industrial Revolution to the economic crises in 1929, the 1970s, 2007 and the present day. The international focus of the festival will enable visitors to gain a global perspective on these economic, social and ecological developments, while highlighting the consequences of individual and collective decisions.


Funded by:

Kulturbüro Stadt Dortmund
Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
Sparkasse Dortmund

Kindly supported by:

Stiftung Kulturhauptstadt RUHR.2010

Media partner:

ARTE Creative

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