Across the region with eyes wide open

16. March 2020

Together with the project office Hi2025, the Network for Culture & Local Traditions has brought ten international experts to Hildesheim. In the “Province Lab", research is to be conducted into the ways in which the Hildesheim region could develop into a cultural region. A bus tour across the region marks the beginning:

“This is a wonderful landscape", says Froukje de Jong-Krap and looks out of the bus window. “You can look at these fields and design them like a canvas." The farmer’s wife from the Netherlands combined agriculture with art last year. “Potatoes go wild" was the name of the project that took place in Leeuwarden’s year as Capital of Culture.
Froukje de Jong-Krap is one of eight experts from the “Province Lab", which was organised by the Network for Culture & Local Traditions in cooperation with the project office Hildesheim 2025.  They will meet with selected partners from the Hildesheim region to work together for three days on a specific challenge.
“We want to explore what the province looks like in different corners of the world and how it influences cultural life," says Sabine Zimmermann, managing director of the Network for Culture & Local Traditions. “That’s why we are initiating an exchange close to everyday life," Thomas Harling adds, head of the Hi2025 project office. “We bring together experts from rural regions of Europe with residents of the district of Hildesheim. Together, they are exploring the opportunities and challenges of living away from the big cities.
A bus tour through the region is the first step. The international guests from Austria, Scotland, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland and Slovenia have lively conversations with volunteers and artists from the region. In the meantime, Sabine Zimmermann talks about the cultural characteristics and highlights of the region, which pass by the bus windows.
The route leads through the Hildesheim Börde, past Derneburg Castle and the roller coaster loops of the Sottrum Family Park. In Henneckenrode, a district of Holle, Igor F. Petković, artist from Graz, and the local representative Petra Senholdt talk about how small villages could be enlivened by art. And in Alfeld a short guided tour of the Fagus factories will follow, before the tour ends in Wallenstedt at the Brunottescher Hof, the oldest half-timbered farmhouse in southern Lower Saxony.
“A bus trip like this is a chance to see the region with entirely new eyes," says Jürgen Zinke from the Forum Heersum. And Christine Sell, local activist from a sleepy village in Scotland, agrees with him: “Initiatives like this can help people to experience how much they can create and experience, especially in the countryside."

Many thanks to EVI Energieversorgung Hildesheim, who are supporting the “Province Lab" as main sponsor.

About the picture:
“Seeing the Hildesheim region with different eyes: Omar Rajeh, choreographer from Beirut, and the artistic director of the Capital of Culture application Carolin Hochleichter during a guided tour of Brunottesche Hof.
photo credits: Anna-Lena Schotge