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Poly 2021

Stadtmagazin „Poly“ (englisch) Das englischsprachige Magazin „Poly“ führt durch das gesamte Ruhrgebiet und beleuchtet Kunst, Musik, Design und Gastronomie. Dazu gibt es Tipps, Empfehlungen und Einblicke in die kulturelle Landschaft der Metropole Ruhr. City magazine „Poly“ (english) One single city? No, lots of towns and cities. The Ruhrgebiet is often called "the city of cities". "Poly" will tell you how different they are and what they have in common. But most of all we want you to show you one thing: a constantly changing cultural scene and its transformative influence on the environment. For this is the motor behind new developments an radical changes. Poly leads through the Ruhr area and highlights art, music, design and gastronomy.

Stadtmagazin „Poly“ (englisch)

Das englischsprachige Magazin „Poly“ führt durch das gesamte Ruhrgebiet und beleuchtet Kunst, Musik, Design und Gastronomie. Dazu gibt es Tipps, Empfehlungen und Einblicke in die kulturelle Landschaft der Metropole Ruhr.


City magazine „Poly“ (english)

One single city? No, lots of towns and cities. The Ruhrgebiet is often called "the city of cities". "Poly" will tell you how different they are and what they have in common. But most of all we want you to show you one thing: a constantly changing cultural scene and its transformative influence on the environment. For this is the motor behind new developments an radical changes.

Poly leads through the Ruhr area and highlights art, music, design and gastronomy.

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Intro One single city? No, lots of towns

and cities. The Ruhrgebiet is often

called “the city of cities”. “Poly” will tell you

how different they are and what they have in

common. But most of all we want to show you

one thing: a constantly changing cultural scene

and its transformative influence on the environment.

For this is the motor behind new developments

and radical changes.

Culture for ever!

Where ever!

www.kulturinfo.ruhr

WANT TO

DISCOVER MORE?

→ POLY-

MAGAZIN.DE

→ STORM-

ILLUSTRATION.DE

→ THOMAS-

BOECKER.NET

BRIAN STORM © PETER GWIAZDA

We have also been on the

road in search of them. The result is

the booklet you are holding. It shows

places in the process of transformation,

like the suburb of Ückendorf in

Gelsenkirchen. In addition we paid a

visit to Dortmund harbour, where the

first Academy for Theatre and Digitality

is being built amidst a quarter

for start-ups. But we have also kept

an eye out for events, people and

places that are keeping the cultural

scene on the move in 2021 and far beyond. Everything from the Chorwerk

Ruhr to Joseph Beuys, designers, authors, musicians and artists.

Brian Storm also went in search of the unexpected for his

“Poly” illustrations. It’s only too apt that his favourite spot in the area is

a rather unattractive one: Duisburg Central Station when the sunshine

pierces the crazy patchwork of windows. Then it becomes clear that

he is also interested in discovering beauty in the most unexpected

places. The same goes for Thomas Böcker. When he was looking for

an image for our cover he came across the construction of an art

installation at a service area on the A40 motorway. In other words, he

discovered art in a place where art doesn’t really belong. And that fits

the area exactly!

So have fun exploring the Ruhrgebiet!

With very best wishes

from your “Poly” Team

INSTAGRAM.COM/DELLPLATZ_LIEBE/

POLY MAG 2021

INTRO

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20

21

04 You are here

Facts and figures from NRW

P r e t t y

26 Get in touch

Two women in the WKR Design

Studio who work with illustrations

using paper, modelling clay and

peanut flips.

30 Crazy signs and

a grinning cat

Prinzträger’s spatial installations and

Retro-graphics by Dirk Uhlenbrock

54 Out of the

Roundhouse

The “Kainkollectiv” and “Anna Kpok”

offer fresh perspectives on theatre in

the Ringlokschuppen in Mülheim.

60 The People’s

Theatre

The Ruhrfestspiele is one of the

largest theatre festivals in Europe.

64 The “Ruhrgebiet”

in shorts!

Ariel Magnus, the 2021 “Ruhr author”

travels through the region.

T a s t y

86 Just like

Granny’s

A culinary trip through the region.

90 For consc(ient)

ious Foodies

Restaurant tips, markets and

people – a quick tour of the “green”

Ruhrgebiet.

B u s y

34 …and away we go

Artistic events in 2021

66 Pick up a book!

Tips, dates and themes

94 Up and away!

On the road through the Ruhrgebiet

08 T(w)ogether

96 Imprint

Wolfgang Fröhling’s photos of colliery

housing estates.

12 Culture, Cowboys

and Co

How the rundown district of Ückendorf

in Gelsenkirchen has been

turned into a trendy creative area.

20 Dortmund Ahoy

One of the largest trans-shipment

centres in Europe is being transformed

into a centre for art and the

creative economy.

22 “We want to expand

the stage”

Marcus Lobbes on the new Dortmund

Academy of Theatre and digital

approaches.

A r t y

42 Back to Nature

The “Urbane Künste Ruhr” take art

into public spaces – in the most

unlikely places.

46 The man with

a hat

What links Joseph Beuys to the

Ruhrgebiet? A survey and some

exhibitions in his anniversary year.

50 What is

urbanana?

Tales of people and places

N o i s y

70 Luminous Walls

The Church of Christ in Bochum

is a place of art and a concert room.

74 After dark

Poly’s tips for clubs

76 International

Coolness

The Düsterboys sing of hearts and

love – to leave you yearning for more.

80 Global travellers

Chorwerk Ruhr: a choir specialising in

contrasts.

PLEASE NOTE!

Because of Corona changes

are possible at any time

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INTRO

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1 huge polycentric city

5.1 million residents

53 towns and cities

70 kilometres of the A40 motorway

between Duisburg and Dortmund

120 theatres

200 museums

441 metres high. That's the hight

of the Wengeberg in Breckerfeld.

You won't find a much

higher spot in the Ruhrgebiet

880 LED lamps light up the

Duisburg helter-skelter

landmark “Tiger and Turtle”

by night

2010 The year when it was the

cultural capital of Europe

4435 cubic kilometres in size

7000 tonnes. That's how much

the world's largest lump

of coal weighs. It was

brought to the surface in

2016 at the Prosper

Haniel mine in Bottrop, and

is now exhibited in the

permanent exhibition at

the Ruhr Museum in Essen.

5 Soul foods you

need to try

CURRYWURST + FRENCH FRIES

An absolute classic dish, even it was supposedly

invented in Berlin. This fried sausage is

only stylish with French fries, and a dollop of

ketchup and mayonnaise.

DORTMUNDER SALZKUCHEN

Although it looks like a bagel this is a genuine

Westphalian product. The round bun has a

depression in the middle, is sprinkled with caraway

seeds and salt, and can be covered with

a hearty topping like minced pork and freshly

chopped onions. The “Fischer am Rathaus”

bakery in Dortmund city centre was founded

in 1848 and is still worth a visit today. It’s a

jewel of 50s design.

PILSENER BEER

It goes without saying that people in the

Ruhrgebiet enjoy their beer, preferably in the

Czech style. Dortmund in particular was once

considered a major producer of beer. Today

the “U” is a centre for art and creativity. It

was one of the first high-rise buildings in the

city and was used by the “Union” brewery for

fermenting and storing its beer. In addition to

the large traditional brands like “Union” and

“Stauder”, smaller breweries like “Bergmann

Bräu” are also being set up.

BUTTERBROT

This is a sandwich of thickly sliced grey

bread with a crispy crust, spread with butter,

served with gherkins and generously topped

with cold meats or cheese. It’s also known as

“Knifte” or “Bütterken”.

BUNTE TÜTE

For afters, there’s got to be something sweet.

Best of all from the nearest kiosk, where you

can get an inexpensive paper bag packed with

wine gums and liquorice sticks.

5 most

beautiful suburban

names

ESSEN-KUPFERDREH

When they hear this name children think

it’s something to do with a farm containing

a cow, a horse and a deer. Instead,

the name refers to an old industrial copper

hammer works.

BOTTROP-BOY

The easternmost, but not the most

masculine district of Bottrop. The name

refers to the “Boye”, the second largest

tributary of the River Emscher, which

flows through the town. Bottrop is neither

a boy nor a girl.

MÜLHEIM-HEIMATERDE

Picturesque, romantic, beautiful. The

name derives from a Krupp settlement

built in the 1920s on the lines of an English

garden city. Whether they live there or

not, anyone who sees the sign on the A40

motorway today certainly gets a feeling

they’ve arrived back home.

DUISBURG-RUHRORT

This was where the legendary television

detective Horst Schimanski began his investigations

in 1981. The very first episode

bore the title of the district. The Rhine is

close to Ruhrort. Then the inner harbour

there was dominated by the steel and

coal industries.

BULMKE-HÜLLEN

From a village to probably the most linguistically

attractive part of the Ruhrgebiet.

With the onset of industrialisation,

the “Alma” colliery and the “Schalker

Verein” steelworks also came to Gelsenkirchen.

4

INTRO

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INTRO

5



Working class: From steel to Start up –

how the Ruhr Area works

bu sy

The Ruhrgebiet is still very much

an area of work and solidarity. But

never before has work been so different.

Wolfgang Fröhling has photographed

semi-detached houses in workers’ housing

estates in the district. (→ p. 08) The people

in the suburb of Ückendorf in Gelsenkirchen

are slowly turning it into a city of

colourful walls. When the coal industry

came to an end the suburb fell into

disrepair. Now it’s being revived by artists.

(→ p. 12) Dortmund ahoy! (→ p. 20) One of

the largest transshipment centres in

Europe is also being redeveloped: a huge

area packed with start-ups, catering establishments

and the new Academy for

Theatre and Digitality. (→ p. 22)

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t(w)o

gether

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Wolfgang Fröhling

photographs colliery-workers’

settlements. In Bottrop, Essen

and Gelsenkirchen he not only

traces his own memories. But

also changing trends and tastes.

PIXELPROJEKT

RUHRGEBIET

presents regular exhibitions

in the Gelsenkirchen Science

Park | Munscheidstr. 14

→ PIXELPROJEKT-

RUHRGEBIET.DE

→ MEDIAARTE.DE

TEXT

Annika Wind

PHOTOS

Wolfgang Fröhling

It’s a wonderful feeling to have a home of

your own. Heinrich Klotz, the founding director

of the German Museum of Architecture

in Frankfurt, once wrote the following

about semi-detached houses: “Central

Europeans take their first step towards

independence by seeking security under a

gabled roof”. Was he thinking of the mining

settlements in the Ruhrgebiet? One thing’s

for sure: to this day, terraced houses stand

for a piece of regional culture that people

were once keen to own, to eventually pass

on to their children – or to get rid of as

quickly as possible. Wolfgang Fröhling grew

up in a similar house in Bottrop and later

moved to a low-energy building with a flat

roof. Was this an act of liberation? Today he

recalls: “Back then, children in every street

had their own football team, but no one had

a comfortable bathroom.”

The sense of

belonging to a community

was great

back then: but so

was the sense of

constriction.

Those who “went down the mine”

were ideally allocated a dwelling in the company-owned

housing estate. With the decline

of the coal industry, the old semi-detached

houses were privatised – and changed.

“Only recently have people started to

be increasingly proud of their houses again”,

says Fröhling, who teaches photography

at the Düsseldorf Media Design University

and is part of the Gelsenkirchen-based

“Pixelprojekt-Ruhrgebiet”, a network of

photographers. This was founded in 2002 by

Peter Liedtke to create a permanent exhibition

space on the Internet for photo series

and their creators. The digital archive has

now grown to 100,000 pictures of the towns

and cities, the people and landscapes in the

Ruhrgebiet. There are also regular exhibitions

in the Gelsenkirchen Science Park.

Fröhling’s photos tell us a lot about

the changes in the region, about changing

needs and trends that separated once identical

buildings. They show how extensions,

enlargements and conversions, a sense

of order, the obsession with decoration

and renovation, horrific front gardens and

tiny green oases are changing the housing

estates. Another series took him into the

inner precincts on workers’ housing estates.

A Schalke 04 logo still has a place of honour

above a former outdoor toilet shed. Wire

mesh deer prance in front of garage doors,

and garden gnomes loll about in front gardens.

Self-painted sailing boats make their

rounds on brick walls. A piece of backyard

culture. Snapshots of (changing) tastes.

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Culture,

Cowboys

and Co

The suburb of Ückendorf in Gelsenkirchen

was once a splendid part of town. When the

coal industry came to an end it fell into a crisis.

The city reacted and has now turned it into

a creative quarter. Studios, galleries, festivals

and alternative housing projects are giving

the district a new life.

TEXT

Thomas Frank

PHOTOS

Markus J. Feger

It’s only three minutes by tram from Gelsenkirchen

central station to the Bochumer

Straße in Ückendorf. The street is one of the

main arteries in the south-east of the city,

and here the head of the cultural department,

Andrea Lamest, took me past houses

that had been built around the end of the

19th century when the industrial revolution

in German began to flourish. Many of these

buildings are now house studios, bars,

co-working areas and even a virtual reality

space. Scattered amongst them are “Jugendstil”

buildings with scaffolding and banners

advertising new living spaces. An urban district

is in the process of being redeveloped.

Although the district is still teeming

with empty shops and dilapidated buildings,

it now feels like things are on the upturn.

Just ten years ago this would have been

unthinkable because it seemed impossible

for Ückendorf to escape from its downward

spiral. One vacancy followed another in a

succession of dilapidated buildings. To make

things worse, this once magnificent district,

which slid into a crisis with the demise of the

coal mining industry, hit the headlines nationwide

as a no-go area: a ghetto.

And then the city reacted. In 2013

Ückendorf was made a part of the “Kreativ.

Quartiere Ruhr”, with the aim of attracting

artists to settle in the district. From then

until 2018 the state funded the creative

quarter with development aid to the tune

of 170,000 €. In addition, an urban renewal

company, “SEG”, was set up to transform

deprived areas into residential, cultural and

leisure areas. To this end it now collaborates

with the city’s cultural department,

and representatives from the arts and the

creative scene.

Andrea Lamest has already run

several artists’ houses. She is a cultural

manager, but has also studied liberal arts,

which is evident in her plans for Ückendorf:

“For me it was important to make artistic

activities in Gelsenkirchen, with all their

potential, more visible to the outside world.

This mean that the city has to publicise it

more.” She introduces me to SEG’s managing

director Helga Sander, whose office

is in the heart of the quarter in a building

at Bochumer Strasse 140/142, above the

co-working space “c/o – Raum für Kooperation”

(Room for Cooperation).

WORKING CLASS

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Helga Sander and her team have

already bought up 30 rundown properties,

renovated them, or handed them over for

temporary use. The investment capital comes

from a building plot in Buer, in the north of

Gelsenkirchen, which the city has handed

over to SEG. New flats are being built on the

former hospital site, and the proceeds from

the sale of the land is being used to purchase

rundown properties in Ückendorf. “It’s really

something new for a city to intervene so

actively in the property market”, says Helga

Sander. Her vision for Ückendorf is: “An urban

quarter with shops, bars, restaurants and

student flats.” For example, she arranged for

the operator of “c/o – Raum für Kooperation”,

a communication consultant by the name

of Simon Schlenke, to set up his co-working

space in the same building – after purchase

and renovation. He recalls: “We were in contact

with one another very early on. Once it

was clear that this building was going to be

renovated, we teamed up with SEG to see

how we could make good use of the space.”

In 2019, he and two freelancers moved in to

make the office with its hall, stage space and

kitchen usable for temporary workplaces,

meetings and workshops. Schlenke originally

comes from Ückendorf and still lives here.

Like his colleagues, it was important to him

to establish a co-working location in the

neighbourhood. In 2015, they also founded

the association “Insane Urban Cowboys &

Girls” (IUC), a network of creative entrepreneurs

and cultural workers.

Roman Pilgrim, an artist and one of the

founders, takes me from “c/o” to his studio at

Bochumer Strasse 162. “Cowboys don’t need

much, just a few rooms, they can deal with

any situation”, he says and adds: “As creative

people we wanted to build a network to

promote artistic activities in the district.” In

autumn 2019, he and a fellow artist Alexander

Stratmann renovated and expanded the

studio space in the red-brick house with its

white, stucco entrance, which also belongs

Above: Artist Roman Pilgrim.

Right: c/o – Coworking space

Below: Cultural manager Andrea Lamest

TOM’S CORNER

This Vintage Store sells furniture

from the 1920s to 1970s.

Bochumer Straße 99

→ TOMS-CORNER.DE

1NULL7 – DAS ZUHAUSE

The Upcycling Shop offers fashion,

designs, and art objects,

for example made from old

skateboards. Operator Maik

Rokitta also uses it as a workshop,

gala and event room for

concerts, readings and parties.

Bochumer Straße 107

→ 1NULL7.DE

EXPERIENCE MINING

www.bergbaumuseum.de

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DEUTSCHES

BERGBAU-MUSEUM

BOCHUM



to SEG. Now Roman Pilgrim also uses his

studio as a gallery and event space, where

abstract acrylic paintings hang between a

couch and painting utensils.

Just a few days previously the Cologne

indie pop band “Fortuna Ehrenfeld”

had given a free concert in the backyard.

Pilgrim had invited them, along with the

city’s cultural department and some “culture

cowboys”, who enjoy reacting sardonically

to Ückendorf’s reputation as a gangland and

ghetto. “We held a hip-hop party with the

slogan: ‘No-Go-Area – you’re not wanted

here!’ And the police promptly showed up

because they suspected some criminal or

other was on the run here.”

Back then the party started in the

“Exodos” at Bochumer Straße 134. In its time

it has been a cinema, a municipal theatre,

a boxing arena and a disco, but it’s now a

space that the “cowboys” often use for projects

like “Places”, Germany’s first and largest

virtual reality (VR) festival, which Roman

Pilgrim also co-initiated in 2018. The aim was

to open up this immersive medium to everyone.

Accordingly the VR festival – it was all

for free – took place at around 20 locations

along Bochumer Straße, including the SEG

office, the “c/o” space, studios, open spaces

and empty houses from the turn of the 20th

century. With the help of VR glasses and

controllers, visitors were able to enter the last

working colliery in the region, “Prosper Haniel”

in Bottrop. VR creators and users met up

in the neighbourhood for talks, discussions

and workshops. In 2019 “Tourismus NRW”

awarded the “Places” team the urbanana

Prize for out-of-the-ordinary concepts in

city tourism. The festival is now an important

brand for the city of Gelsenkirchen. In the

same year, “Creative.NRW, the competence

centre for culture and creative industries”,

honoured the “Cowboys and Girls” with its

“Creative.Spaces Award”. The award-winners

intend to re-invest the prize money of 5000 €

in new projects.

8.–29.5.21

stuecke.de

Veranstalter

Gefördert von

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Foto: Christian Huhn

I was a

church*

Artist Christoph Lammert on his piano.

It’s a five-minute walk along Heidelberger

Straße from Pilgrim’s workshop to

a former parish hall which once belonged

to the Church of the Holy Cross. The large

red-brick hall is six metres high and covers

400 square metres. Here the artist Christoph

Lammert and his wife Hiltrud are bringing

to life an unusual living and working project

called “HeidelbÜrger”, along with a few “cronies"

– two families living in their own flats,

but who also share some communal spaces.

Christoph Lammert and his wife moved from

Bochum to Ückendorf at the end of 2015.

He is currently setting up his studio on the

ground floor, while his abstract landscape

paintings and a red piano are on stage next

door. Soon he wants to host salons and

concerts and initiate grass-roots cooperative

living spaces, focussing on local cooperation.

He smiles a lot, and seems satisfied, even

proud. The subversive painter has already

worked on several cultural projects in the

district. One of these – in collaboration with

the city’s cultural department – was the

“Szeniale”, a fringe festival featuring plays,

readings, exhibitions and concerts, in studios,

galleries and backyards.

About two kilometres away from Heidelberger

Straße, is a peaceful alternative

world: the “Halfmannshof” artists’ settlement

which has existed since 1931. It’s a square

enclosure of former farmhouses set in the

midst of meadows and fields. The buildings

are white, oblong, angular, partly half-timbered,

and partly with slate facades. In the

1960s and 1970s the settlement became

an avant-garde hotspot when Günther

Uecker and Otto Piene from the ZERO

group stopped by. Today it’s inhabited

by a bookbinding couple, a costume and

stage designer, a woman pianist and a film

producer. The media artist Gabi Rottes is

project manager at Halfmannshof. Along

with her partner, René Sikkes (who’s also an

artist), she has re-shaped the community

for co-living and co-working, containing

studios cum living spaces, shared working

areas and team rooms. It’s also used for

workshops and summer academies. Tongue

in cheek, Rottes calls herself the “hostel

mum”. She organises exhibitions, takes care

of the rentals and sees to the press work.

Will Ückendorf soon be shining once again?

It certainly looks like it.

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*The former St. Mary’s Church now serves as a foyer for two concert halls at the

“Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr” in Bochum.

Baukultur Nordrhein-Westfalen has committed itself to the conversion of empty sacred

buildings in NRW with a project entitled “Zukunft – Kirchen – Räume”. The result is urban

spaces for culture, leisure, art and education. Apart from dealing with existing buildings,

Baukultur Nordrhein-Westfalen is concerned with the future of housing, the design of our

cities and regions and the connection between art and architecture. It focuses on the search

for new qualities to make our living environment more attractive. baukultur.nrw



Dortmund,

ahoy!

The planned campus on the north of Speicherstraße

One of the largest transhipment

centres in Europe is being redeveloped:

A huge area with start-ups, catering establishments

and the new Academy for

Theatre and Digitality is being created on

Dortmund’s Speicherstraße.

COBE ARCHITEKTEN/KOPENHAGEN

TEXT

Volker K. Belghaus

Dortmund has been connected to the

North Sea for many years. Kaiser Wilhelm II

opened the Dortmund-Ems Canal on 11th

August 1899. From then on, the Westphalian

mining metropolis was connected to the

sea. As early as 1946 operations continued

undeterred by the destruction caused by the

Second World War, because the construction

industry needed supplies for rebuilding

the country. Today the port contains 161

companies and is one of the largest transhipment

centres in Europe. And now the city

and its economic development agency want

to redevelop an area of 13.5 hectares with

start-ups, co-working spaces, catering and

the Academy for Theatre and Digitality. Dortmund’s

biggest planning project has a goal:

5000 new jobs.

The area along the north and south

of Speicherstraße had not been properly

used for ages, and grass grew wildly over

romantic old industrial paving. Young people

from the nearby north of the city like to

meet here at the edge of the harbour and

nothing will change in this respect. The same

applies to the club ship “Herr Walter”, and

the “Umschlagplatz” container café. Apart

from that the area is to be redeveloped. At

the entrance to the area there are plans for

a prominent office building. In the storage

buildings next to it, the “Lensing Media Port”

is being built behind historical facades. Here

the newspaper company is aiming to bundle

its digital services. Next door will be an

innovation campus for digital start-ups. In the

second row of buildings, some distance

from the water, construction work on the

Academy for Theatre and Digitality had

already begun in 2020, under the direction

of Kay Voges, the former director of Theater

Dortmund. His productions had caused a

sensation because they were full of digital

streaming and virtual reality. Now the

academy is intending to function as an

interface for further education and training

for all types of theatrical activities. The

Dortmund architectural office “.dlx” has

designed a cubic building with a natural

stone façade, and this is scheduled for

completion in autumn 2022. The proximity

between the academy and the start-up

campus is deliberate. Where possible, networks

between the performing arts and the

start-ups are to be created here. The digital

technologies for the Theatre Academy

could then be developed right next door.

A little further north, the harbour

basin makes a bend to the left. This part

of Speicherstraße is also being converted.

The Danish architectural firm “COBE” is

responsible for the airy overall design. Nor

are there any plans for brutal demolition

here. The striking “Raiffeisen” silo tower will

be retained and turned into a huge screen

designed by artists. The central nave of

the industrial hall below will remain and

be opened up to leave a huge roof, below

which containers with greenery can be

placed in a flexible fashion. A space for

events is being planned along a promenade

that links the northern and southern areas.

The flat roof of a multi-storey car park is

to become a sports and leisure area, and a

vocational college will bring more life to the

neighbourhood. To ensure that the old harmonises

with the new, a colour catalogue

has been created, and the cobblestones of

Speicherstraße have been stored away. A

harbour is reinventing itself but construction

work has only just begun.

→ D-PORT21.COM

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“We want

to extend the

traditional

stage.”

Rethinking the theatre stage in a new and

digital manner. Marcus Lobbes is artistic director

of the “Academy for Theatre and Digitality”

in Dortmund. Here he talks about virtual reality

and avatars in the auditorium.

INTERVIEWER

Volker K. Belghaus

SUSANNE DIESNER

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When and why did Dortmund start to realise that

the city needed an “Academy for Theatre and

Digitality”?

Kay Voges, who was the artistic director of

“Theater Dortmund” from 2010 to 2020, noticed

that very few theatres in the German-speaking

world used digital technologies, because this

requires not only more time, but also more money

and space. Kay Voges then consulted colleagues

from the audiovisual and IT sectors and they

jointly developed the vision of an academy before

applying to politicians for funding to integrate it

into an artistic enterprise like the theatre. In the

summer of 2019, the Academy was launched by

the city as the sixth department in the theatre.

What’s your task in the Academy?

Digitisation strategies exist today in all sectors of

society. My core concern and main field of work

is to examine how these can also be applied to

the performing arts.

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Has there been a lack of understanding of

digital technologies on the stage to date?

Yes, that has a lot to do with traditional

structures. In the theatre, for example,

video has been used for ages, but most of

the costs are set apart for directing, staging

and costumes. Apart from that there’s

nothing. Video workers always make things

difficult. At the same time, however, these

people are highly qualified professionals

and would earn more in the open market

working on programming for as long as they

liked. We need more awareness here. Some

theatres already appreciate their value.

Elsewhere the cliché still prevails that you

are just throwing some content or other

onto any old screen.

What does a digital theatre evening look like?

As an academy we do not conduct

research ourselves, but invite artists and

technicians to combine ideas from the

performing arts with the potentials of

technology. This begins with the audience,

which is not even aware of many digitalisation

processes, like stage technology,

which has long been networked. What we

are trying to do here ranges from audio

events (which can be spatially positioned

in a completely different way), to editing

video productions with live cameras, to

coding for virtual presentations. We work

with artificial intelligence and chat bots.

Holography-like projections are a major

issue, as are virtual and augmented reality

technologies. The exciting question, especially

in the age of Covid 19, is how to use

these technologies to create a shared environment

for the audience with a display

or VR glasses.

Wouldn’t a simple streaming be sufficient?

Thanks to Covid 19, we have been able

to follow how theatre on the net has

changed. The first streaming attempts

developed into formats that were intended

to achieve a greater sense of being in

a theatre. For example, there might be a

virtual foyer where people can meet, or

a chat room where they can talk about

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the show. Research is being conducted

into how such interactive formats could

work. We have created a project here in

which people take part in a performance

with their own avatar. This is an important

issue. What kind of additional space is

being established in relation to analogue

theatre? The academy never wanted

to abolish analogue theatre, but rather

expand it, just as technology has always

expanded our ideas. It started when people

began to construct buildings around

open-air theatres, and later added artificial

lighting to them. Today we take this

for granted. If we can now develop formats

for digital space, all the better. But

they will always be just a part of theatre,

nothing more. Theatres will not disappear,

not even because of Covid 19.

Who comes to you in the Academy and

what sort of work do people do there?

We see ourselves as a curatorial institution.

Hence we advertise our scholarships

internationally and allow people who are

close to the topic to present projects that

they are currently researching. A nationwide

jury, of which we are also a member,

decides which project is eligible. There

are only two requirements for scholarship

holders. They must spend two thirds of

their time in Dortmund and document

their work.

Are there no theatrical shows staged in the

Academy?

We are not in the business of performance.

Instead, there are the regular formats

“OpenHouse” and “OpenLabs”, which are

open to the public. These are not classic

theatre shows. You have to think of them

more as a marketplace where you can

wander around between the offerings. You

can talk to the scholarship holders, experiment

with technological prototypes and

see how things might work when they are

used in certain contexts.

→ THEATER.DIGITAL

→ MARCUSLOBBES.DE

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Wow! That's beautiful!

Design in the

Ruhr Area

pr

etty

One of the typical features of the

Ruhr Area is the surprise of coming

across beautiful objects where you otherwise

might not expect them. We shall

be presenting some designers with unconventional

ideas. Get in touch: Andrea

Weber and Damoun Tamir do not restrict

themselves to paper and papier-mâché

in “WRK”, their Dortmund design studio.

They also enjoy using modelling clay and

peanut flips (→ p. 26). Crazy signs: In Bochum,

Larissa Prinz and Marie Träger stage outsize

exhibitions in concert locations, and

sometimes in whole streets. (→ p. 30) Cream

pastries and a grinning cat: In Essen, Dirk

Uhlenbrock's company “Erste Liga” creates

objects with a slightly nostalgic

character. (→ p. 32) …and away we go! Poly’s

cultural tips for 2021. (→ p. 34)

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Get

in touch

Andrea Weber and Damoun Tamir do

not confine themselves to using paper and

papier-mâché in their Dortmund design studio

“WRK”, but also like using modelling clay and

peanut flips. They told me about meaty faces,

and bath slippers made of shrivelled slices

of eggplant.

TEXT

Volker K. Belghaus

PHOTOS

WRK Design

You have to have a bit of luck. And people who push

you in the right direction. Just like Andrea Weber, Damoun

Tamir and Eva Klein, who studied communication design

at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts

and repeatedly ended up with one and the same professor:

Johannes Graf, who taught graphic design, concept

and design. Instead of working with layout programmes

like their colleagues, the three of them preferred to

fiddle around with designs made of cardboard and papiermâché.

Finally, with the support of their professor, they

founded their own graphic design office. It would be

a pity, Graf had told them, if at some point they were

to disappear behind the computers in an advertising

agency.

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This is how the WRK Studio in Dortmund

came into being in 2014. For the past four years

Andrea Weber and Damoun Tamir have been

jointly developing projects for magazines or

institutions there: things like detailed editorial

designs, the appearance of a new Google Doodle,

or elaborate Wimmel posters for the FIFA

Football Museum in Zurich. Most of their work

is created in analogue form. When a new order

comes in, materials are selected and the initial

sketches are drawn on paper in a pleasantly

old-fashioned way.

also likes using peanut flips to model a brain, or

shaping cauliflower into cigarette smoke, and pine

needles into long eyelashes.

For German Railways’ magazine they

created a series with popcorn. Their aim was to

create typical film motifs. But just how to do this

proved difficult. In the end the material shrank

in a rather unattractive manner. In projects like

this things have to be done quickly, but if you’re

thinking up bath slippers made from slices of

aubergine you also have to be able to deal with

the fact that vegetables change colour. That’s

“The fact that you can quickly delete,

copy or move things on the computer

bores me. I prefer to have a piece of

paper in front of me.”

Damoun Tamir

The designers then set up a mood board

to give the client a first impression. Afterwards,

they quickly get to work. Their stock of materials

is chock-full of different papers, glue, colours and

plasticine. Of course, they don’t build everything

on a one-to-one scale. For the bigger you build,

the less you can see of the structure and surface

character of the paper later on. Once the object

is completed, it is photographed, and later sent to

the computer for digital reworking; for example to

bring the colours into line.

In this way, over the past few years,they

have created impressive works in paper and

papier-mâché. In their student days, for example,

they made a poster for a Charles Bukowski

reading featuring spilled canned beer, flies and

a full ashtray. Everything was made of paper,

even the cigarette ends. Then there was a rosy

papier-mâché chicken for the magazine “Business-Punk”,

and a bottle of “Union” beer for the

Dortmund “Heimatdesign” magazine. That said,

Damoun Tamir started off with meat, which she

absolutely wanted to work with at some point

during her studies - and almost failed. She’s a

vegetarian. So not only the processing, but also

the procurement of chicken hearts and a sheep’s

head proved to be something of a problem. Nowadays

she prefers to work with alternatives. WRK

how you gain experience. And in the best case,

how you can pass on the knowledge gained.

Since 2017, Damoun Tamir has been teaching in

the design department at Dortmund University

of Applied Sciences and Arts. In her seminars

she demonstrates how this can be done with

tactile-illustrative designs...and how to best push

talented people in the right direction.

→ WRK-DESIGN.DE

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Crazy signs

In Bochum Larissa

Prinz and Marie Träger

stage exhibitions,

concert locations and

sometimes whole

streets.

TEXT

Volker K. Belghaus

series of events, they created a “cultural landscape”

consisting of pallets with carpets, colourful parasols,

fairy lights and upholstery made of industrial foam.

The stage was an outsized ocean container.

Next came the “Christuskirche” in Bochum.

Working with the designer Franziska Clauberg, they

developed a temporary event-cube for a series of

events entitled “Urban Urtyp”. The striking church

building was to become a concert venue. The

result was a room-within-a-room concept using

240 square metres of transparent PVC slats and

coloured light. The 600 square metre area in Dortmund’s

industrial museum, the “Zollern Colliery”,

was somewhat larger. This is where they created

their own item of exhibition architecture for the

“Reviergestalten” project.

STEFAN TUSCHY

Not everyone gets such an idea as a signpost

made of carpets, decorated with bright red

triangles. In 2012, during the “Mengenleere”

music and culture festival, the “Neon Persians”

designed by Larissa Prinz and Marie Träger

were located in the city centre of Bochum as a

homage to the down-to-earth domestic carpet.

The unusual guidance system was one of their

first projects. The communication designers,

both of whom were born in 1985, met whilst

studying object and room design at the University

of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund.

Their friendship and common ideas about what

constitutes good design led them to set up their

design studio, “Prinzträger,” in Bochum, specialising

in spatial staging and scenography.

The “Neon-Persians” were unusual, rough

and snotty indie-designs. Nothing off the rack.

The same went for their guidance system for the

“Rundlauf” culture festival through “Speckschweiz”

in the Bochum suburb of Hamme. Here, seemingly

abstract pink and black installations made of foam

panels pointed the way through the district. In Witten’s

“Wiesenviertel” they gave a fresh meaning to

Christmas lighting. Instead of kitschy angels, the two

designers from “Prinzträger” hung warmly-lit lampshades

from bygone living rooms on the trees in

the streets. In 2014 they turned the forecourt of the

Dortmunder U into a temporary living room to be

used on mild evenings. For the “Summer at the U”

Now the designers have two permanent employees.

Their projects have become even more

elaborate, but still carry the urban charm of their

earlier works. The simple and beautiful sandwich

board outside the organic baker “Back Bord” is

just as much their responsibility as their design

for the start-up catering service “Pottsalat” in

Dortmund and Essen. Kick-off workshops with

customers mark the start of every collaborative

venture. No matter what this may be, the important

thing is to come up with some ideas together.

This has worked excellently so far, whether it be

for small, urban interventions or large contracts

like the interior design of “Signals Open Studios”,

an innovation hub belonging to the Berlin-based

“Signal-Iduna” insurance company. Although the

“Neon Persians” have been around for a while,

the pair have not forgotten the art of combining a

relaxed approach with an eye for detail.

→ PRINZTRAEGER.DE

NIKITA TERYOSHIN

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LETTERJAZZ

Cream pastries

and a grinning cat

In Essen, Dirk Uhlenbrock's

company

“Erste Liga”, creates

things with a slightly

nostalgic character.

TEXT

Volker K. Belghaus

When anyone asks Dirk Uhlenbrock whether he’s

annoyed to be called a “retro designer”, he replies

with a laugh: “Not at all, I’m an old-timer myself!”

Not because he pines for the good old days, but

because he is interested in things that are worth

preserving, be it a tape dispenser or a vintage

stamp. His design studio, “Erste Liga”, in the Essen

suburb of Werden, is filled with fine specimens:

posters, advertising signs, toys and model cars.

The retro influence is unmistakable in

Uhlenbrock’s graphic works and illustrations:

curved typefaces in the style of the 50s and 60s,

a matching, matt colour palette, and seemingly

worn surfaces. Uhlenbrock was born in Essen

in 1964 and became interested in typography at

an early age. He was particularly fascinated by

the “Letraset” typeface catalogues belonging to

his great-uncle. While studying communication

design in Wuppertal, he focused on typography

and illustrations. At that time – the early 90s – the

digitalisation of the industry began. He designed

and programmed his own first fonts on a computer

using software like “Fontographer”.

In 2009 he co-founded the “Erste Liga”

design office with the bookseller Thomas Schmitz,

who supplies the local residents of Werden with

reading matter. Uhlenbrock had previously worked

on the visual communication in the bookshop,

so this was a logical step. Together, they created

things like the customer magazine “schmitzkatze”

using cleverly differing covers for each edition.

Sometimes a cat is depicted in the style of Flemish

Old Masters, at other times it’s nothing more than

GRAPHIC WORKS

→ DIRKUHLENBROCK.COM

→ ERSTELIGA.WORK

→ KILIFUE.DE

→ LETTERJAZZ.COM

SCHMITZ. DIE BUCHHANDLUNG

Grafenstr. 4 | 45239 Essen

→ SCHMITZBUCH.DE

a red ball of wool. Once a year they publish a children’s

literature guide, “Kilifü”, for customers, kindergartens,

schools and other interested persons.

The guide provides information on 300 new books

for children and teenagers. Thanks to years of

collaborative work, Uhlenbrock has gradually given

this tranquil district on the River Ruhr a special

visual language. His stylishly designed recipe book

“Sol-Ei & Sahneschnitte” (Pickled Eggs & Cream

Pastries) need not fear the competition from

books in design stores. Its illustrations of buildings

in Werden even make half-timbered houses look

cool.

ERSTE LIGA

Uhlenbrock is equally happy working with

the Essen-based print shop “Letterjazz”, which

prints, embosses and folds material on vintage

machines dating back to the 1950s. Their joint

projects, like specially embossed magazine

covers and lovingly designed, haptically beautiful

New Year’s cards, give them the creative and

technical freedom they need. And when Dirk

Uhlenbrock has some spare time in between, he

rummages through the beautiful items in his drawers,

finds an old stamp with adjustable rubber letters

and decides to digitalise it into a new font to

save it for posterity. 2021 will see the publication

of a new recipe book – for soups. The successor

to the pickled eggs. Tasty. And beautiful.

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…and

away we

go!

Subterranean light installations,

fragile treasures in a gasometer

and electric sounds in the park –

Poly’s cultural tips for 2021.

FRANK VINKEN, ZENTRUM FÜR INTERNATIONALE LICHTKUNST UNNA

Art

THE FOLKWANG MUSEUM:

MARTIN KIPPENBERGER

Essen is home to one of the most important

art museums in Germany: the Folkwang Museum

has recently been enlarged, not only by

the top British architect David Chipperfield.

Its growing collection of 65,000 photographs

alone – including works by Otto Steinert,

August Sander and others – is legendary. In

spring 2021 there will be a great show in the

literal sense of the word: a huge installation

by Martin Kippenberger, featuring a green

field with rows of tables, chairs and shelves

reminiscent of an open-plan office. At the

same time, the Villa Hügel will be exhibiting

Kippenberger’s artist books and posters.

ESSEN | Museumsplatz 1 | 7th February to 2nd May

→ MUSEUM-FOLKWANG.DE

A NEW EXTENSION TO THE

KÜPPERSMÜHLE MUSEUM

In Duisburg’s bustling inner harbour you can

find one of the most important collections of

post-war German art at the Küppersmühle

Museum. In the 1990s, the Swiss architects

Herzog & de Meuron converted it from a 19th

century warehouse building – with six-metre

high walls, grey basalt flooring, narrow window

slits and an interior staircase made of terracotta-coloured

concrete. Its coiling walkways are

at times reminiscent of a snail shell, at other

times of an abstract sculpture. The collection

of more than 2000 works, including those by

Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, is now

so extensive that more space is needed to

accommodate it. A tripartite extension is being

prepared to provide more space from March

2021. There will then be an exhibition terrace

attached to the old mill silos, and the granary

will be opened to visitors for the first time.

DUISBURG | Philosophenweg 55 | From March

→ MUSEUM-KUEPPERSMUEHLE.DE

THE CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL

LIGHT ART WILL BE 20

In the east of the Ruhrgebiet there is a

place where you can find light at the end

of the tunnel. The town of Unna is home to

the Centre for International Light Art, which

celebrates its 20th anniversary in May

2021. Light installations by Olafur Eliasson,

Rebecca Horn and James Turrell shine out

in the tunnel-like rooms and passageways

of the former Linden brewery.

UNNA | Lindenplatz 1 | From May

→ LICHTKUNST-UNNA.DE

A “U” FOR DORTMUND

People associate Dortmund with football,

mining, steel... and a single letter, “U”, lit up on

the roof of the old Union Brewery building near

the central station. It signals the way to one of

the region’s most exciting cultural institutions.

A centre for art and creative activities can

now be found in a place where people once

brewed beer. Here the Ostwall Museum offers

contemporary art, and the Hartware Medien-

KunstVerein presents videos and experimental

works. Around the façade and crowning the

roof, the film director Adolf Winkelmann has set

up an installation entitled “Flying Pictures” –

now also complete with a Corona hygiene

concept. Every second seat between his projected

city pigeons will remain unoccupied.

DORTMUND | Leonie-Reygers-Terrasse

→ DORTMUNDER-U.DE

THE PHOTO/MEDIA ART AND

THE C.A.R. TRADE FAIRS

The Photo/Media Art Trade Fair is specifically

devoted to media art. The event in spring

features international galleries, art schools

and artists with presentations of photos, installations,

videos, animations and light art. In

autumn the art scene meets up at the C.A.R.

(Contemporary Art Ruhr) trade fair. Here

galleries and artists will be presenting their

works in five halls. Not simply exhibitions but

also workshops and performances.

ESSEN | Zollverein | 12th to 14th March, and

29th to 31st October

→ CONTEMPORARYARTRUHR.DE

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Photography

Film

Tip

Theatre

F² FESTIVAL

Where do I come from? Who do I belong to?

Where do I want to go? The f² photo festival

revolves around such fundamental questions.

Contemporary photos from all over the world

on the theme of identity – often political,

mostly critical – will be on show. If you are

planning to visit the festival you can kill two

birds with one stone. Because the exhibitions

will be on show in various corners of the city,

you can take the City Trip free of charge.

DORTMUND | 17th to 27th June

→ F2FOTOFESTIVAL.DE

THE RUHRGEBIET IN PICTURES

Two great exhibitions will be marking the

100th anniversary of the Ruhr Regional Association,

which has played a decisive role in

shaping and planning the region. “100 Years

in the Ruhrgebiet” in the Ruhr Museum will be

using more than 1000 exhibits to depict the

historical development of the area. “Looking

to the Future” in the Peter Behrens Building

in Oberhausen will present a collection of

photos from the Association’s huge picture

archive covering the subjects of mobility,

living, working, leisure and culture.

ESSEN | Ruhr Museum | Zollverein | until 9 May 2021

→ RUHRMUSEUM.DE

OBERHAUSEN | LVR Industrial Museum

Peter-Behrens-Bau | until 30 May 2021

→ INDUSTRIEMUSEUM.LVR.DE

THE INTERNATIONAL

WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL

This is where women directors, camerawomen

and other film artists have the chance to

show their current work.

DORTMUND | 20th to 25th April

→ FRAUENFILMFESTIVAL.EU

THE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

Tireless film fans will find it well worth

their while to take a trip to the west of the

Ruhrgebiet for the International Short Film

Festival in Oberhausen, where everything

revolves around compact formats. Here,

short feature films, music videos, documentaries,

cartoons, animations and political

essays flicker across the screens of the

“Lichtburg Filmpalast” and the cinema

in the Roller Warehouse. The children’s

and young people’s film competition will

be presenting a programme suitable for

three-year olds and upwards. In addition,

international and German online competitions,

and a contest for international music

videos will be celebrating their premieres in

Oberhausen for the first time on the net.

OBERHAUSEN | 1st to 10th March

→ KURZFILMTAGE.DE

THE BLICKE FILM FESTIVAL

In 2021 the festival will be featuring films all

about the Ruhrgebiet.

BOCHUM | November

→ BLICKE.ORG

THE FILM WEEK

The 45th edition of the festival will be

devoted to first-class documentaries from

Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

DUISBURG | 8th to 14th November

→ DUISBURGER-FILMWOCHE.DE

THE RUHRTRIENNALE

PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL

It’s not only one of the largest, but also one

of the most unconventional arts festivals

in the Ruhrgebiet. The Ruhrtriennale takes

place every year in and around the region’s

monumental industrial monuments: places

like the “Jahrhunderthalle” in Bochum, the

engine room in the Carl Colliery in Essen,

and on the Haniel spoil tip in Bottrop. The

multidisciplinary programme is easily as varied

as its challenging backdrops. It features many

world premieres and new productions from

the worlds of music theatre, drama, dance

and performance, and the visual arts. At times

provocative and often surprising! In order

to avoid retreading old ground, the festival is

given a new director every three years.

Between 2021 and 2023 this will be the Swiss

director Barbara Frey.

ESSEN, BOTTROP, OBERHAUSEN

August to September

→ RUHRTRIENNALE.DE

SCENE FROM THE IMPULSE FESTIVAL. PHOTO: NICOLE WYTYCZAK

BAROQUE

In her world premiere production, Belgian

director Lies Pauwels addresses some existential

questions.

SCHAUSPIELHAUS BOCHUM | Königsalle 15

February

→ SCHAUSPIELHAUSBOCHUM.DE

NEBRASKA

The tale of two teenagers in the form of a

tense road-movie thriller.

THEATER OBERHAUSEN | Will-Quadflieg-Platz 1

From 15th May

→ THEATER-OBERHAUSEN.DE

STÜCKE (LIT: PLAYS)

This traditional theatre festival will be celebrating

its 45th birthday with a plethora of

premieres.

THEATER AN DER RUHR MÜLHEIM | 8th to 29th May

→ STUECKE.DE

SOUNDTRAM 21

This sound project will be travelling all over

Dortmund – trams and buses included! –

with musicians, performers and audiences.

Feel free to participate!

DORTMUND | Theaterkarree 1-3 | June

→ THEATERDO.DE

THE IMPULSE THEATRE FESTIVAL

At the fringe theatre get-together the Berlin-based

artists’ group “Club Real” plans to

develop a public project space in Mülheim,

amongst others.

MÜLHEIM | June

→ IMPULSEFESTIVAL.DE

PRIZE-WINNING PUPPETRY

The Fritz Wortelmann Prize is the oldest

artistic award given by the city of Bochum –

and a special one at that! All the competition

entries are performed live in front of an

audience. Everything from marionettes

to glove puppets.

BOCHUM | 16th to 19th September

→ FIDENA.DE

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Industrial

Heritage

THE GASOMETER

This is one of the most spectacular exhibition

spaces in the Ruhrgebiet – not only because

of its enormous size, which even inspired the

“packaging” artist Christo to create some

work there. After a phase of reconstruction,

the Gasometer will be reopened in spring

2021 with an exhibition entitled “The Fragile

Paradise”, dealing with both the beauty and

the destruction of the natural world. To this

end, recent satellite images will be projected

onto a monumental sculpture of the earth.

OBERHAUSEN | Arenastraße 11 | Early 2021

→ GASOMETER.DE

EXTRASCHICHT (LIT: EXTRA SHIFT)

It’s possible to travel the whole area in a

single night – thanks to the “ExtraSchicht”.

The 20th anniversary celebratory programme

will be taking place from 6 pm. to 2 am.

and offering tours to installations, theatrical

improvisations, illuminations and digital art.

Hologram shows, augmented reality experiences

and a virtual bicycle tour through the

night are also being planned. All including a

new location: the training colliery in Recklinghausen.

RECKLINGHAUSEN | 26 June 2021

→ EXTRASCHICHT.DE

THE GERMAN MINING MUSEUM

In 1929 operations ended at the Germania

colliery in the Dortmund suburb of Marten. In

1973 its winding tower was moved to Bochum.

A new building designed by the Zollverein architect

Fritz Schupp had been erected here

in 1935, and the Dortmund tower was added

much later. The illusion of a mine has been

perfect ever since. Even the depth is a fake:

instead of plunging thousands of metres into

the earth, visitors descend about 20 metres

in a lift. To arrive in the cellar.

→ BERGBAUMUSEUM.DE

Music

THE MOERS FESTIVAL

The Moers Festival will be turning 50 and

celebrating half a century of musical improvisation

and experiments in the festival hall and

other venues throughout the town.

MOERS | 21st to 24th May

→ MOERS-FESTIVAL.DE

KLAVIERFESTIVAL RUHR

Top-class international pianists will be

performing in numerous towns and cities in

the Ruhrgebiet.

MOERS TO GELSENKIRCHEN | Summer

→ KLAVIERFESTIVAL.DE

THE TRAUMZEIT (DREAMTIME) FESTIVAL

Three days, four stages and 40 bands! Pop,

folk and indie music against the backdrop of

a dreamlike industrial setting.

DUISBURG | North Landscape Park | 18th to 20th June

→ TRAUMZEIT-FESTIVAL.DE

PALUMA OPEN AIR

A major festival for Deephouse and Techno.

BOCHUM | Westpark Bochum | 29th May

→ PALUMA-FESTIVAL.DE

PARKSOUNDS

A series of electronic music concerts for

visitors to enjoy whilst lounging in the park.

Entrance free

ESSEN | Stadtgarten | 28th June to 2nd July

→ THEATER-ESSEN.DE

BOCHUM TOTAL

A rock and pop festival with a long tradition.

Entrance free

BOCHUM | The Bermuda Triangle | 1st to 4th July

→ BOCHUMTOTAL.DE

JUICY BEATS

Every year as many as 50,000 music fans

flock to the former site of the National

Garden Show to hear hip-hop, electro,

alternative and worldbeat music.

DORTMUND | Westfalen Park | 23rd and 24th July

→ JUICYBEATS.NET

Dance

TANZ NRW

Every two years the festival brings together

companies, choreographers and ensembles

from all over the country.

ESSEN | PACT Zollverein and MÜLHEIM | Ringlok-

schuppen Ruhr | 28th April to 9th May

→ TANZ-NRW-AKTUELL.DE

MUSIKTHEATER IM REVIER

The Dance Company dares to take a look

into the future in “Shoot me into the Green

Screen 2”.

GELSENKIRCHEN | Kennedyplatz

From 21st March to June

→ MUSIKTHEATER-IM-REVIER.DE

MIR DANCE COMPANY: SHOOT ME INTO THE GREEN SCREEN, VALERIA REBECK

History

HALLELUJA!

The Icon Museum Recklinghausen in the

middle of the Ruhrgebiet explores the

history of religion and the veneration of

saints. The museum opened in 1956 and its

collection of around 3500 icon paintings,

which has made it famous throughout

the world, is housed in what was once a

school. In addition to portraits of saints,

the museum also displays fine gold embroidery,

precious miniatures, carved wooden

crosses and liturgical objects from Russia,

Greece and Ethiopia. For a journey back in

time to ancient Egypt, you have to go upstairs

to the second floor. Here you will find

portraits of mummies, grave reliefs, textiles

and architectural fragments. A time travel

into the first millennium AD!

RECKLINGHAUSEN | Kirchplatz 2a

→ IKONEN-MUSEUM.COM

DINOSAURS IN ESSEN

You can find out what the Ruhr looked like

300,000,000 years ago and the changes

the region has undergone to this day in

the Ruhr Museum on the Zollverein UN-

ESCO World Heritage Site in Essen. The

exhibition “Nature, Culture and History of

the Ruhr Area” features more than 6000

exhibits, from skeletons of dinosaurs to

working clothes. And all this in the imposing

architecture of the former coal washing

plant. Even the entrance is a visual treat.

A long bright outdoor orange escalator

designed by the top international architect

Rem Koolhaas, takes visitors up into the

building.

ESSEN | Gelsenkirchener Str. 181

→ RUHRMUSEUM.DE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOCHUM!

The city will be celebrating its 700th

anniversary from 8th to 13th June, with a

week-long festival of picnics, festivities and

duels between the various districts. "Time

Tunnel" tours through the city’s history are

also on offer.

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Urban Arts

in the Ruhr Area

arty

All the Ruhr's a stage! And we shall

be showing you where. The Ruhr Urban

Arts programme uses exhibitions, discussion

groups, residencies and public space

projects to anchor contemporary art in

the area. (→ p. 42) The man with the hat: who

else but Joseph Beuys! 2021 marks the

100th birthday of the artist, shaman and

activist. (→ p. 46) What is urbanana? An attitude

to travel. (→ p. 50) The “Ringlokschuppen”

in Mülheim is one of the most innovative

fringe theatre centres. This is the home of

the “Kainkollektiv” and “Anna Kpok”. (→ p. 54)

The people’s theatre: that's the “Ruhrfestspielhaus”

in Recklinghausen. We shall be

telling you all about its history. (→ p. 60) The

Ruhrgebiet's industrial heritage can be

explored in many different ways. (→ p. 62) The

Ruhrgebiet in shorts! The Author Ariel

Magnus is discovering the Ruhrgebiet

literally. (→ p. 64) In addition we shall be giving

you a few book tips. (→ p. 66)

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Back to

nature

HEINRICH HOLTGREVE, URBAN ARTS RUHR 2020

TEXT

Stefanie Stadel

POLY MAG 2021

The Ruhr Urban Arts programme

uses exhibitions, discussion

groups, residencies and public

space projects to anchor contemporary

art in the district. A central

feature in its varied programme

is an exhibition entitled “Ruhr Ding”,

which has a different theme every

year. Currently it’s all about the

climate: some 20 international artists

between Haltern and Herne

have been asked to express their

views on the topic by using guided

audio walks on sandy beaches

and installing man-made landscapes

in disused collieries.

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43



Deborah Ligorio intends to plant three trees in the

sandy landscape at the Silver Lake in Haltern: a

place where the sun is at its most intense in summer

and where shade is a gift. Her idea is for them

to provide a reliable protection against the heat

and dangerous UV rays. At the same time they

will also mark the start of a walk along the shore.

For this the artist has developed a guided audio

walk that will draw our attention to the natural

phenomena in the newly-created ecosystem in

the man-made watery landscape. While workers

from the quartz quarries continue to dig furiously

for the coveted fine-grain sand all around, some

areas have already been restored to their natural

peaceful state and others have been transformed

into a highly popular beautiful beach.

When the bathing season starts in Haltern,

the “Ruhr Ding” will also begin. Some 20

artists will be setting up their works at various

locations in a radius extending from the beach

in Haltern and McDonalds in the pedestrian precinct

in Herne, to the General Blumenthal colliery

in Recklinghausen. All the works will deal with

the theme of the climate in some way or other.

This might mean global warming, but it could also

mean social co-existence.

“It is vitally important that the themes for

‘Ruhr Ding’ have a lot to do with the region”, says

Britta Peters. She has been able to gather a wealth

of experience from similar art projects - for example

when she was part of the curatorial team for the

Münster Sculpture Projects in 2017. As the head of

Urban Arts Ruhr she launched a new decentralised

exhibition format known as “Ruhr Ding” in 2019

and dedicated the first instalment (with the motto

“Territories”), to regional and national demarcation

movements. In doing so, she was thinking both of

the petty disputes among the Ruhrgebiet cities and

of the growing right-wing populism.

However, due to Corona the second instalment

of “Ruhr Ding” got caught in the starting

blocks in spring 2020. Before the lockdown

arrived, much had already been commissioned

or even finished. One of these was Michel de

Broin’s gigantic replica of a grain of quartz sand

in Haltern, which is now being installed in the

lake there. If you want to take a closer look at

the highly polished stainless steel structure, you

will have to enter the water! Perhaps this will

make you aware of the value of the coveted

raw material. The fine, bleached sand is in huge

demand from foundries and glassworks, mechanical

engineers and the automotive industry.

Its success story began in the 19th century and

has resulted in an entire silver lake in Haltern.

Britta Peters was on the road with “Territories”

in 2019 in Bochum, Dortmund, Essen and

Oberhausen. There is a reason why she is now

looking for locations further north in the Ruhgebiet

for the “Klima Ding” project.

“From an environmental

point of view,

this area is still

suffering from the

worst effects of

industrialisation.”

Britta Peters

She adds that the South abandoned coal

and steel production much earlier, and is now

recovering better from the damage caused. The

North has not yet reached that point.

Maybe Hayden Fowler will help it on its return

to nature. The artist wants to create a kind of

artificial landscape in the former miners’ washroom

in the Blumenthal colliery in Recklinghausen, by

cultivating all kinds of plants that were once native

to the area. These have long since been made extinct

because other species have displaced them

or because industrialisation destroyed them. Now

everything here is meant to blossom anew as it will

be nurtured and enlivened by an artistic irrigation

system. In addition to Fowler’s plant-growing

project, Monira Al Qadiris (who was born in Kuwait

and now lives in Berlin), is planning an installation

of strikingly painted, iridescent, rotating oil well

heads. Her aim is to conjure up a touch of science

fiction in the old colliery.

After stops in Haltern and Recklinghausen,

the “Ruhr Ding” tour will be stopping in Herne.

Motorists are not the only ones who can visit the

“Unser Fritz” local history museum to see how

the sprawling Ruhrgebiet has been straightened

out and concreted over since the 1960s to make

it fit for the future. In Herne too, town planners

followed the idea of adapting a town to the

needs of motorists. And look how the unwelcome

result still defines us today! The show will

also be exploring such questions. If you arrive

by train you will pass through the Old Station

Waiting Room. There, Ana Alenso will be looking

far beyond the end of her nose. The work of the

artist (who grew up in Venezuela and has long

lived in Berlin), will take us to the Amazon. Here

illegal gold-diggers are cutting deep swathes into

the rainforest, with devastating consequences

for plants, animals and the climate.

And what would happen if everything

had a say? Like thistles, edible snails and

Blackcap warblers… The artists’ group “Club

Real”, which is based in Vienna and Berlin, is

not only serious about this: it is taking a close

look at everything that creeps and flees, grows

and flourishes there. Take Gelsenkirchen, for

example. All the residents in a defined habitat

are given a voice in the “Parliament of Organisms”,

whose members discuss the interests of

all living creatures and plants and try to find

solutions.

Many advocates would surely welcome

Natalie Bookchin’s contribution to “Ruhr Ding”.

Britta Peters has had an eye on the US media

artist for quite some time, but has always

hesitated to suggest a collaboration because

of the long distances involved. The more so

because the “Ruhr Ding” is about specific

site-related works that need a longer stay in

the Ruhrgebiet. But now the Corona pandemic

and the new significance which digital art has

taken on as a way to meet and exchange ideas

has led her to reconsider.

Bookchin has simply planned her project

from New York. She asked people in quarantine

to use their cell phones to record short videos

of their own bodies and the things they see or

hear in their immediate surroundings. The result

is a large video and sound installation that will

find its way into the Ruhrgebiet without damaging

the climate from long-distance flights.

HEINRICH HOLTGREVE, URBAN ARTS RUHR 2020

THE “RUHR DING:

CLIMATE” PROJECT

will be running from 8th may

to 27th june at different locations

in Haltern, Recklinghausen,

Herne

and Gelsenkirchen

→ URBANEKUENSTE

RUHR.DE

The doors of the disused Blumenthal colliery in

Recklinghausen will be open again from May for

the “Ruhr Ding”.

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The

Man

Artist, shaman and activist – 2021

marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of

Joseph Beuys. Essen, Dortmund and Duisburg

will be showing the things that still connect

him to the area today and how relevant his

ideas remain.

with

the Hat

CAROLINE TISDAL

TEXT

Stefanie Stadel

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), came from the Lower Rhine and

worked mainly in Düsseldorf as an artist and teacher. But a

number of important roots in his art extend into the Ruhr

area – in particular his political spirit has had a lasting effect

here. So when North Rhine-Westphalia celebrates the 100th

anniversary of his birth it will have plenty to say about the

draughtsman, sculptor, action and installation artist, teacher,

politician and activist.

In Duisburg, for example, people still recall a memorable

event in January 1986, when the man with the hat came

to the lectern to present the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize. Although

he had never met the sculptor, who was 40 years older

than him, let alone been his pupil, Beuys began his lecture

with the words: “I would like to thank my teacher Wilhelm

Lehmbruck.” Beuys was rather more addressing a “basic experience”

that he had had with regard to a work by Lehmbruck.

It was only a picture, but this had been enough to awaken in

him the desire to become a sculptor. The anniversary exhibition

in Duisburg will trace this special relationship. It aims to

reveal points of contact by interacting and juxtaposing works

by the two artists. If we look at Lehmbruck’s “The Fallen”,

“A Seated Young Man” or the “Head of a Thinker”, for example,

it quickly becomes clear that the sculptor penetrated deeply

inside himself to give human suffering a three-dimensional

expression. This impulse in particular was probably what

interested and inspired Beuys.

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LEHMBRUCK MUSEUM | DUISBURG

“Lehmbruck – Beuys. Everything is

Sculpture”

26. June to 17. October 2021

ZECHE ZOLLVEREIN | ESSEN

“Invisible Sculpture. The Expanded

Concept of Art after Joseph Beuys”

10. May to 26. September 2021

ruhrkunstmuseen.com

HARTWARE MEDIENKUNSTVEREIN

(HMKV) | DORTMUND

“Technoschamanism”

23. October 2021 to 20. March 2022

→ BEUYS2021.DE

Another side of Beuys’ work is revealed in Essen. The

exhibition at the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site will

adopt a more cultural-historical approach, focusing in particular

on Beuys’ commitment to democracy, ecology and his

new understanding of creativity. One of the curators, Carla

Zimmermann explains:

“What moves us is that the ideas Beuys had

on these three areas were incredibly

innovative at the time and are still extremely

central and important today.”

Beuys’ thoughts on capital and the idea of money

reappear in the current debates on an unconditional basic

income. And his fight for a responsible approach to nature

is continued in the “Fridays for Future” movement. The extremely

active Gelsenkirchen branch of his Free International

University (FIU), was an important anchor for Beuys in the

Ruhrgebiet. Various demonstrations were organised here - for

example, the one against Beuys’ dismissal as an academy

professor and another in favour of the Green Party which

was taking shape at the time. In Gelsenkirchen, his “extended

concept of art” was thus taken directly onto the streets. This

will also be one of the themes in Essen.

Dortmund will also be building a bridge into the 21st

century. The show by the Hartware Medienkunstverein

(HMKV) will seek its starting point in his role as a shaman,

something which Beuys so loved to adopt and which he cultivated

throughout his life. The exhibition will reveal something

comparable in the “Technoshamanism” of contemporary

artists, who have updated Beuys’ strategies to fit the present

(digital) age.

21 Museums. 11 Stages.

1 Cultural Area.

Experience art and culture

in the Ruhr area. You will love it!

Ministry of Economic Affairs,

Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the

State of North Rhine-Westphalia

James Turrell „Floater 99“, © Frank Vinken

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What is

ur banana?

“urbanana” is not simply a destination.

It’s a travel attitude. Curiosity drives

travellers to explore this often overlooked

mega metropolitan region of ten million

people. The constantly transforming Ruhr

Area, artsy Düsseldorf and eclectic Cologne

make the perfect urban trio for your

next expedition!

Take a look at the map and you’ll

see the urban heart of North Rhine-Westphalia

spread out in the shape of a banana.

That’s how this extraordinary project,

which gives voice to the creative artists

in this vibrant conurbation, got its name.

But what exactly is urbanana?

Whether you come as a tourist or

come to stay – or come as a tourist and

end up staying – the singular and diverse

identity of urbanana will inspire you. Let us

introduce you to three locals and visitors

from urbanana, who are here to tell their

story. Who could explain it better than

them?

WANT TO KNOW

MORE

ABOUT URBANANA?

CHECK US OUT

→ URBANANA.DE

→ @GOINGURBANANA

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Stefan Huber,

36, Social Worker

and Backliner

living in Essen

It was at a festival in Hungary, where Stefan

met his future wife. He left his gentle, contemplative

home in the Austrian Alps to move

to the Ruhr Area.

“Living in Salzburger Land, I was simply

a tradesman. After coming here, I quickly realized

that I wanted to do something else. I became

a bit of a jack of all trades. These days, I

work with people in all kinds of different social

projects. And the Ruhr Area became my

home.” Stefan exchanged the mountains for

slag heaps and his sledge for a bike.

with more than a million people, you’re never

really very far from nature. And there’s the

incredible industrial culture, of course. All this

ongoing transformation still fascinates me.”

In urbanana, Stefan began to work

as a backline engineer at concerts and festivals.

“It’s exciting, because it takes me to

places all over Europe. But very often I’m

actually able to return home for the night

to sleep. I love it that I never have to go far,

there is so much going on in urbanana, and

I’m at the centre of it all.”

Veronika Borisenok,

24, a tourist from

Moscow, visited

urbanana twice in

2019

I could speak to anyone. It fascinated me

that I saw so many activities people organized

themselves. I travel a lot, but I’ve never

felt like I wanted to stay anywhere for a very

long time. But the experience that I got in

urbanana made me think, that this is the way

I want to live.”

Even though the cities in urbanana are

so well-connected, she finds them all unique

in their own way. In Düsseldorf, Nika liked the

cool buildings at the Media Harbour and the

way modern architecture connects with older

styles. “Things look so balanced there.” And

there are so many spots left in urbanana still

waiting to be explored. “I love Wim Wenders’

movies. I’ve seen the documentary film, Pina,

so now I want to visit Wuppertal and ride its

famous suspension railway. Next time!”

It was out of a sense of opportunity

that Baldeep (who prefers to use a gender-neutral

pronoun) took the chance

presented by their university in Mumbai,

to come to Düsseldorf as an international

student. It wasn’t all glam and glitter, but

the authenticity of the place touched them

deeply. Baldeep decided to stay.

“The library nearby offered so many

great books to read. I’d sit for hours in the

cafés around and just soak up the creative

atmosphere.” Baldeep loved walking the

city, too, and came to appreciate the freedom

the region offers. “The quality of life

in urbanana is very high. Like being able to

take a late run at 1 am (which I could never

do in Mumbai), and seeing the campus and

city so quiet but safe at night.”

It’s this melting pot of creativity and

the wide spectrum of leisure activities,

which make Stefan so enthusiastic about

urbanana. “I live in Essen, which is pretty

much at the heart of the Ruhr Area. Going

from here in any direction, you sometimes

don’t even realize you’re passing through

city limits. I have two hobbies that I travel

around a lot for. I’ve been the guitarist of

many different bands over the past years.

I also play ice hockey and travel around

for matches. Everything is very close in

urbanana. Despite living in an urban jungle

Veronika, known as Nika by all her

friends, had a two-day layover in urbanana

while on her way to her honeymoon in

Spain. It left such a remarkable impression;

the professional photographer from Moscow

came back just a couple of weeks later.

“When I travel, I like to find interesting,

unique and authentic places. Even if the

place is famous, like Cologne’s cathedral, I

try to show it in an unusual way. But this city

is so much more; its streets, its cool bars

and cafés and the people who live here.

Cologne has stolen my heart.”

The short stopover became one of

the most inspiring trips in Nika’s life. “I believe

that I fell in love with urbanana not just

because of its beauty and architecture, but

because I felt as part of a community, and

Baldeep Grewal,

26, an international

student from

Punjab, India, spent

a semester at

Heinrich-Heine University,

Düsseldorf

There was so much to explore within

the city. Like the time Baldeep visited

Japan Day in Düsseldorf. “Just when I

thought I had Düsseldorf figured out, I was

overwhelmed by the energy of this festival.

I didn’t even know about this facet of

the city. Seeing all these people putting

so much effort into their costumes – so

authentic, so into the details. The creative

vibe was wonderful.”

Baldeep made use of the wide train

network and visited other nearby cities in

the urban jungle of urbanana, too. “Probably

the nicest day I had, was when I visited

the Gasometer in Oberhausen. I remember

climbing up to the rooftop and having

this great view over Oberhausen and the

surrounding cities. Maybe it was then that I

knew I was going to stay.”

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TEXTE

Sascha Westphal

It goes without saying that

there are a huge number of theatres

in the Rhine/Ruhr area. That said, two

out-of-the-ordinary ensembles are

interpreting the good old art of theatre

in their own particular way. The “kainkollektiv”

takes its audience into

stories about art and colonial history.

And anyone who wants to leave a

show by “Anna Kpok” must first solve

a few riddles. The headquarters of

both these groups is the Ringlokschuppen

Ruhr, a disused railway roundhouse

in Mülheim, which has developed

into one of the most innovative fringe

theatre platforms in the Germanlanguage

world.

RINGLOKSCHUPPEN RUHR

Am Schloß Broich 38

45479 Mülheim an der Ruhr

→ RINGLOKSCHUPPEN.RUHR

BJÖRN STORK

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RINGLOCKSCHUPPEN

“Anna Kpok” is a collective whose name

is made up of the surnames of its initial

members. That was in 2009.

“From the very beginning, we had a

keen interest in the exchange between artists

and audience”, says founding member

Klaas Werner. With its show “Anna Kpok

and the Last Zombie”, the group brought

jump’n’run adventures into analogue game

situations. As in Super Mario Bros., the audience

guided an avatar (or actor) through an

obstacle course where vicious enemies had

to be eliminated. To do this, however, they

only had pairs of commands at their disposal,

like “Left / Right” or “Duck / Jump”.

In the meantime the

group has moved

away from such typical

game patterns.

“We believe in feedback channels”,

says Klaas Werner, “even if they have recently

come into disrepute on the Internet

because of the comments”. Here he means

that the audience should be given more

opportunities to intervene during a game.

But it’s also about the feedback at the end

of each show, from which Anna Kpok draws

its inspiration for later work. The feedback

is also regarded as a kind of democratic

forum in which the audience can discuss the

themes in the productions in more detail.

In this sense, from November 2021

onwards a show called “Surrounded by

Things” will bring the members of the

audience even more into focus. They will

work their way through an installation in five

rooms. The tour deals with the meaning

and history of serially produced every-dayobjects

– and involves the experiences and

decisions of each individual spectator.

→ANNAKPOK.DE

Theatre

with an Avatar

The Anna Kpok

collective is

transforming the

stage into a

huge gaming

platform.

The place looks like a 1950s science fiction

movie. Mushrooms made of strips of fabric

hang from the ceiling, papier-mâché rocks

lit from within lie on the floor, and hose

pipes protrude from a light grey column

of wooden boards. This is the Andromeda

Rescue Station. The audience is stranded

on a spaceship voyage after an emergency

landing. An Android awaits the audience

in “Shell Game – Lost in Paranoialand”. And

if they want to return to earth they must first

solve the riddles on this bizarre planet. With

its help.

Anyone who visits a show by Anna

Kpok faces a personal challenge – in the

truest sense of the word. Because for

years now this unusual group’s programme

has been known as “Game Theatre”. It not

only permeates the boundaries between

the audience and actor but completely

dissolves them.

That said, the lady with the peculiar

surname is not one person, but many. For

THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE RUHR AREA

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www.ruhrmuseum.de/en



STEPHAN GLAGLA

“It is no longer possible to play a

piece X according to method Y for an

audience Z”, says Fabian Lettow, who runs

the kainkollektiv with Mirjam Schmuck.

Since 2004 they have been working with

artists and collectives from Eastern Europe

and West Africa, France and Madagascar,

Syria and Croatia. Their productions

are not restricted to the history of

colonialism and the current postcolonial

situation. They are also constantly on the

look-out for an international dialogue that

focuses on the history of Europe and its

colonies – on the way to a shared future.

To this end, they mix genres and combine

drama with dance, opera with installations,

live performances and video art.

In 2016 a show entitled “Fin de

Machine” dissected the links between

the creation of a baroque opera and the

slave trade in 1607, when Monteverdi’s

“Orfeo” was first performed in Mantua.

At the same time slave ships were setting

out for the New World off the coast of

Cameroon. The birth of European high

culture (the production ironically used a

quote from a deliberately stiff choreography

based on Handel’s “Water Music”),

was thus contrasted with the suffering of

the oppressed. In February 2021 the focus

may well become more optimistic, with

the help of a futuristic African vision. The

production “Est-ce un humain / Is this a

human being?” has been developed with

the “Zora Snake” company from Cameroon

and the choreographer Njara Rasolomanana

from Madagascar. It contrasts the

present day, which is marked by all kinds

of exploitation, with a (self-made) future

in which humans and animals, plants and

machines live in harmony with each other

in a brave new world.

Dialogue

with the past

The “kainkollektiv”

transcends

borders between

countries,

people and different

eras.

Prospero, the Duke of Milan, has lost his

empire through an intrigue. Now he lives

on a small island off the coast of North

Africa, whose inhabitants he has subjugated

by magic. William Shakespeare’s “The

Tempest” is often referred to as a romantic

fairy tale. However, it loses all its fairytale

romanticism as soon as an African actress

measures it against her knowledge of African

history.

In the kainkollektiv’s production of

“The Tempest” Edith Voges Nana Tchuinang

from Cameroon refuses to portray

the girl Miranda, because she is unable

to identify with her in the play, nor in the

character of a white princess. She tries

out different roles like pieces of clothing

and then sorts them out once more. The

way she sees it, acting always arises from

one’s own feelings and thoughts – but all

the characters from the European literary

and theatre canon mean nothing to her.

© RVR

DIE ZUKUNFT

IM BLICK

Ruhr area photographs from the image

archive of the Regionalverband Ruhr

Special Exhibition 09/20/2020 - 05/30/2021

PETER-BEHRENS-BAU

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Peter-Behrens-Bau

Essener Straße 80 | 46047 Oberhausen

www.diezukunftimblick.lvr.de



The People’s

Theatre

The Ruhrfestspiele is one of the oldest

cultural festivals in Europe and something of a

myth in the world of theatre. Once, Recklinghausen’s

miners coal in echange for art. Most

recently, artistic director Olaf Kröck had the

theatre transformed into a huge gallery. For, and

with, the townsfolk.

TEXT

Sascha Westphal

PHOTOS

Inside Out Project

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May 1st – Mid-June 2021

→ RUHRFESTSPIELE.DE

Adventures of Discovery

It was like being in a theatre foyer or on a

square. Some people immediately stand out

even though you only pass them for a second.

The same is true for the pictures created by the

photographer and street art artist JR, which he

displayed on the outside walls of the Recklinghausen

festival theatre. Some of them simply

had a special unforgettable charisma. For example,

an elderly gentleman in a black top hat, or

the young woman, who seems to be blowing a

large kiss into the camera. In 2020, people from

all areas of life and age groups, from toddlers

to senior citizens, gathered for the exhibition on

Recklinghausen’s “Green Hill”.

The huge installation of

black and white portraits was

a perfect fit for Germany’s

oldest theatre festival, which

has always been a celebration

for the citizens of Recklinghausen

and the Ruhrgebiet.

Around 80,000 people make

it to one of Europe’s most

popular theatre events every

year. In 2020, 800 selfies were

stuck on the glass facade

of the Festspielhaus. Only a

fraction of the usual audience

- and nonetheless a powerful

signal in times of Corona.

JR’s “Inside-Out Project” randomly gathered the

faces of artists and audience, of townsfolk and

decision-makers. Coexistence and cooperation

has always been a tradition in Recklinghausen. In

the summer of 1947 Max Brauer, then Mayor of

Hamburg, announced in front of the assembled

workers at the Recklinghausen colliery “König

Ludwig”: “I can imagine a new and different kind

of festival...a festival not only for writers and a few

select persons, but one in the midst of places of

heavy labour. Yes, a festival for miners in the ‘coal

pot’. Yes, a festival in Recklinghausen and not

Salzburg.”

“My ideal

is to find a way

to reconcile

innovative

contemporary

art with

a high broad

impact.”

Olaf Kröck

When the Ruhrfestspiele announces its programme

it is still common for works councils from

all over Germany to meet, and then order tickets

for their companies. One of the two shareholders is

the German Trades Union Confederation. The 1947

speech was something like the birth of a festival for

the masses, and since then it has always opened

with a huge cultural event on May 1st. Because the

theatres in Hamburg theatres had no fuel to heat

their buildings during the cold post-war winter of

1946/47, they sent some lorries to the Ruhrgebiet.

The first colliery along the way was “König Ludwig”

in Recklinghausen, whose miners loaded the lorries

with coal without the permission

of the British military police.

Theatre operations in Hamburg

theatre were rescued; and in

return, the Hamburg theatres

gave several guest performances

for the miners in the summer

of 1947: “Art for Coal”.

To this day the Recklinghausen

theatre event is a counterpoint

to the Salzburg Festival.

Yet, in no way does it feel

inferior to this famous festival in

terms of quality. Over the years,

all the major German-speaking

stages and renowned international

theatres have given guest

performances here. Legendary shows like Peter

Zadek’s “Lulu” with Susanne Lothar in the title role,

and Frank Castorf’s version of Schiller’s “Die Räuber”

could be enjoyed on the “Green Hill”.

Artistic director Olaf Kröck presents

performances by fringe groups, dance, children’s

and youth theatre and cabaret in addition to

classical plays. The festival must be as diverse

as its audience and the region. This includes the

New Circus, which Kröck calls an “overwhelming

engine”, leaving lots of room for any kind of story

in a language everybody understands: that of the

performing arts.

The Ruhrgebiet’s industrial

heritage can be explored

in many different ways – at

blast furnaces in disused

steel works, pithead gear in coal mines

or on the top of spoil tips from

which there are some breathtaking

views.

Coal, steel, coke and gas have long left their mark on the Ruhr

area - and continue to do so today. The best way to discover

the region and its industrial history is via the Industrial Heritage

Trail. The route covers around 400 kilometres and leads to

the most important sites, with 26 anchor points forming the highlights

along the way. The main destinations include the North

Duisburg Landscape Park, the Open-Air Museum in Hagen and

the “Nachtigall Colliery” in Witten. You can enjoy some amazing

views of the region from the top of greened-over spoil tips like

the Rheinpreußen tip in Moers, the Haniel tip in Bottrop and the

Hoheward tip in Herten.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein is a further

highlight. Once the world’s largest coal mine, it attracts thousands

of visitors to the Ruhrgebiet every year. Including the Ruhr

Museum, the Red Dot Design Museum, the PACT Zollverein

Dance Centre, as well as numerous shops, restaurants, cafés

and studios, the World Heritage Site is a highly popular day-trip

destination. The Zollern Colliery is also something special. The

locals used to call it a “Castle of Labour”, on account of its

imposing red brick buildings. The Art Nouveau steel and stained

glass entrance to the engine house will whisk you back to

another era. And an ensuing tour of the rest of the museum will

make a perfect end to a brief journey into the age of coal dust

and industrial heritage.

RTG / SCHLUTIUS

TIPS

You can find out about

all the anchor points and get

further tips online at

→ INDUSTRIEKULTUR.RUHR

RTG / RAVI SEJK

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ADVERTORIAL



TEXT

Volker K. Belghaus

The

Ruhrgebiet

in shorts!

The German-Argentinian Author

Ariel Magnus is discovering the

Ruhrgebiet – in the form of short stories.

MAXIMILIANO LUNA/TELAM

Coal mines as an element connecting the

world? Sounds strange at first. But it fits

perfectly into Ariel Magnus’ imagination, the

writer who is living and working in Mülheim

an der Ruhr for a year in 2021. For when

it comes to collieries he has his very own

theory. “I believe that everyone is connected

underground – just like the miners who

worked in teams in single locations”, says

the “Metropolitan Writer”, who is touring the

area under the aegis of the Brost Foundation

– for literary purposes.

The region is uncharted territory for

the German-Argentinean writer. Whatever

the case, he was born in Buenos Aires in

1975, and although he and his wife studied

in Berlin and Heidelberg between 1999 and

2005, he had previously only been in the

Ruhrgebiet for one evening: in 2010 for a

reading in the Königsborn III/IV Colliery

in Bönen. Even as a young man, the silver

mines in the Bolivian town of Potosí had fascinated

him. And in the geography lessons

at his German school, of all the regions in

the country it was the Ruhrgebiet with its

smokestacks that interested him the most.

Ariel Magnus regards mining as a network

linking people and cultures. Even though the

coal industry has been history in the region

since 2018, he says: “I am fascinated by this

nostalgia. It is part of a person’s identity that

they have to live with. But life goes on.” For

research purposes he has therefore also

been reading Frank Goosen’s laconic texts:

“On the one hand, the people here have

had their fill of coal mines, but on the other

hand they have developed an ingenious

self-irony. They regard themselves with a

touch of irony, and they have learnt a lot.”

A conversation with Ariel Magnus

is similar to reading his novels, like his

current publication “The Chess Players of

Buenos Aires”. He has a friendly serenity,

trenchant humour, and is full of cross-references

and allusions with lots of commas

in between. He freely admits that he used

to think that the milieu-soaked films of

Rainer Werner Fassbinder were made in

the Ruhrgebiet, and that the miners’ slang

“Mottek” meant a sledgehammer. But here

Magnus can’t help thinking of his father’s

dog, which was also called “Mottek” – the

Hebrew word for “sweet”.

The previous “Metropolitan Writers”,

Lucas Vogelsang and Wolfram Eilenberger,

approached the Ruhr area in the form of

reportages and philosophical essays. Ariel

Magnus is doing his own thing:

“I am writing fiction.

Not a novel

but short stories.”

Which will then be published under

the title “Kurzgebiete”. One of them is a story

about a miner, Fernando Luis, who takes

a wrong turn in a mine in South America,

only to emerge into the daylight in Unna. A

tale about someone who enters uncharted

territory. Like Ariel Magnus himself.

→ BROSTSTIFTUNG.RUHR

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Pick up a

book

There are

many places

for lovers of

literature

in the Ruhrgebiet:

over

170 bookshops,

more

than 60

publishing

houses and

more than

50 libraries.

Here’s a

brief survey.

CRASH, BANG, BOOM!

In Dortmund, comics, cartoons

and caricatures have

found a home just a few

metres from the central train

station. The showroom gives

mangas and graphic novels

their own stage and, for its

exhibitions, publishes excellent

catalogues that are only available

there.

Literary

events in

2021

EUROPA:WESTFALEN

March to May 2021

A major festival of European

and regional literature in

various towns in Westphalia.

→ LITERATURLAND

WESTFALEN.DE

AKAZIENALLEE FESTIVAL

From 24th April 2021

Essen

There may be no trees in

the Akazienallee but to

compensate for that there

is a fine bookshop named

“Proust” and the “Correctiv

bookstore”. Here a small

but select literatary festival

takes place once a year. It

also features a Piaggio Ape

three-wheeler belonging to

the NRW magazine “kultur.

west”. This has to be the

smallest reading stage in the

whole country.

→ BUCHHANDLUNG-

PROUST.DE

BOBIENNALE

27th May to 6th June 2021

Bochum

An art festival organised

by fringe organisations and

featuring a “Literature Day”.

LITERATÜRK

Autumn 2021

Essen & surroundings

A German-Turkish literature

festival featuring readings,

music, writing workshops

and discussions with authors.

→ LITERATUERK.COM

MURDER ON THE HELLWEG

18th September to

13th November 2021

the entire Ruhrgebiet

Europe’s largest detective

story festival comprises

over 200 readings and

prominent authors like Simon

Beckett and Arne Dahl.

→ MORDAMHELLWEG.DE

LIT.RUHR

5th to 10th Octobre 2021

Essen & Bochum

An international literature

festival with a prominent

cast, and an offshoot of Lit.

Cologne. The main reading

venue is the Zollverein

UNESCO World Heritage

site in Essen.

→ LIT.RUHR

THE APHORISTS' MEETING

5th to 7th November 2021

Hattingen

Three days specially

dedicated to aphorisms in

literature and society. These

comprise readings, discussions

and cabaret shows.

TRANSFER. BÜCHER

UND MEDIEN

An der Schlanken Mathilde 3 | Dortmund

→ TRANSFER-DORTMUND.DE

COMICLAND

Provinzialstraße 364 | Dortmund

→ COMICLAND.DE

SCHEUERMANN

Sonnenwall 45 | Duisburg

→ SCHEUERMANN.DE

BUCHHANDLUNG

MIRHOFF & FISCHER

Pieperstraße 12 | Bochum

→ MIRHOFF-FISCHER.DE

LITTLE NEMO

Südring 37 | Bochum

→ LITTLE-NEMO.DE

SCHMITZ. DIE BUCH-

HANDLUNG

Grafenstraße 44 | Essen

→ SCHMITZBUCH.DE

BUCHHANDLUNG IM

LITERATURHAUS HERNE

Bebelstraße 18 | Herne

PROUST

Classy

Bookshops

Akazienallee | Am Handelshof 1 | Essen

NETWORKED READING

It’s not easy to find a balance in the literary scene between

Hamm in the east and Duisburg in the west of the area.

Nonetheless an initiative called “Literaturgebiet Ruhr” is

making an attempt. It networks bookshops, publishers,

literature centres, festivals, municipal libraries, poetry slam

communities and reading stages. On April 24th, authors,

booksellers and publishers will be meeting up during the

“Literatour 100” for readings and discussions throughout

the region. You can find more dates in the calendar of

events – these range from stellar poetry in the planetarium

to the Poetry Slam championship.

→ LITERATURGEBIET.RUHR.DE/VERANSTALTUNGEN

BETWEEN THE PAGES OF A BOOK

Which way should we go now? The “literaturkarte.ruhr”,

a map and also a book, reveals the locations mentioned

in novels and poetry: from the “Kamener Kreuz” motorway

junction (Dietrich Schwanitz, “The Campus”) to the

central station in Bochum (Heinrich Böll, “The Clown”)

and the Hochheide residential park in Duisburg (Karosh

Taha, “A Description of a Crab Migration”).

→ LITERATURKARTE.RUHR

AT HOME WITH BOOKS

Everyone who loves books feels at home in the literature

centres. Here you can have a coffee in peace, read, discuss

books and take part in writing workshops. From 1st

to 13th March the “Literaturhaustage”, a small but select

festival of live readings will be taking place. The Dortmund

“Literaturhaus” will also be celebrating literature at its

annual “LesArt” events. In Oberhausen there are “threecourse

literary menus”, and Unna has reserved a place for

literature in the most beautiful spot in town – the Nicolai

quarter.

LITERATURHAUS HERNE-RUHR | Bebelstraße 18

→ LITERATURHAUS-HERNE-RUHR.DE

WESTFÄLISCHES LITERATURBÜRO UNNA | Nicolaistraße 3

→ WLB.DE

LITERATURHAUS OBERHAUSEN | Marktstraße 146

→ LITERATURHAUS-OBERHAUSEN.DE

LITERATURHAUS DORTMUND | Neuer Graben 78

→ COMIC.DORTMUND.DE

→ BOBIENNALE.DE

→ DAPHA.DE

→ BUCHHANDLUNG-PROUST.DE

→ LITERATURHAUS-DORTMUND.DE

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67



Prick up your ears!

Music in the Ruhrgebiet.

noi

sy

Luminous Walls can be discovered

in the Church of Christ in Bochum:

along with very unusual concerts where

musicians occasionally blast holy messages

through their amplifiers. (→ p. 70) After

dark: a brief glimpse of some mindblowing

clubs. (→ p. 74) International Coolness:

melancholy songs by the Düsterboys from

Essen. (→ p. 76) Global travellers: the versatile

vocalists in the Chorwerk Ruhr have

been known to stir up the concert scene

by appearing in crazy alien costumes. (→ p. 80)

POLY MAG 2021

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Luminous Walls

ADAM ZEGARMISTRZ GLAGLA

The Christuskirche

(Church

of Christ) is many

things: a listed

building, a place of

art and a concert

hall for classical,

jazz, indie and metal

music. But above

all it is one of the

most unusual churches

in the region,

where holy messages

are sometimes

blasted through

amplifiers. And its

bells only ring once a

year – for 14 minutes.

TEXT

Honke Rambow

NOISY

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It’s easy to miss the Christuskirche, despite

its being in the centre of Bochum. Next to

the massive town hall, it stands a little set back

from the street. In front of it is a small square,

behind which rises a neo-Gothic bell tower. The

nave itself, however, almost seems to shrink

behind it. The building is slightly tilted, and its

low brick façade and small copper entrance

seem somewhat reticent.

The Christuskirche is a church without a

congregation, but with a pastor. Here Thomas

Wessel has created a cultural and spiritual centre

with boldness and ideas. His church is open

for a wide programme of events and has already

been staged as a theatrical “Gesamtkunstwerk”.

It offers a performing space for the Bochumer

Stadtkantorei, the Chor-Werk Ruhr and firstclass

jazz artists. At regular intervals it can also

become deafeningly loud when alternative, wave

and metal bands blast their messages through

amplifiers near the altar.

Pastor Wessel justifies such activities

directly on Protestant theology, in which a “service”

is defined as a community of people who

have gathered to listen to the proclamation of a

message. He believes that such a message does

not have to come from a pastor, but can also be

roared into a mike with amplified guitars. Artists

who have played here include Peter Murphy and

Ray Wilson, the Slovenian art collective Laibach

and the Mülheim horror jazz band “Bohren &

der Club Of Gore”; not forgetting Ute Lemper,

Konstantin Wecker and Bugge Wesseltoft. They

all had to sign a contract ensuring that the cross

and the bible are clearly visible at the altar. It

must remain a sacred space.

The interior

of the church is

as spectacular

as its exterior is

unobtrusive.

The exposed concrete ceiling is folded in a

crystalline form and seems to hover above the

brick walls through a shadow gap. Light streams

CHRISTUSKIRCHE BOCHUM

Platz des europäischen

Versprechens 1 | 44787 Bochum

→ CHRISTUSKIRCHE-BOCHUM.DE

→ EUROPEANPROMISE.EU

indirectly towards the altar through the coloured

windows in the sides. All over the world the

Christuskirche is regarded as an icon of post-war

architecture. But the building is also linked to a

myth. Its architect, Dieter Oesterlen, had originally

decided to demolish only the war-damaged

nave, and leave the tower standing as a stark

reminder of war. Around the time it was being

built, between 1957 and 1959, Egon Eiermann

was working on his “Ruhrkohlehaus”. Hence it is

quite possible that Eiermann was familiar with

Oesterlen’s building, and that his design for the

much more famous memorial church in Berlin

was based on Oesterlen’s ideas. That said, there

is no definite proof for such an assumption.

Since 2015, the Christuskirche has also

housed a work of art. In the tower is a memorial

hall constructed in 1931 to commemorate the

citizens of Bochum who died in the First World

War, alongside a list of the enemy countries at

the time. Using this as a starting point, the concept

artist Jochen Gerz has created a “Square

of European Promises”, on the floor of which

14,726 names of people who want to promote

the idea of a united Europe have been embedded

in stone slabs. Even if their statements are

not publicly stored in a database, these names

of celebrities and lesser celebrities are a visible

sign of peace and togetherness – just a few metres

away from the 1930s revanchist culture of

remembrance.

Another thing makes the Christuskirche

unique: its bells are only rung once a year. Neither

at Christmas nor at Easter, nor even for a church

service, but as an act of commemoration. They

can be heard every year on 11th September

between 14.46 and 15.03, the time in which two

aeroplanes slammed into the World Trade Center

in New York. The chiming bells do not simply

commemorate the victims but also remind us all

to take a stand against terrorism.

NOISY

POLY MAG 2021

72

loud!

Düsseldorf

an initiative of

co-funded by

Live close Feel free

The Sound of Düsseldorf

Ministry of Economic Affairs,

Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the

State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Join Germany’s loudest walking tour – an

entertaining trip through Düsseldorf’s rich

electronic and punk music history.

Every Saturday morning at 11:00

Book now:

www.the-sound-of-duesseldorf.com

Your organiser

Dr. Michael Wenzel + Sven-André Dreyer



After dark

Clubs in the Ruhr Area

MICHAEL SCHWETTMANN

DELTA

In the mid 1990s “Mudia Art” opened

in former Krupp factory buildings

in Essen. The spectacular industrial

backdrop, where the audience lost

itself in evening dress and often during

somewhat dubious shows gave the

disco a reputation far beyond the borders

of Germany. In 2006, it renamed

itself “Delta”, prices were lowered and

the visitors became younger. What

remained was the unique ambience

in up to nine different areas and spacious

outdoor areas.

Frohnhauser Str. 75 | Essen

→ DELTA-ESSEN.DE

GOETHE BUNKER

This tall bunker is located just a few

steps away from the Folkwang Museum

in Essen and only a crossroad away

from the Rüttenscheider Strasse, a

street full of boutiques, bars and restaurants.

Protected by concrete walls, you

can freak out to heavy bass music in

the middle of this residential area. The

“Goethe Bunker” owes its reputation

above all to its “Minimal” parties hosted

by first-class DJs from the region or

guests from Berlin. But you can also

dance to house or hip-hop.

Goethe Str. 67 | Essen

→ GOETHEBUNKER.NET

FREAK SHOW

According to the British newspaper

“The Guardian” the case is clear. One

of the ten greatest concert venues in

the world is a rock’n’roll bar in the

Essen borough of Steele. A voracious

monster awaits visitors at the entrance

– as if it were the entrance to a ghost

train. Ela and Benny Nordvall have

furnished the basement bar with great

attention to detail – oil barrels as high

tables and a life-size model of Freddy

Krüger. As for the music – it’s guitars,

guitars and guitars.

Grendplatz 2a | Essen

→ FREAKSHOW-BAR.DE

TUROCK

Until the 1990s the Ruhr area was

considered a bastion of rock music.

Essen’s reputation was even a little

tougher, because, for example, the

city is the home of Kreator, one of the

world’s most successful trash metal

bands. It’s also home to one of the last

real rock and metal clubs in the Ruhr

area. You don’t need long hair to get

into Turock, but it’s certainly helpful if

you’re into excessive headbanging on

the dance floor.

Viehofer Platz 3 | Essen

→ TUROCK.DE

ROTUNDE

This brick building with its eponymous

rotunda was originally only built as an

emergency setting for the 73rd German

Catholic Day in 1949. The listed

building stood empty for many years

until the “Rotunde” club emerged

there in 2010. In addition to parties

with house, drums’n’bass, reggae,

electro and world music, there are

also regular concerts, poetry slams,

comedy events, flea markets and

design markets in the simple yet beautiful

station area.

Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 3 | Bochum

→ ROTUNDE-BOCHUM.DE

DOMICIL

Since 1969 jazz in Dortmund has

had a permanent “domicile” in this

former 1950s cinema. The list of

music legends who have performed

on stage here is very long – and on

several occasions the US magazine

“Down Beat” has also voted it as

one of the 100 best jazz clubs in the

world. In addition to its live shows,

it also presents parties and DJ sessions

on a regular basis. World music

and drums’n’bass are also part of the

programme.

Hansastr. 7-11 | Dortmund

→ DOMICIL-DORTMUND.DE

OMA DORIS

Hiding away in Dortmund’s Brückstraße

quarter is a gem! “Oma Doris”

is a classical 1960s dance café. In its

plushy atmosphere with dim lights

and hundreds of coloured lamps,

gentlemen used to invite the ladies

to dance via a table phone. Today it’s

more casual, but the atmosphere has

remained the same. The loudspeakers

broadcast a colourful mix of house

music, reggae, trap, 80s pop and New

German Wave.

Reinoldistr. 2-4 | Dortmund

→ OMADORIS.DE

TRESOR WEST

The latest addition to the Ruhrgebiet

nightlife can be found in Dortmund.

It was opened in 2019 by Dimitri

Hegemann, in the basement of a hall

on the former site of the Phoenix

West steelworks, as a subsidiary of

his legendary Berlin “Tresor” club.

Thanks to its first-class sound and

lighting technology, he has created a

particularly impressive techno club

in the deliberately rough atmosphere

of brick, concrete and steel. This is

the place to dance to the music of

regional and national DJs.

Phoenixplatz 4 | Dortmund

→ TRESORWEST.COM

NOISY

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International

Coolness

The Düsseldorf Düsterboys love to sing

about things like a lengthy trip across their

hallway, a yearning for the Atlantic, and love.

The newcomer band from Essen are not only

known for their ironic lyrics, but also for their

special sound.

ALL EARS POLY MAG 2021

POLY MAG 2021

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76

LUKAS VOGT

TEXT

Kristina Schulze

“Schalke 04, I don’t wanna lose any more.” The songs of the Düsseldorf

Düsterboys have little in common with football anthems. In

one of their melancholy songs they sing about the Gelsenkirchen

football club, which has been waiting in vain for a championship title

for years. Since the band was set up, Pedro Goncalves Crescenti

and Peter Rubel have been making pop music together for 15 years.

For the last eight years the band has been named after a city in the

Rhineland of all places – while both musicians live, work and study

in Bochum and Essen. “In the beginning I had a dream”, says Peter

Rubel and laughs, because the idea for the Düsseldorf Düsterboys

came to him one night.

Yet the unusual band name fits perfectly with their unusual

music. Peter Rubel and Pedro Goncalves Crescenti oscillate between

melancholy and lightness. The whole magic of their sound begins to

unfold when you follow their ironic, debunking lyrics, which are sometimes

created in the rehearsal room, and sometimes over a beer in the

evening at home. With wit and irony they tell of “hot fag ends”, “lengthy

walks from the hall all the way to the back yard” or their yearning for

far-off places. They only need a few words to express their feeling

of being overwhelmed – by the world and their own lives: “Keep me

out, keep me out of trouble” is what they hope for in “Oh Mama”, for

example.

77



In the early days the Düsseldorf Düsterboys only played for a

handful of friends. In 2016 their first single “Tenerife” was released, and

the German music scene began to sit up and take notice of them. A

concert in Berlin then paved the way to even more popularity and professionalism.

Maurice Summen from the Berlin music label “Staatsakt”

had invited the two singers in 2017 to perform in a club called “West

Germany”. “From that moment on, everything took off”, recalls Pedro

Goncalves Crescenti. Two years later, Olaf O.P.A.L. produced the band’s

first album, which now also included Fabian Neubauer (organ, piano)

and Edis Ludwig (drums).

“Nenn mich Musik” (Call me Music) was released in autumn 2019

by Staatsakt. It was recorded in a disused shop in Waltrop with “loads of

instruments”. They can not only be heard on the album, but also on the

band’s new EP “Im Winter”. “I like our music best when it’s enigmatic”,

says Peter Rubel. The Düsterboys rarely sound fast and scatty. Instead,

dreamy guitar chords combine with funky organ sounds, the gentle

beat of drums combines with the soft voices of the two singers. There

are numerous breaks and rhythm changes, vocal sections, playful

clarinet solos.

The Düsseldorf Düsterboys have played around 50 concerts in

Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the last two years, many of which

were sold out. “It’s been an intensive, enjoyable, but also exhausting

time”, says Pedro Goncalves Crescenti. “I am glad we know each other

so well. We look after each other and sense when someone needs a

break.” On a music level, however, things remain all the louder with the

boys. Five years ago Pedro Goncalves Crescenti and Peter Rubel founded

a second band alongside the drummer Joel Roters: “International

Music”. The band’s next album will be released in 2021. Compared to the

Düsseldorf Düsterboys, this band sounds faster, louder, more powerful –

and is just as popular. In 2018 they won the popNRW prize in the Best

Newcomer category, and in 2020 they won the GEMA Music Authors’

Prize in the Newcomer category.

→ DUESSELDORF

DUESTERBOYS.DE

Here you can

find current tour

dates, listen to their

music or follow

their social Media

accounts

Ruhr Ding:

Klima

An exhibition

in public space

in Gelsenkirchen,

Herne, Recklinghausen

and Haltern am See.

Anyone who travels so much needs

a place to land.

What are their favourite places in the Ruhr area? The Six Lakes in

Duisburg, the Schurenbach spoil tip in Essen and the Mental Space

studio gallery in Bochum. They also rate the “Makroscope” in Mülheim

- a concert venue and studio for subcultural, experimental

music and art projects – as a “super-good hang-out”. But in 2021,

the quartet will again be heading for faraway places. Their programme

includes a tour with International Music, as well as the odd

concert by the Düsseldorf Düsterboys. Maybe it will be a bit like

the lyrics in “Tenerife”: “You only realise it’s time to go when you’re

on your way”.

NOISY

POLY MAG 2021

78

8.5.–

27.6.21

Urbane Künste

Ruhr

Associates and Public Sector Supporters

Design: Lamm & Kirch, Berlin / Leipzig

Photography: Heinrich Holtgreve, Ostkreuz



Global

travellers

travellers

travellers

travellers

travellers

travellers

travellers

travellers

The Chorwerk Ruhr in a scene from “Einstein on the Beach”.

THOMAS JAUK / STAGEPICTURES

TEXT

Honke Rambow

The Chorwerk Ruhr is a choir

that specialises in contrasts. Its repertoire

includes folk songs, sacred vocal music,

baroque sounds and minimal music. That

said, they are not content to simply stand

on stage and sing in pretty costumes.

Sometimes the vocalists even invade the

auditorium as shaggy aliens!

Just a moment ago the conductor was standing at the podium in

black trousers and shirt. Now he’s leaning back relaxed in his chair.

In his tight, olive-green T-shirt, jeans and a rough motorbike leather

jacket, Florian Helgath could also be a guitarist in a rock band. He

likes to say “my choir” when he talks about Chorwerk Ruhr, whose

artistic director he has been since 2011. My choir – that could

sound possessive. “When I say that, I mean that with great affection

for the ensemble.”

Born in Regensburg, he sang with the local “Domspatzen” as

a child and has left his mark on the Chorwerk Ruhr like no other

artist. His contract has just been extended for a further three years.

And the workload has increased considerably: his predecessor

was responsible for four to six programmes a year, now there are

twelve to fourteen. Just under a third of these are collaborations:

invitations from orchestras, festivals and opera houses. That said,

they put most of their programme together themselves. Their programme

strategy can be roughly summed up as challenging the

themselves artistically, and surprising the audience. Their success

proves them right. For audiences have been following Helgath into

unknown territories for years, when he mixes sacred and secular

music under a single theme and lets centuries collide. Tickets for

Chorwerk concerts at the annual mammoth Ruhrtriennale festival

are often the first to be sold out. This special ensemble is also in

demand internationally. “Whether we accept a request to collaborate

with another organisation depends on how much a project

interests the choir artistically and helps it progress”, says Florian Helgath.

NOISY

POLY MAG 2021

POLY MAG 2021

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NOISY

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The Chorwerk Ruhr was launched in 1999, when the Emscher

Park International Building Exhibition (IBA) was drawing to a close.

For over ten years the IBA had had a major impact on the Ruhr area,

reinventing urban structures, preserving spectacular industrial buildings

and filling them with new content. How does industrial heritage

work? How can the Hall of the Century in Bochum, the Zollverein

and Zollern collieries (Essen and Dortmund) and the disused buildings

in the North Duisburg Landscape Park be used as concert

venues? The “Music in Industrial Spaces” series was launched to

find the answer. A structure was needed to be able to use the

unconventional spaces on a permanent basis. This explains how

“Kultur Ruhr GmbH” came into being, today with the state of NRW

and the Regionalverband Ruhr as sponsors. The pillars of “Kultur

Ruhr” include the Ruhrtriennale peforming arts festival, Urban Arts

Ruhr, Chorwerk Ruhr and Tanzlandschaft Ruhr.

Frieder Bernius was the first artistic director. During those years,

Chorwerk Ruhr was purely a project choir, constantly changing its singers

and conductors. In 2008, Rupert Huber took over the direction for

three years. The foundations for its reputation as a top vocal ensemble

had been laid, and Florian Helgath then sharpened its profile further.

“We are a chamber choir with 32 singers.”

Florian Helgath

EMSCH

ER

38 / BOGO MIR ECKER:

REEM RENREH

( KAUM GESANG / BARELY NO SIN GIN )

A-capella choral music is the company’s core business. Although

all its members are freelance artists who are engaged for each programme,

Helgath regards Chorwerk Ruhr as a permanent ensemble.

Like him, some of its members do not live in NRW, but only meet for

rehearsals in Bochum or Essen and concerts in the Ruhrgebiet, Germany

and other European countries. This means a constant ensemble

with the greatest possible flexibility. It is a basic requirement,

says Helgath, that everyone knows each other well and are personal

friends. It is also a fundamental quality that they don’t have to work

together every day, like a radio or opera choir.

Beside tonal refinement and stylistically confident flexibility,

there is a rare third quality that sets the members of Chorwerk Ruhr

apart from other choirs: their enormous desire to work scenically as

well. It’s not enough for them to stand on stage in pretty costumes and

sing? A collaborative production like the magnificent staging of Philip

Glass’ “Einstein On The Beach” in Dortmund is something else. “The

director Kay Voges immediately recognised how important it was is to

challenge the singers. He tested their limits and was then surprised to

see how the ensemble met this challenge.” This is exactly what makes

the singers’ delight in staged performances. It expands their own potentials.

The result was that the choir entered the auditorium dressed in

shaggy alien costumes, and navigated the intricate rhythmic structures

of Glass’ Minimal Music as if in a dream. For all the participants it was

an unforgettable moment. The same applies to Florian Helgath’s Chorwerk

Ruhr which does not recognise the word “impossible”.

→ CHORWERKRUHR.DE

ART FOR

EVERYONE

AT ALL

TIMES

ÁHENNING ROGGE

KUNST

WEG.COM

FUNDED BY

A COOPERATION BETWEEN

NOISY

POLY MAG 2021

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As long as it’s tasty – Culinary Highlights

in the Ruhr area

ta sty

Are you looking for a good eatery in

the Ruhrgebiet? As the saying goes:

“One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

True! That said, we shall be telling you

how and where to eat well. We’ve chosen

places which are, so-to-speak, timeless.

Timelessly good! Just like Granny’s: a

culinary journey through time in a selection

of choice cafés, restaurants and

pubs. (→ p. 86) For consc(ient)ious Foodies:

everything from boxes of organic vegetables

to vegan restaurants and “afterwork”

markets with local traders. Tips for

the culinary “green” Ruhrgebiet. (→ p. 90)

POLY MAG 2021

TASTY

85



Just like

Granny’s

Culinary gentrification? Well… only to

a limited extent. How about a culinary

journey through time in some cafés,

restaurants and pubs?

CAFE WIACKER, HERNE-FOTO

MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD

You won’t find vegan cheesecakes and smoothiebowls

with acai berries in the Café Wiacker patisserie

in Herne. And that’s good. Instead of hipster food,

they serve sweet pastries just like you remember from

your childhood: juicy butter crumbles, chocolaty

almond slivers and sugared marzipan strawberries. The

furnishings are somewhat dignified. Nonetheless the

chandeliers, leather armchairs and cream-coloured

wallpaper do not detract from the impressive counter

full of cakes and tarts in the entrance area. But not

everything is sweet. There are also savoury classics

like “Strammer Max”; a combination of bread, ham,

cheese and a fried egg. (Branches can be found in

Herne, Bochum, Recklinghausen and Dortmund)

KONDITOREI CAFÉ WIACKER Neustr. 1 | Herne

→ WIACKER.DE

OUT IN THE GREENERY

First take a walk in the Bochum municipal park, then

play a round of minigolf and finally treat yourself to

a cold drink in the “Milchhäuschen”. The little place

near Bergstraße is perfect for a short break. If you

fancy it, you can laze outside in a wicker beach chair,

but inside it’s just as relaxed thanks to the soft cushions

on the benches. You can find tarte flambée,

hotdogs and other snacks on the menu, not to speak

of ice cream, lemonades and coffee. Breakfast is

also available from 11 am at weekends in the “Milchhäuschen”.

There’s a good reason for the name. Over

100 years ago milk was handed out to the people of

Bochum at this very spot.

DAS MILCHHÄUSCHEN | Bergstr. 140 | Bochum

NEVER WITHOUT “SALTED CARAMEL”

Patience is required if you want an ice cream here!

The queues at “Casal – Die Eismacher” in Essen are

sometimes over 100 metres long. Small wonder! After

all, this little café has a secure place in the list of the

top ten “ice cream parlours in Germany”. Simonetta

Pasqualotti and Davide de Ton are the second generation

of managers at Casal. They have regularly

modernised the furnishings but their art of making ice

cream has remained unchanged. Every year they add

new varieties to their ice cream menu. The absolute

bestseller is “Salted Caramel”.

CASAL – DIE EISMACHER | Mülheimer Str. 62 | Essen

LATTE+CO | Frintroper Str. 62 | Essen

→ CASAL1950.DE

Cofffee + sweet delicacies

CAFÉ KÖTTER

Following the motto “We’re not hip,

we’re scrumptious”, Susanne Kötter

and her team serve up such classics

as cream puffs and marble cake.

Rüttenscheider Str. 73 | Essen

→ CAFE-KOETTER.DE

STADTCAFÉ SANDER

The speciality at this patisserie is

the “Sandersche Baumkuchen”.

They also offer fruit cakes, cream

gateaux and butter cream cakes.

Kohlenkamp 12 | Mülheim an der Ruhr

→ STADTCAFESANDER.DE

CAFÉ + KONDITOREI WENNING

Hot chocolate, coffee and

a large variety of cakes

are served in this small 200

year-old slate house.

Hauptstr. 2 | Herdecke

→ CAFE-WENNING.DE

CAFÉHAUS DOBBELSTEIN

This is one of the oldest cafés in

the Ruhr area. It’s renowned for

its wide selection of cakes and

gateaux.

Sonnenwall 8 | Duisburg

→ CAFEHAUS-DOBBELSTEIN.DE

GASTHOF BERGER

This is basically a restaurant, but

their selection of cakes is as extensive

as it is delicious.

Schloßgasse 35 | Bottrop

→ GASTHOF-BERGER.DE

TASTY

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POLY MAG 2021

TASTY

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NOTHING BUT DRINK

Three drinks, two days, one bar – you don’t have to be

a mathematician to understand the “necktie (Schlips)

principle”. Opened in 1950 as the “tasting room” at

Dortmund’s Krämer distillery, “Zum Schlips” is a small

old inn that changed hands several times and finally

stood empty for a long time. Now the place with its

bowling alley has been updated with fresh ideas. It’s

open on two days (Tuesday and Saturday) and in

reality offers only three drinks: juniper tonic, water and

“Stößchen” – a Dortmund beer speciality served in a

glass that widens out towards the top. On every first

Saturday of the month the bar table turns into a Discjockey

table and “Zum Schlips” is transformed into the

smallest disco in town.

ZUM SCHLIPS | Brückstr. 64 | Dortmund

GOLDEN TIMES

A warm, reddish glow meets your eyes when you enter

the “Goldbar” in the south of Essen. Immediately you

want to sink down into the comfy leather armchairs

with a couple of friends, open a bottle of wine and

chat for hours. The “Goldbar” in Essen is the perfect

place for a laid-back evening. The homely atmosphere

is created by its nostalgic, informal furnishings: dark

red walls, scraggly wooden shelves with old books,

golden chandeliers, lots of candlelight and a warm

stove in the corner. The name “Goldbar” is a bit misleading,

because the “bar” is also a café that’s open

from half past nine in the morning. You can even sit

outside when the weather’s fine.

GOLDBAR | Rellinghauser Str. 110 | Essen

→ CAFE-GOLDBAR.DE

YOU MIGHT BE IN VIENNA

“Franz Ferdinand” is not just an inn, but a real “Beisel”.

This is the Austrian designation for a Viennese restaurant

with a cuisine that is as fine as it is down-toearth.

It’s slap bang in the middle of the Ruhrgebiet,

right across the road from Bochum Zoo. Here you will

find dark-green velvet chairs, turquoise ornamental

wallpaper and Austrian delicacies like Tyrolean “kasspatzen”

in an alpine cheese sauce, or “kaiserschmarrn”

with stewed plums. Even though you may not

always know what dishes are hidden behind words

like “Obers” or “Paradeiser” – just place your order.

Everything is mouth-watering at “Franz Ferdinand”.

FRANZ FERDINAND | Klinikstr. 51 | Bochum

→ FRANZFERDINAND-BOCHUM.DE

Somewhere to relax

DRÜBBELKEN

In the middle of Recklinghausen

there’s a place that can best be

compared to a British pub. At

“Drübbelken” you can relax over a

beer, eat crunchy fried potatoes

and listen to live music. This mixture

between a pub and a restaurant

has been around for a number

of years. It opened in 1906 as the

“Schankwirtschaft Fritz Wiesmann”,

survived two World Wars and is

now one of the most welcoming

pubs in Recklinghausen. Here people

are mostly relaxed and always

sociable. The name alone tells you

that. “Drübbelken” comes from the

Low German dialect and means

something like “a bunch of people”.

Münsterstr. 5 | Recklinghausen

→ DRUEB.DE

HONEY HAIR BAR

Killing two birds with one stone! By

day Honey Hair is a hairdressing

salon, by night a feel-at-home bar.

Viktoriastr. 16 | Bochum

→ HONEY-HAIR-BAR.DE

AMPÜTTE

The oldest bar in Essen is the

perfect place for an evening drink.

Rüttenscheider Str. 42 | Essen

→ AMPUETTE-ESSEN.DE

HAUS OE

A former colliery alehouse, complete

with a beer garden and a tiny menu.

Frohlinder Str. 35 | Castrop-Rauxel

burst

your

bubble

Don’t just be a tourist – immerse into the

unknown territory of urbanana. Stretching

from the Ruhr Area to the Rhineland, you

find a banana-shaped metropolis with

hazy boundaries.

Gear up your curiosity and zoom in on

Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr. Hover

across the streets and backyards till

you find yourself eagerly knocking on the

doors of movers and shakers, hunters and

collectors and perhaps even new friends.

Multi-faceted, free-spirited and unconventional:

Join those pioneers in creating

unique spaces, experiences and encounters.

Break away from the tourist bubble and

start your journey to North Rhine-Westphalia

at:

urbanana.de

co-funded by

YUMMY TASTY POLY MAG 2021

88

Ministry of Economic Affairs,

Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the

State of North Rhine-Westphalia



For consc(ient)ious

Foodies

From boxes of organic

vegetables to vegan

restaurants and afterwork

markets with local

traders: tips for the

culinary “green” Ruhrgebiet

Good food.

Restaurants

and Cafés

KRÜMELKÜCHE

A vegan café with home-made

delights.

Zero Waste

Shops

ALLERLEI VERPACKUNGSFREI

Steinbrinkstr. 216 | Oberhausen

→ ALLERLEI-VERPACKUNGSFREI.DE

BIOKU BIO- UND

KULTURMARKT

Herner Str. 14 | Bochum

→ BIOKUH.ORG

DUISBURG UNVERPACKT

Blumenstr. 4 | Duisburg

→ DUISBURG-UNVERPACKT.DE

The Food-Rescuers

Swenja Reil founded

Dortmund’s first zero

waste shop, which also

supplies the “Fabulose”

restaurant,. Here you

can enjoy five-course

menus made from

“rescued” food.

COLOURFUL & VEGAN:

“FARBENFROH” IN ESSEN

Lentil salad marinated with apricots, pine nut rice

with coriander, peas and caramelised figs – and,

to finish, a dessert of pears and warm nut nougat

cream. Although there are never more than ten

dishes on the menu at “Farbenfroh”, the dishes

prepared in this vegan restaurant are anything but

boring. On Sundays they offer a vegan brunch between

10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (book in advance!). Those

who prefer to eat at home can get their bread and

blueberry mousse in a brunch box.

FARBENFROH | Franziskastr. 69 | Essen

→ FARBENFROH-ESSEN.DE

THE TASTE OF INDIA – IN HAMM

“Maharani” in Hamm stands for Indian cuisine with

fresh ingredients and spices. Together with his

father Vipan, Alex Wahi cooks traditional dishes like

tandoori chicken and lentil dal. Menus vary according

to the season. Besides meat and fish dishes, he

also offers vegetarian and vegan dishes like coconut

soup with curry and parsnips. Here you can also

learn how to cook good Indian food yourself, for the

restaurant is also a cooking school.

MAHARANI | Martin-Luther-Str. 10 | Hamm

Johanniterstr. 28 | Duisburg

→ KRUEMELKUECHE.DE

SCHNIBBELGRÜN

This salad bar has lots of local

products.

Massener Str. 11a | Unna

→ SCHNIBBEL-GRUEN.DE

REINHARDTS

A restaurant & wine bar with

regional supplies.

Oststr. 15 | Hamm

→ REINHARDTS-HAMM.DE

LISA – EINFACH GUT ESSEN

A deli with a breakfast and

lunch menu.

Bebelstr. 16 | Herne

→ FEINKOST-LISA.DE

NÄHRSTOFFREICH

A bistro offering dishes without

artificial additives.

Trankgasse 3 | Bochum

→ NAEHRSTOFF-REICH.DE

ZODIAC, ESSEN

Pizza & pasta etc. with many

organic products.

Witteringstr. 41 | Essen

Food Boxes

via the internet

FLOTTE KAROTTE

Fresh vegetables from the “Holland

Colliery” in Wattenscheid. For the

past 25 years the delivery service

has been sending out its boxes

of organic products in electricallypowered

vans to various towns and

cities in the Ruhr area. In addition

to vegetables, herbs and fruit, its

range of products includes cheese,

cold (vegan) cuts, bread, cake and

yoghurt.

→ FLOTTEKAROTTE.DE

GRÜNKÄPPCHEN

Organic farming, “green” electricity

and extra economical refrigerated

transporters! This Dortmund delivery

service takes sustainability

seriously. It not only offers boxes

of organic vegetables, bread, wine

and natural cosmetics, but also socalled

“company fruit” baskets for

the office on a weekly basis.

Swenja Reil could have been satisfied with writing

her Master’s thesis in social sciences. But that wasn’t

enough. Together with friends she opened “Frau Lose”

(lit. Ms. Loose), Dortmund’s first zero waste shop.

Here there are no plastic packs or food exports from

far-off countries. Small glass containers decorate the

walls, from which you can take any amount of pasta or

flour you need. Oil, vinegar and puréed tomatoes are

sold in glass bottles, while toiletries like shampoo and

toothpaste are only sold in solid form. On top of that,

you can take part in workshops on topics like how

to ferment food. Bent cucumbers and apples with tiny

blemishes can be found in boxes of “rescued” food.

“Every year in Germany, around 18 million

tons of food are tossed into rubbish bins because they

don’t look right or haven’t been sold”, says Swenja

Reil. In order to do something about this waste, “Frau

Lose” opted for food sharing. The company arranges

with local supermarkets and farm shops to collect and

re-use their imperfect goods – for example from the

Schulte-Tiggeshof in Dortmund or the “Kornkammer

Haus Holte” in Witten. The “Fabulose” restaurant in the

northern part of Dortmund proves that rescued food

can taste just as good as anything else. Every Friday

evening they serve a five-course vegan menu made

from rescued food.

FRAU LOSE | Zero Waste Shop | Rheinische Str. 24 | Dortmund

FABULOSE | Restaurant | Braunschweiger Str. 22 | Dortmund

Lunch menu, cake, Friday, 11 am. to 4 pm,

Five-course menu every Friday from 6 pm. (with reservation)

→ MAHARANI.DE

→ RESTAURANT-ZODIAC.DE

→ GRUENKAEPPCHEN.DE

→ FRAU-LOSE.DE

YUMMY TASTY

POLY MAG 2021

POLY MAG 2021

90

TASTY

91



“Fan”-tastic food!

If you live in a city it’s not always easy to

shop for regional goods. Supermarkets usually

only offer a small selection, weekly

markets always take place while you’re in the

office, and the nearest farm shop is miles

away. In the Ruhrgebiet Julia Welkoborsky

manages a Europe-wide initiative entitled

“Marktschwärmer”.

LET’S HAVE A SANDWICH

IN BLANKENSTEIN

Starting at 4 pm on every first Friday

of the month between April and

October, the “Hattinger Butterbrotmarkt”

takes place on the market

square in the Hattingen suburb of

Blankenstein. Here eight traders

from the region set up their stands.

Despite its modest size, you can get

everything you need for a good start

into the weekend - bread, antipasti

and wine. The motto “bread and

butter” is meant literally. One stand

sells nothing but sandwiches.

BUTTERBROTMARKT | Marktplatz | Hattingen

April till October, every first Friday of the month,

from 4 to 8 p.m.

A MARKET FOR

LATECOMERS

After a hard day’s work there has to be a better solution than

rushing to the supermarket, hastily stashing the groceries

in the shopping trolley, standing in an endless queue – and

driving home exhausted. And so the founders of the Moltkemarkt

in Bochum came up with the idea of offering the first

“after-work market” in the Ruhrgebiet. Every Friday afternoon

from 4 pm on Springerplatz, local traders are selling fruit,

vegetables and meat, as well as bread, cheese, antipasti and

honey. It goes without saying that you can also relax over a

coffee at the Barbera espresso bar or take a break at Halime

Gürsoy’s stand, where you can buy Turkish specialities like

Bulgur dumplings. If you’ve still time (and are hungry) afterwards,

there are some good places nearby, like the Spanish

restaurant La Mesa or the Osteria al Veccio Torchio.

MOLTKEMARKT | Springerplatz | Bochum | Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.

→ MOLTKEMARKT.DE

POLY

JW

POLY

JW

POLY

JW

How does the initiative work?

Regional groceries can be easily ordered via our

website and then picked up once a week in the

early evening at a central location close to where

you live. This might be a pedestrian precinct or it

could be a park, for example. Our online map shows

exactly where you can get your “fan products”.

What’s on offer?

Fruit and veg, meat, dairy products, pastries, drinks

and natural cosmetics. All products are regionally

produced, many of them are also certified as

organic or come from very small farms. Last weeks

“best-sellers” were lamb, cabbage and onions.

And where can we get hold of the “Schwärmereien”?

In Dortmund, Bochum, Herdecke and Schwerte.

We are currently setting up locations In Bottrop,

Recklinghausen und Datteln.

MARKUS SPISKE – UNSPLASHED

→ MARKTSCHWAERMER.DE

TASTY

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On foot

In many cities in the Ruhr area the nearest trendy neighbourhood is

only a few minutes’ walk from the central station. In Essen the so-called “Südviertel”

(south quarter) is within easy reach, in Bochum the Bermuda Triangle is only

a few hundred metres away, and the same goes for the Dell quarter in Duisburg.

For those who like a bit more peace, why not try one of the many Revierparks,

which are currently being upgraded. Even hikers can find what they’re looking for:

a classic example is the 27-kilometer “Baldeneysteig” overlooking Lake Baldeney

in the south of Essen.

By bike

Especially in busy cities, cycling can sometimes be a real challenge.

Nevertheless there are some great cycling trails. One of the longest is the “Industrial

Heritage Trail” which has over 700 kilometres of cycle routes. It connects Duisburg

with Hamm, and also passes numerous industrial monuments. The so-called “Radschnellweg”

– a sort of motorway for cyclists – is conveniently laid out and well-lit,

mainly between Essen and Mülheim. Sad to say, further plans for expansion are only

making slow progress...

You can hire a bike at many bike rental stations (most of them are at railway stations),

and at → METROPOLRADRUHR.DE

If you want to put together your own individual cycle route, take a look here

→ RADROUTENPLANER.NRW.DE

By car

The A40 motorway is legendary – for its traffic jams. The busiest

motorway in Germany runs through Duisburg, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Essen, Bochum

and Dortmund, to name just the largest cities. If you don’t have your own car, you

can turn to car-sharing providers like Stadtmobil, Greenwheels or Flinkster. For an

overview see → CARSHARING-NEWS.DE

By E-Scooter

Germany’s first e-scooters went on the road in Herne in 2019. Since

then the network has been further expanded and e-scooters are usually accessible

without problems in Duisburg, Essen, Bochum, Bottrop and Dortmund, from companies

like Lime, Bird, Spin and Tier.

By taxi

Like everywhere else in Germany, Ruhrgebiet taxis have a pale yellow

“pensioner” look. One small problem is that the call numbers vary from town to

town. They can also be booked online on portals like → CABDO.DE

By bus, tram and underground

If you’re looking for a local public transport system that connects all

the cities in the Ruhr area, no problem! There’s only one. In theory. Because different

transport companies such as the DVG in Duisburg or the EVAG in Essen seem

to make the whole thing more complicated. Nonetheless they’re all a part of a single

transport association, the VRR, where ticket prices vary according to the length

and time of the journey. Here’s a tip. The “culture line” (tram 107) connects many

cultural highlights between Essen and Gelsenkirchen. If you take the 107 tram,

you will pass Werner Ruhnau’s legendary Musiktheater im Revier (Gelsenkirchen),

as well as the Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Folkwang Museum

in Essen. For information on tickets and prices (also in English) see → VRR.DE

By air

Dortmund Airport serves many destinations within Europe. It can be

easily reached by the airport shuttle bus from Dortmund central station. The smaller

Essen/Mülheim airport does not offer scheduled flights, but gliders, helicopters and

planes take off here. As does an airship called “Theo”. When the weather’s fine in

summer, you can take a 60 minute round tour aboard the airship, sometimes over

the Bergisch Land area. If you fancy booking a ride on “Theo”, take a look here:

→ WDL-WORLDWIDE.DE

By boat

Canals may look less idyllic in the Ruhrgebiet than in Italy. But industrialisation

has ensured that there is a dense network of waterways - and structural

changes have resulted in many cycle and walking trails along their banks. Europe’s

largest inland port is in Duisburg, where the “White Fleet” pleasure boats also set out.

Pedal boats, canoes and the like can be hired from the “Six Lakes” in Duisburg, Lake

Kemnade in Bochum and Lake Berger in Gelsenkirchen, to name but three.

You can book a tour along the canals at

→ KULTURKANAL.RUHR

Apart from that you can…

…glide over Dortmund on the overhead railway → WWW.H-BAHN.INFO

or travel the area on a steam train, say from the Railway Museum in the Bochum

suburb of Dahlhausen → EISENBAHNMUSEUM-BOCHUM.DE

And if you want to travel back in time why not take a trip on the Hespertal Railway

from the suburb of Kupferdreh along Lake Baldeney in Essen? Some of the

night-time scenes for the ’20s tv series “Babylon Berlin” were shot here. More info:

→ HESPERTALBAHN.DE

→ RUHR-TOURISMUS.DE or phone: 0180-61 81 620

MORE INFORMATION

TASTY POLY MAG 2021

POLY MAG 2021

TASTY

94

95



ART

EUR 5,– NO 4

Face to face:

An interview

with British performance

artist

William Hunt

SHOPPING

Preloved and

pretty: Join

Düsseldorf ’s

thriving vintage

scene

GUIDE

Discover the

best spots and

addresses in town

for food — and

a glass or two

made by

SPECIAL

If times turn gaga,

go for yoga —

the best studios

to bend, stretch

and chill out

GUIDE

Be inspired by

Düsseldorf ’s

unmissable

and diverse art

galleries and

museums

URBAN

Meet Donald

Campbell who’s

living true skate

style since 1983

free // NO 3

Imprint Once a year “Poly”

provides an overview

of all the key issues affecting

art and society in the Ruhr region.

If you want to find out

more about art and culture in

North Rhine-Westphalia, why

not take a look at our magazine

“kultur.west” (which is published

ten times a year), or every day

at: www.kulturwest.de

PUBLISHER

K-West Verlag GmbH

Dinnendahlstr. 134

45136 Essen

T +49 201 49 068-14

info@kulturwest.de

www.kulturwest.de

CONCEPT & EDITOR IN CHIEF

Annika Wind

Volker K. Belghaus

CREATIVE DIRECTION

Morphoria Design

www.morphoria.com

TITLE

Thomas Böcker, Sommerbilder/Monumente

www.thomas-boecker.net

MARKETING & SALES

Anja Keienburg und

Marcus Schütte

Netzkult Marketing & PR

T +49 208 828 776 00

www.netzkult.de

ADVERTISEMENT

anzeigen@poly-magazin.de

WHAT ELSE?

If you’re keen to discover

more hot spots and

insider tips in North-

Rhine Westphalia, we

can highly recommend

the following two magazines:

“hiddencologne”

for Cologne and “The

Dorf” for Düsseldorf.

MORE INFO AT

→ HIDDENCOLGNE.DE

→ THEDORF.DE

→ URBANANA.COM

WILLIAM

HUNT

VINTAGE

FASHION

EAT &

DRINK

YOGA

CITY

ART &

CULTURE

PAVEL

SKATES

URBAN ART & CULTURE • TOURS • FOOD • MUSIC • ART • FASHION

AUSGEWÄHLTE

SKULPTUREN

ENTDECKEN –

MIT DER

KOSTENLOSEN

APP!

TEXT

Volker K. Belghaus, Honke

Rambow, Kristina Schulze,

Stefanie Stadel, Sascha

Westphal, Annika Wind

CIRCULATION

25.000

PRINTED IN GERMANY

Druckerei Himmer, Augsburg

TRANSLATION & PROOF-READER

Roy Kift

COPYRIGHT 2020

Poly Magazin

ILLUSTRATION

Brian Storm

www.storm-illustration.de

CONTACT

www.poly-magazin.de

info@poly-magazin.de

Projektentwicklung und Durchführung:

Gefördert vom:

96

IMPRINT

POLY MAG 2021



urst

our

ubble

Don’t just be a tourist – immerse into the

unknown territory of urbanana. Stretching

from the Ruhr Area to the Rhineland, you

find a banana-shaped metropolis with

hazy boundaries.

Gear up your curiosity and zoom in on

Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr. Hover

across the streets and backyards till

you find yourself eagerly knocking on the

doors of movers and shakers, hunters and

collectors and perhaps even new friends.

Multi-faceted, free-spirited and unconventional:

Join those pioneers in creating

unique spaces, experiences and encounters.

Break away from the tourist bubble and start

your journey to North Rhine-Westphalia at:

Odonien ©MarcoKD KölnTourismus GmbH

rbanana.de

an initiative of

co-funded by

Ministry of Economic Affairs,

Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the

State of North Rhine-Westphalia

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