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05 December 2019
Esch sur Alzette – Saturday – 2:00 p.m .: young people happily rush into the corridor covered with paintings and graffiti in the house which houses Hariko. Head for the workshops where the disheveled riffs of the teacher escape, to which the thundering percussions of “the student” respond.
Welcome to the realm of unbridled creativity! Hariko took over the house on rue de l’Eglise in September 2018 at the invitation of the Culture Department of the City of Esch-sur-Alzette. In transit, pending a move in 2020 to the wastelands of Esch-Schifflange, a site which is expected to play a major role during the ESCH2022 cultural year. The principle is the same as at the opening in September 2015 in Bonnevoie: give access to art to all young people from 12 to 26 years old and help them to express their creativity, to open up and to strengthen their resilience thanks to free workshops in very varied disciplines. The workshops are given by artists who, in return, pay no rent for their artist residency. “6 of the 22 artists followed us to Esch and we welcomed 2 new ones, former visitors to Bonnevoie: a young Beninese painter seeking international protection and a multidisciplinary Syrian refugee artist who wishes to create stop motion films with young people. The surface does not allow us to increase the number of artists … on the other hand, in our new building, there will be room for 25! “, Rejoices Marianne Donven, manager of Hariko.
Esch: homecoming and springboard
The Hariko is above all conceived as an artistic place: “We focus on vulnerable young people. Our workshops are free for members. So many young people exclude themselves from more institutional places of artistic learning … we welcome them all, without prerequisites, without prejudices, without tests, without judgment, “explains Marianne Donven.
With already a hundred members (against 700 in Bonnevoie), the team is slowly but surely forging links: visits to high schools, collaboration with the Maison des Jeunes, Tuesday theater workshop reserved for children aged 11-12 who are not no place in Maison Relais… Marianne Donven believes that it is once installed at place du Brill that Hariko can really check the validity of the original concept: “Large rooms, stages … we can do so many things … and let’s start brainstorming. The city of Esch integrated us into its cultural strategy plan, also giving us the mission to bring workshops and artistic events in public space, especially since the city will be European Capital of Culture in 2022.“