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16. und 17. Mai 2018 Conference: Industrial Heritage – Relevance and Vision for North Rhine-Westphal
 
 
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The coal and steel industry and its heritage characterise the Ruhr Area and the identity of the people living there to this day. The many efforts to protect selected tangible and intangible remnants of the region attract worldwide attention and have even been taken up elsewhere. With the end of coal mining in Germany, i.e. in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the Saarland, the question arises what the perspectives are for the heritage of the coal and steel industry and its relevance for an understanding of the past that is not backward- but rather forward-looking.  
 
As part of the project “Glückauf Zukunft” of the RAG Stiftung, the Stiftung Industriedenkmalpflege und Geschichtskultur will investigate this question and hold a conference from 16–17 May 2018 on “Industrial Heritage – Relevance and Vision for North Rhine-Westphalia” at one of its heritage sites, the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck.  
 
Topics to be raised will be how to commemorate former sites of coal mining, e.g. through industrial monuments and museums, and developing new forms of collective memory. Furthermore, the organisers wish to explore what the Ruhr Area can learn from other post-industrial regions and how they deal with their heritage. On the first day of the conference, examples from Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, China and Taiwan will be introduced. The second day will focus on the World Heritage project “Ruhr Area Industrial Cultural Landscape” and on the future valorisation and communication of the industrial heritage as well as on the role the arts can play.  
 
Finally, the issue will be addressed how the work experiences and lives of the miners, their knowledge and traditions can be preserved in our age of Industry 4.0 and virtual cultural storage and how they can be injected with meaning.  
The conference of the Stiftung Industriedenkmalpflege und Geschichtskultur will be supported by the RAG Stiftung, the Regionalverband Ruhr and RWE-Power.
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