In spring 2014, a remarkable edition of citybooks will get underway. This time not one but two cities will form the source of inspiration for five city portraits, a series of 24 photos and 24 City One Minute films.
Hasselt and Genk are the two principle cities of the Limburg region. Though they’re nearby, their similarities are few. Different histories, layouts and populations have shaped Genk and Hasselt into a pair of cities each with unique characters. While Hasselt is an important city for trade and culture with a clear town centre, Genk evolved from its origins as a Celtic settlement into a multicultural, industrial place without a clearly delineated nucleus. They fit together like pieces of a puzzle. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In collaboration with our organisational partner Z33, a local centre for contemporary art, and the Provincie Limburg and in the context of the public space project De Unie Hasselt-Genk, the authors will each spend a week in Hasselt and a week in Genk. The Dutch writer Atte Jongstra will get the ball rolling. Previously, he wrote the citybook Death Comes up from Below about Venice. After Atte Jongstra, next up is the Belgian author Christophe Van Gerrewey. The Spanish author Use Lahoz, Slovenian poet and essayist Aleš Šteger and Małgorzata Rejmer, a young writer from Poland, complete this citybooks edition. A series of 24 photos inspired by these cities is created by the Belgian photographer Athos Burez.
Z33 is a centre for contemporary art. Since 2002, Z33 has been making projects and exhibitions that encourage the visitor to look afresh at the everyday. It’s a unique laboratory and a meeting place for experimentation and innovation that you can rely on for innovative exhibitions of contemporary art and design. De Unie Hasselt-Genk is a project dedicated to bringing art into the public spaces of Hasselt and Genk, beginning on the 21st of July, 2014. De Unie is an initiative of Z33 – the province of Limburg’s centre for contemporary art – in collaboration with the cities of Hasselt and Genk.
Photo © Kristof Vranken