Minetter artist and environmental activist
We continue our journey of discovery through the Minett UNESCO Biosphere in the February episode of our “Minett Mash-Up” podcast. We make another stop on the Minett Trail and this time we welcomed our guest in one of the three “Kabaisercher” (lodgings) in the Municipality of Mondercange. These “Kabaisercher” are located right behind the cultural centre “Beim Nëssert” in Bergem and are also a topic of this episode because of the special concept that characterises these constructions.
But the main focus of this episode with our guest Julia Ruhmann is on art and commitment to our planet. Julia is a true “Minetter” – she comes from Dudelange and now lives in Esch.
Our guest: Julia Ruhmann
Even as a child, Julia Ruhmann was enthusiastic about art. Imagination and creativity are simply part of her life. Julia studied communication design in Mainz and now works as a communication designer for “Youth4Planet” Luxembourg.
© Minett UNESCO Biosphere / IK-CNCI / MUAR
Julia Ruhmann is not only committed to sustainable development through her work for “Youth4Planet” but also as an independent artist. Every time one of her artworks is sold, she donates part of the earnings to selected NGOs working to protect the environment and to improve the quality of life in other parts of our planet. Nature conservation is not only an important part of Julia’s life, nature is also a central element in the artist’s creative process.
Our Minett location of the month: Bergem
The municipality of Mondercange
Bergem is one of the four towns of the municipality of Mondercange. Besides Bergem and Mondercange, Foetz and Pontpierre are also part of this 21.4 km2 municipality, which is located on the northern border of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere.
Unlike other municipalities in the south of Luxembourg, Mondercange has never had an industrial past. During the heyday of Luxembourg’s steel industry, many residents of the municipality earned their living in the steelworks located near the French border.
Kabaischen of the month: The Bergem Wikkelhouses
In 2023, every episode of our podcast will be recorded in a “Kabaischen” along the Minett Trail. This 90-km hiking trail connects the 11 municipalities of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere and is the common thread on our journey through the Land of the Red Earth this year.
For this episode, we met with our guest in a Wikkelhouse in the municipality of Monnerich.
The concept of the Wikkelhouses comes from the Netherlands. These are small shelters that are built out of cardboard. It is a sustainable way of building that was chosen for Bergem because there was no adequate historic building available in the municipality that could have been converted into a tourist lodging.
© Minett UNESCO Biosphere
These are located in a small park with a communal garden behind the cultural centre “Beim Nëssert” in Bergem, therefore. Three “Kabaisercher” were built and are available for booking individually or as a whole (can accommodate up to 12 guests in total).
South of Bergem is located in the Natura2000 ” Upper Alzette Valley” area. This nature reserve is home to a bird species which, in Luxembourg, can at best be observed in the Syr valley near Münsbach. Which species is it?
- The white stork
- The black stork
- The eagle owl
After the renaturation of the Alzette river, which was launched after the devastating floods of the 1990s, it did not take long for the white stork to find a new home here. For the past 10 years, the white stork has returned every year to breed.
How many layers of cardboard are the walls of the Bergemer Kabaisercher made of?
- 24 layers
- 44 layers
- 64 layers
In addition to the 24 layers of cardboard, the Wikkelhouses are made of a wooden construction, using local wood (whenever possible). Due to their light weight, Wikkelhouses do not need a foundation and can be erected virtually anywhere.
Links to the topics we talked about in this episode:
- Youth4planet Luxembourg: rganisation founded in 2018 that empowers children and young people to use their smartphones as an educational tool
- Wikkelhouse: producer of the sustainable cardboard “Kabaisercher” built in the municipality of Monnerich for the Minett Trail
- Municipality of Mondercange: One of the eleven municipalities of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere
- Metzeschmelz: Former steelworks located in the municipalities of Esch and Schifflange. A new residential quarter will be built here.
- Metzeschmelz Cueva 2022: A cultural project with local artists that revitalised the Metzeschmelz site during the European Capital of Culture Esch2022.
- Bâtiment4: A “third place” managed by an independent collective consisting of associations and artists active on site.
- Théid Johanns: Artist from Esch who initiated the Cueva project.
- Waassertuerm Diddeleng: The watertower of the former steelworks in Dudelange. It is now an industrial monument where they have rolling exhibitions.
- Ginzebierg: Natura2000 site in the municipality of Dudelange, famous for the RTL television tower.
- Independant professional artist status in Luxembourg
- Believe Ranch and Rescue: Foundation working for the protection of abused horse
- Viva Con Agua: NGO working for global access to clean drinking water
- Heli’s Hunde Hilfe: Initiative for the protection and care of dogs in Egypt
- Target: NGO campaigning against female genital mutilation
- Ellergronn: Nature conservation centre managed by the Administration de la nature et des forêts (ANF). It is also the headquarters of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere
- Escher Déierepark: park with 25 different animal species at the Escher Gaalgebierg
- Dag an der Natur: A day in nature, a national initiative that also takes place annually in the Ellergronn.
- Natura2000-Zone „Upper Alzette Valley“: Nature reserve between Esch-Lallange and Bettembourg, where the river Alzette was renaturalised about 20 years ago
- White stork: Information on the white stork, which has been breeding in the area of the Bergemer Kabaisercher for 10 years
- Dumontshaff: Naturschutzgebitt tëscht Schëffleng a Biergem, wou de wäisse Stuerk doheem ass
- Schëfflenger Brill ringing station: A bird ringing station managed by the Centrale Ornithologique du Luxembourg (COL)
- Arc Kënschtlerkrees: an organisation made up of Luxembourgish artists, founded in 1959.
- Parc Merveilleux Bettembourg: animal and fairytale park in Bettembourg
- COP: Climate Change Conferences of the United Nations
- IFEN: Institut de Formation de l’Éducation Nationale in Walferdange
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