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Conference and culture

In order to present the World Canals Conference (WCC) 2022 as a lively and citizen-oriented conference, we want to integrate it into the cultural landscape of Central Germany. This way, we present the structural change in our region as a cultural process in the context of the WCC 2022.Visual arts, dance, theatre, high and socio-culture have always been part of the political and social upheaval process in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, and have thus accompanied the social upheaval in a creative way.

For the World Canals Conference 2022, we will find partners who will enrich this important event with another facet, a living one. This does not require any new event content or cultural programs, but rather the individual actors are called upon to act according to their métier and in partnership as a relevant part of the WCC 2022.

What will be new is the programmatic link to the waterways, the lakes, the rivers, the canals still to be completed and their peripheries. Whether the topic of water is frequented in word, image or sound is secondary, essential is the willingness to present itself as part of a team that invites its guests to Leipzig for a professionally demanding, but also colorful conference.

In the run-up to the conference, we will approach the citizens of our region, address them, reach them and, above all, take them with us. Through culture, we will raise awareness of continuing to be interested in the process of transformation, to participate in it, to remain curious and to continue to maintain the desire for change.

Leipziger Mermaiden

Water meets culture ... On June 24, the Urban Collective from Leipzig presented the wonderful piece "Leipziger Mermaiden": the Peterssteg at the Elster weir was stage and auditorium at the same time, with the water of the Weißen Elster, the Elster flood bed and the Elstermühlgraben forming the element, where the performers of the Urban Collective told the history and stories of Leipzig's waters dramatically, loudly or quietly. Water as the substance that gives life, happiness, nourishment and a future, but which also takes away and conceals ruin. The music for the piece, which was performed live, sounded from the banks as a classical string trio or in thick beats with electric guitar, was also varied and creative. "Leipziger Mermaiden" is spontaneous and classic and gets by without any conventions ... exactly when the actresses actually let the element of water become their place of play and circle the Elstermühlgraben.

Yvette Kießling

In her studio in the Leipzig cotton mill, Yvette Kießling spoke to us about art, painting and life in the West of Leipzig. She finds her motifs in nature, and what she sketches along the way, she completes – mostly in large format and in oil – in her studio in Leipzig-Plagwitz. Her work can undoubtedly be assigned to the Leipzig School, which is not surprising given that she was a master student of Prof. Arno Rink, one of the founders of this trend in the visual arts.


Water meets culture in Ferropolis, the city of iron on Lake Gremmin. At first glance, the contrast between landscape and location could hardly be greater, but at second glance it becomes clear how much it ultimately defines this unique cultural location. Loud music and colorful festival activity alternate smoothly with family-friendly tourism in a rural idyll with a bathing lake, cycle path and – absolute peace and quiet. Thies Schröder and Janine Scharf informed us about content, facts, history and news about Ferropolis.

WCC 2022 Hohenmölsen Cultural Foundation

Ulrike Kalteich informed us about the Recarbo adventure region in the former Zeitz lignite mining area. The Kulturstiftung Hohenmölsen combines highlights from the history of industry and tourism, so that it helps the region to preserve its mining tradition, but also participates in tourism development in the post-mining landscape. Living structural change is practiced in such a way that the lignite mining of yesteryear remains in the mind and the paths along the former pits can be actively explored on the Recarbo cycle route.

House of Handel Halle/Saale

In the historic ambience of the Handel House, Clemens Birnbaum informed us about the life and work of the famous son of the city of Halle an der Saale. Handel's musical work received an enormous response during his lifetime, making him one of those artists who actually experienced approval and fame. And with what is probably his best-known composition, Wassermusik, he suggested – albeit unconsciously – an acoustic link to the WCC 2022 in Leipzig more than three hundred years ago.

Bridge Run

For the 15th edition of the Leipzig Bridge Run, Frank Fechner, member of the board of the Wasserstadt e.V. Leipzig, informed us about the background and motivation for this popular sporting event in the west of Leipzig. Plagwitz shows itself not only as an industrial historical gem, but also as an active sports district. Thank you for inviting WCC 2022 participants to play sports during the conference.

Schauspiel Leipzig

Water meets culture ... for the planned performance of Undine in the Theater Leipzig. However, before the legendary nymph creature can be seen on stage, director Anna-Sophie Mahler, dramaturge Kathrin Veser and actress Julia Berke made their way to the Leipzig floodplain forest. Together with Angela Zábojník from the Office for Urban Greenery and Water, we looked for parallels and living spaces that connect Leipzig with the myth of Undine.


Water meets culture ... on Lake Störmthal. Rüdiger Pusch, restaurateur and tourism expert from the very beginning, gave us his perspective on the development of Lake Störmthal. The VINETA bistro on the Magdeborn peninsula now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, plus there are cultural offers on the floating island of VINETA, boat tours, bathing fun on the beach and much more.


... and today we met with Elke Witt, Managing Director of the Tourism Association of the World Heritage Region Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e.V. During a tour of Wittenberg, Ms. Witt reported on the history, the change in the landscape after lignite mining and new trends in tourism. Interesting and exciting facts about a region that inspires both culturally and scenically and which now attracts visitors from all over the world.

Leipziger Industriekultur e.V.

Since it was founded in 2009, the protagonists of Leipziger Industriekultur e.V. have been committed to documenting the development of our city under the aspects of economic changes. The pioneering spirit of individuals and the striving of an entire city for progress and change over the past decades are the subject of guided tours, lectures and exhibitions. In an interview, Prof. Markus Krabbes explained the exciting and perhaps also unique relationship between industry and culture in Leipzig. Many thanks for the boat tour to the SC DHfK Leipzig e.V. / Department Canoe / Bootshaus Klingerweg.

Kennzeichen L

Kennzeichen L, under the title, the Leipzig City History Museum is currently showing an exhibition of simple, ordinary objects from everyday life. But nothing is banal about it, because behind each of the exhibits there is a piece of history of the city with the label L. How can very simple things - for example a worn coat - tell stories and write history themselves; Dr. Anselm Hartinger, director of the Leipzig City History Museum.

Oper Leipzig

Together with the dramaturge Anna Diepold, production manager Remy Fichet and Mario Schröder, ballet director and chief choreographer of the Leipzig Opera, we discovered the opportunities and possibilities to link the water landscape in and around Leipzig with the Leipzig Opera for cultural performances. The occasion for this was and is the desire to integrate the Opera Leipzig as a partner into the program of the WCC 2022. Mario Schröder positions his and the culture's view of the transformation of society and that of the landscape in and around Leipzig pictorially, impressively and at the same time pragmatically.

Altenburg am Meer

Altenburg am Meer / The cultural scene in Altenburg wants to go to the sea - even by boat. You don't have to be a geographer to know that death is almost impossible if there is no waterway. Unimpressed by this, the multi-week workshop festival “Altenburg am Meer” is currently taking place in Altenburg. Valentin Schmehl, the artistic director, gave us the project and the background: more about it can be found here. Altenburg am Meer is a project of the Other Music Academy. Funded by Aktion Mensch, Fonds Soziokultur, the Thuringian State Chancellery, the Rotary Altenburg and many others.


AB-RAUM… is an artistic project that deals with the extraction of raw materials and the resulting transformation of the landscape. In very different works, the participating artists show their view of the changes associated with dismantling and transformation, socially, ecologically and technically. The exhibition Ab-Raum hits the nerve of "Water meets Culture", as it illuminates the essential content of the transformation - one of the core topics of WCC 2022 - from very different perspectives. Artists: Ingeborg Lockemann (Borkheide, Berlin), Shlomit Baumann ( Jaffa), Grit Ruhland (Dresden, Leipzig), Inken Reinert (Jena, Berlin) Roswitha von den Driesch / Jens-Uwe Dyffort (Berlin), Anna Schimkat (Leipzig) Jessica Arseneau (Montreal, Mülheim), Mandy Gehre (Leipzig), Renata Lucia (Houston), Sven Kalden (Berlin), Oliver van den Berg (Berlin).

Urban Collective

The WCC 2022 also presents the region and Central Germany as a colorful play area for dance and theater. We invite artists to take part in WCC 2022 so that we can use very different genres to show how diverse and creatively the change in the region is culturally accompanied. Together with actors and initiators of the Urban Collective dance theater, we looked at possible venues in and around Leipzig. Ideas and creative concepts can be implemented in many places: on the bank of a river in Leipzig (or on it), on one of the new lakes, on the Karl-Heine Canal, the Saale-Elster Canal or the Saale itself.