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Projections in Lützerath (2021-2022)

Lützerath was a small village in Germany, in the heart of Europe. It was destroyed last month to extract and burn 280 Millions tons of coal but prior to the destruction, activists were occupying the village to protect it from demolition. Over the past 2 years, I visited “Lützi” several times and brought some projections to support the activists and their courageous actions.

Here are some shots captured by photographer Tim Wagner (you can follow his work on twitter) of various projections on the buildings (now gone). The yellow cross symbolizes the opposition to the ever expanding extraction of fossil fuels.

More projections at the activist’s camp, which had several wooden buildings, towers, tree houses. There was a kitchen, a wood shop, a bike shop, a press office, a café, large meeting and conference spaces, bathrooms and toilets. This small, self governed space, on the model of French ZAD (Zone to defend) Notre-Dame des Landes, was like a small draft version of what future societies will be.

Here’s a projection floating over the fire place, rays of light caught in smoke particles.

This is the Neurath power plant, one of the most polluting in Europe.

The dirty power plant is poisoning the air we’re breathing: it is emitting Mercury, Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Fine particles, lead, cadmium, carbon monoxide, and Arsenic.

One projection says “RWE, coal mafia”.

It refers to a testimony I heard a few years ago from an elderly: his house was destroyed by the coal company, his entire village razed. The church were he married has been demolished, and even the cemetery was excavated, and bodies removed, so the coal underneath could be burned.

23 villages have been destroyed already.

The coal company controls the entire region: cities and even politicians receive money for coal. In exchange, RWE is allowed to turn the region into a wasteland, and make enormous profits.

During one of my visits in November 2022, I did a specific laser projection on a magnificent 370 year old tree that photographer Barbara Schnell had been documenting over several seasons. More than just a protest projection, this time the idea was to reveal the beauty of nature and to bring a bit of joy and wonder to the farmer and to all the activists living on site.

Here are some pictures of the activist’s camp before its destruction.
Next post will cover the final days of Lützerath and the inspiring determination of climate activists.

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