Where was the world's first factory? Where was the largest steam engine built? And where can you find the most up-to-date colliery of its time? Industrialisation changed the face of Europe. Consequently it has left us a rich industrial heritage. A gigantic network of sites spread all over Europe. It only has to be brought back to life -which is what the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is doing. Come with us on an exciting journey of discovery to the most important sites in Europe's industrial history.
What is ERIH?
The ERIH network was developed in the years 2003 to 2008 by eleven project partners, supported by the European Union. For the continuation of the network´s work, in February 2008 ERIH founded a registered association based on German law named ERIH-European Route of Industrial Heritage e.V.. Since that time the number of members increased from 17 founder members to more than 250 members from 24 European countries.
Members of ERIH are industrial heritage sites, public or private organisations, corporate members and individuals. You can also support the ERIH network by becoming a "Friend of ERIH".
WORK IT OUT!
This May 1st was a very special one: ‚WORK it OUT‘ made young people all around Europe dance - in celebration of our shared European industrial heritage. From Norway to Spain and from Belgium to Bulgaria, 32 ERIH sites were part of the event.
What was the programme like?
The day focused on the electronic dance performance ‚WORK it OUT - Day of Industrial Heritage‘, composed by 17-year-old musicians Paul Fanger and Paul Ostarek – Paul & Friends – and based on Beethoven's European anthem ‚Ode to Joy‘. The choreography of Hai Truong, dance studio Groove Dance Classes, translates repetitive movements of former workers into modern dance moves.
This kind of ‚industrial dance‘ did inspire children and particularly young people, who were the main target audience of ‚WORK it OUT‘ since it’s them who transfer the industrial heritage to the next generation. For them the dance performance was an opportunity to experience the legacy of the industrial age in a creative way – not only as a cool location but also as part of their own culture.
Over the past few weeks more than 3,000 children and young people have rehearsed ‚WORK it OUT‘ intensively. On 1 May at 3 pm sharp, they started to dance in smaller or larger groups, many of them dressed in black and equipped with the blue ‚WORK it OUT‘ cap as emblem and part of the performance. The participating ERIH locations combined the ERIH event with further visitor attractions.