Vers la terre de pourquoi

Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

This project is located in the Luxemburguish Esch-Sur-Alzette’s train station. It proposes a new lecture on the wall adjacent to the city’s bus station docks. We used a quote by the local writer Jean Portante, aiming to give a new meaning to the spot through color and typography’s geometric elements.

We took out the line “VERS LA TERRE DU POURQUOI” (heading to the land of why) from its original context, giving it as many meanings as people interact with it.


Esch-Sur-Alzette is the largest city in Luxembourg with 35.000 inhabitants that include more than one hundred nationalities.
The city stands out for its industrial past, which has caused difficulties in urban planning due to abandoned industrial land.
KUFA’S URBAN ART fest aims to improve cohesion, making the inhabitants work together on the same project by creating a collection of urban artworks and, thus, putting together an open-air museum that offers connections to the entire city. On the one hand, it is an artistic and tourism tool. On the other, it can respond to linking the different parts of a city with each other and with the center.

We understand the bus station we are working on as a place of meetings, crossroads, and farewells.
It is a place where no one stays, but everyone is, a place that belongs to no one but everyone.
For this reason and after the dynamics carried out with the citizens, we aim to achieve a change of perception of the site and convert the lost waiting time at the station into a more habitable space.

The poem

Jean Portante is a Luxembourgish poet, translator, novelist, and journalist, that serves as a source of inspiration for our proposal. We’ve looked for a good verse for the spot, considering that it is a monotonous bus station.
We’ve chosen this writer, as he is one of the best promoters of Luxembourgish literature worldwide.
Since 1980, Portante has explored issues related to identity, from memory to oblivion, in various literary genres, especially poetry, novels, drama, and essays. His literary style continues to evolve, marked by solid intertextuality, providing access to new interpretations.
We search among the verses written in French and translated into many languages to find the right message.

We have been inspired by the poem “El Fabricante de Sur” to carry out this artistic intervention.
In it, the poet narrates the loss of inspiration and how to find it again. For this, he builds a multiverse, making use of his characteristic imagery. He guides us through a parallel world, where he presents several allegorical figures about the life and death of creation to end up witnessing that light is given to us by art, that means, the word.

Information and credits
  • Size of the wall: 161 m width x 4 height
  • Plastic paint and enamel on prefab concrete and steel
  • Made during Kufa's Urban Art Fest, organized by Kulturfabrik
  • Thanks to Renné Penning, Fred Entringer, Maëlle Lepetit and all the team at Kulturfabrik for their commitment to promote culture all over the city of Esch
  • Execution team: Irene García
  • Photos by Boa Mistura
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