The festival venue: former Altendorf freight station
The setting for BEGEHUNGEN 2021 will be the former Altendorf freight station.
The railroad station was put into operation together with the industrial railroad Küchwald-Obergrüna in 1903. It was of central importance as a hub for the factories located in the north of the city. Rail traffic on this line was finally discontinued in 2003 - exactly 100 years after its start. The tracks have been dismantled except for a few remaining pieces. Only a few fragments remind us of the original purpose of the site. The warehouse, which has been empty for years, will be the center of our festival this year.
First, a brief digression into the history of the industrial railroad: the city's factories were located far from the existing railroad lines. Even the Saxon Machine Factory - which manufactured locomotives - had to laboriously transport its locomotives to the Chemnitz train station using horse-drawn carts. As the 19th century drew to a close, the Saxon parliament therefore decided to build an industrial railroad that would connect the north of Chemnitz to the rail network. The line, which was almost twelve kilometers long in total, was opened in 1903. In addition to the two connecting points Küchwald and Obergrüna, a total of five loading points and numerous sidings were built on the line. The Altendorf freight station served as the operating center for the industrial rail line. The Saxon Machine Factory was also connected from here via spur tracks. From 1990, the volume of freight traffic declined sharply. Until the year 2000, the line was still used by coal, gypsum and ash trains from the northern combined heat and power plant. The line was finally decommissioned in 2003 to mark the 100th anniversary of the industrial railroad.
Since then, new perspectives for the area have been sought. Since 2015, work has been underway with public participation to transform the former station area into a new urban space that combines living and recreation. Since 2019, the remaining tracks have been dismantled along the route. A recreational bike path has been planned. Its realization is supposed to start this year.
Our festival center - the old warehouse of the station - is, along with the former administrative building, the last evidence of the Altendorf plant. Until the wait for a new use ends for it too, we want to interrupt the Leerzeit of this place with this year's BEGEHUNGEN.
The art festival Begehungen has been taking place in Chemnitz since 2003 - as the largest off-culture event in the city. The trademark is an unconventional and low-threshold approach to art. For this reason, the Begehungen are not just a temporary art exhibition, they are a social meeting point for people of different backgrounds. An extensive supporting program consisting of performances, readings and concerts is also an essential part of the festival.
The tradition of the annually changing location is important and committed to the festival name. In addition to micro-areas on the Sonnenberg and the Brühl, a former prison, an old school, the Rabenstein Palace of Culture, a garden section and abandoned industrial buildings were the venues of the art festival.
The Begehungen see themselves as an inclusive and barrier-free festival with extensive offers. Entry to all program items and the exhibition is free.
We have a common idea. One likes to build, one likes to talk. Some like to discover unused places. Everyone is looking forward to visits from other countries and young art.
One is interested in music and bands, one likes theater. Some want to be part of what is happening in the city, others just want to have a nice weekend.
One is soldering and wiring, one is thinking about Chemnitz and Europe. Some like to bring light into the dark, others want to break down barriers. Everyone likes to get dirty.
We want a festival for everyone. Are you interested in joining us? Then don't hesitate and write us an email: info [at] begehungen-chemnitz.de
Please send inquiries to Sarah Hofmann, presse [at] begehungen-chemnitz.de