Kick-off Grand Snail Tour in Xanten

UKR2024 Xanten Grand Snail Tour c Heinrich Holtgreve 2

What is the Ruhr area? An exciting metropolitan region centred around the major cities of Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg? Or a collection of scattered towns and villages from Alpen to Xanten? Or both? Does it consist of tranquil river landscapes along the Ruhr, Emscher and Lippe or is it hopelessly damaged by the scars of heavy industry? Ruhrpott, example of transformation, poverty zone - how can art open up, change and enrich this diverse region?

Urbane Künste Ruhr wants to find out and is launching the Grand Snail Tour in autumn, an artistic-performative journey through all 53 cities in the Ruhr area. Because this is an ambitious endeavour and Urbane Künste Ruhr has set itself the goal of getting to know local players, forming bonds and establishing sustainable networks, this is a three-year project.

Equipped with a wagon as an action and exhibition space, the Grand Snail Tour aims to present an artistic programme in public places, come into contact with local people and exchange ideas with local players. The programme will be developed in collaboration with various local initiatives, with whom contact will be sought in advance. The route - from the west to the north, east, south and finally to Herne in the centre of the Ruhr region - follows the spiral pattern of a snail's shell. The big kick-off event will take place on Thursday 26 September 2024 in Xanten.

The Grand Snail Tour raises important contemporary questions and seeks answers in an experimental and innovative way: Who owns public space? Who are streets and squares there for? Who is excluded and how can we change this? How can art come to the people instead of the other way round? How can art institutions reach an audience beyond the major urban centres and include rural areas in their sphere of influence? How can cultural production lead to sustainable results?

The long-term nature of the project, in which many regional and international artists are involved at all stages, reflects the approach to these questions in numerous facets: in the changing regional landscapes and in the course of the seasons as well as in relation to the current political debates.


Big kick-off event with official ceremony to mark the opening of the Grand Snail Tour on Thursday, 26.9. in Xanten.


Marktplatz Xanten
46509 Xanten


  • Thursday
    Grand Snail Tour

    Start of the Grand Snail Tour in Xanten