The Culture of Landscape Transformation: From an Off-Limits, Open Sewer to the New Emscher Valle


  • Ben Tendler freelance translator and copywriter


The arrival in 2010 of a major international public art exhibition on the Emscher Island, a 34 km-long slither of land between the Emscher river and the Rhine-Herne Canal in the Ruhr area of Northern Germany, was a clear sign of the continued transformation of what had previously been a no-go area. The industrialization of the Emscher valley had not precluded the return of nature or of culture.

Author Biography

Ben Tendler, freelance translator and copywriter

Ben Tendler graduated from the University of Bristol in 2000 with a First in English. He then worked as a writer, researcher, and editor at a London publishing house until 2006, when he moved to Regensburg. In 2009, he completed an MA in Comparative European Ethnology at the University of Regensburg. A comparative study of the representation of migration history in museums in London and Berlin was the subject of his MA dissertation. Ben has since worked on a range of projects, both on- and offline, as a research assistant at the University of Regensburg, and as a freelance translator and copywriter. He joined the Rachel Carson Center in 2011 and currently coordinated the Mulitmedia Library, a key component of the RCC's Environment & Society Portal, until 2013.