Report - Paper Mill, Eastern France, May 2011

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Germany is the "wurst"
Regular User
Feb 23, 2011
I'm really proud of this one. Almost no graffiti, haven't found any pictures online yet.

The crown jewel of a pretty busy weekend, I poked around an enormous, complicated paper mill in Eastern France for a few hours.

The company shut down in 2008 after a troubled recent history - a small group of workers took it over in an ineffective strike (what use is it threatening not to work if there's no work in the first place?). It's part of the long tail of a series of industrial failures that turned the Alsace from a blue collar industrial center to a recession-wracked backwater, before it bounced back as a tourist and culinary hotbed in the last decade.

As with a lot of other big French industrial complexes, this one was vast. I spent hours inside, constantly on the move, rarely passing the same location twice. The roofs themselves were an intricate network of different types of architectures, starting with the antiquated water mill at the core of things, and increasingly modern buildings radiating outward.

As with La Rhodia that I visited the following day, none of it really made much sense, asymmetric connecting bridges, tunnels, corridors, and seemingly random arrangements of storage and production spaces tacked haphazardly onto each other. Antique machinery languished, seemingly forgotten, in dusty attics, while a mixture of massive piles of discarded paperwork and production ingredients sat hastily abandoned in various warehouses.











As always, more at



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