LABEL “L” – A city presents itself

16.6.2021 – 26.9.2021

Leipzig Museum of City History, Böttchergäßchen Building, Böttchergäßchen 3, 04109 Leipzig


Leipzig is a city like no other. Everybody is talking about this city as a place to live and as a travel destination, and Leipzig currently enjoys an unusually positive image. However, after years of growth, the city seems to have reached a critical point in its development. There are tricky questions regarding future opportunities and “how things should be shared out”. Moreover, there is discussion regarding the direction in which Leipzig should go - in the fields of tension between its new and old economic basis, cultural traditions, the world of hipster creativity and being a pleasant city for families to live in.

But what makes this city strong, vulnerable, lovable or, at times, difficult? Can we understand the attitudes to life of 600,000 people - based on the city’s history? And is the letter “L” (that is part of every licence plate number issued in the city) more than just a piece of metal, attached to vehicles to identify them?

The exhibition “Licence plate letter L - A city presents itself” examines the characteristics of the Leipzig mindset which have evolved over time and which shape the day-to-day life of its inhabitants to this day - apart from common clichés. It focuses on the topic of a “cosmopolitan village” and the “secret capital”. Moreover, the exhibition explores the value of affordable and pleasant living space and the fine line drawn between “vision” and “megalomania”. Is Leipzig a city of dedicated citizens and rebels? Or a city of civic culture and practical-minded art? Do we find vibrant life in the suburbs of the city - or in its centre? How important are mobility and green spaces within the city - in this metropolis which prides itself on short distances? How could, or will, one become part of the special “Leipzig story”? And who might feel excluded and ostracised?

However, this exhibition does not provide any final answers. Interactive educational offers, workshops and an art project by the HGB take visitors seriously as urban experts and in-
volve them at eye level in the debate about a liveable Leipzig.