Discoveries On the bill

Industry over the years

By Florence
Published on 16/02/2023

Qu’est-ce que tu fabriques ?

‘Qu’est-ce que tu fabriques ?’ (literally ‘what are you making?’) is the title of the latest permanent exhibition at the Musée d’Histoire de Lyon. Created to highlight the working class memory and industrial heritage of a city that has been deeply marked by the history of silk and ‘la Fabrique’ (the silk industry), the exhibition trail includes four sections, one for each period. It covers six centuries of labour, which are brought to life through three eyewitness characters.

It explains how we arrived at today’s production system and why local manufacturing is now coming back into fashion. Designed particularly for teenagers thinking about future careers, the museography deliberately plays with anachronisms and twists, explores and illustrates sometimes abstract concepts related to the world of work, and asks ‘how?’, ‘for who?’ and ‘why?’… The star attraction is a rare copy of a draw loom, which symbolises the rise of Lyon’s silk industry in the seventeenth century.