• How Vienna built a gender equal city

    In the Austrian capital, all aspects of public life, including transportation and language, are impacted by Vienna’s aim of being an inclusive and gender-neutral destination.

    Walk through the Reumannplatz, one of the best-known squares in Austria’s capital city, Vienna, and you will probably spot an outdoor platform, prominently labelled Mädchenbühne (girls’ stage). The large podium, which can be used by everyone, was requested as a performance space by the girls of the nearby school when asked what they would like from the urban area.

    The girls’ stage joins workout stations, a playground and more than 50 new trees as new additions to the square, which reopened last year following a gender-sensitive redesign. But in Vienna, it’s not only the urban spaces that are developed with gender in mind. All aspects of public life, including transportation and language, are impacted by the capital’s aim of being an inclusive and gender-neutral destination.

    The strategy Vienna uses to achieve this aim is called “gender mainstreaming”. The head of the Department for Gender Mainstreaming, Ursula Bauer, describes it as a tool to achieve gender equality in society based on equal structures, settings and conditions for both women and men.

    She says that it differs from women’s policy in that it makes sure regulations and procedures take into account that there is a structural difference between women and men, mainly stemming from traditional gender roles. “Women’s policy is repair work, whereas gender mainstreaming is prevention,” Bauer said.

    She explained that the department looks at gender-differentiated data and provides guidelines as well as training to make sure government services are gender-sensitive and accessible. Over the years, a network of gender experts in key areas has also been set up. Bauer likens the department’s cross-sectional role to that of a watchdog making sure all areas of the city’s government take gender inequalities into account. “No-one can escape,” she said jokingly. “We are like a spiderweb.”

    In practice, gender mainstreaming takes many forms, such as ensuring government bodies use gender-sensitive language to communicate, or that public transportation includes illustrations of men with children to signal seats reserved for parents. A visitor to the capital might also notice the wide pavements for mothers navigating the city with prams or children, or the fact that a large proportion of the city, including the whole public transportation network, is wheelchair accessible.

    Another key area is urban planning. Gender planning expert, Eva Kail, was central to making sure Vienna was one of the first cities to look to gender to shape its public spaces. Inspired by feminist planning literature, Kail began exploring the topic 30 years ago and received the budget and political backing to make it a priority. “It was time to look at the whole city from the female perspective,” she said.

    Kail began collecting data on how and by whom Vienna’s public spaces were being used and discovered that the female perspective had often been missing. She explained that the predominantly male urban planners had been basing their designs on male interests and their everyday life experiences, meaning they tended to neglect the perspectives of other population groups.

    Kail noticed that the perspective of teenage girls in particular was missing from the city’s parks, and, together with her team, worked with them to understand how to make these urban spaces more appealing. The result was larger areas dedicated to soccer being divided into smaller spaces so that multiple groups could play; and creating additional seating areas, such as hammocks, to retreat to. “It may sound trivial but having public toilets in parks is also important for many park users,” she said.

    The new park designs, which were tested in six pilot projects in 1999 and 2000, also addressed the safety fears held by many females. “We made sure the main path was well lit, as straight as possible, and that bushes weren’t too close,” she said.

    Observations showed that the pilots were a success. “They worked really well,” said Kail. “More girls were using the parks and they were taking up a larger amount of space in them.” Now visitors to the city will see that every new or refurbished park in Vienna follows the same principles.

    The planning pioneer says she is often asked how to spot gender mainstreamed urban design around the city. “When it is done well, it is invisible,” she said. “A well-functioning public space, where no group is missing or struggling to use it, doesn’t stand out.”

    But sometimes Vienna’s public spaces are purposefully used to make females more visible. For example, in the city’s urban development project Seestadt Aspern, the majority of the streets, squares and parks have been named after women, such as Janis Joplin, as a small counter to the historically predominant male naming. And there’s the symbolic identification of the podium in the Reumannplatz as the girls’ stage.

    While Vienna’s gender mainstreaming approach helps it to position highly in quality-of-life rankings, political science professor at the University of Vienna, Birgit Sauer, says the rest of Austria hasn’t yet implemented it to the same extent. “We have a gap between Vienna and the country’s more rural areas and smaller cities,” she said.

    Sometimes Vienna’s public spaces are purposefully used to make females more visible

    Sauer says that while there is a tradition of gender equality in Austria, including public housing projects dating back to the 1920s, women in Vienna have more access to support, such as free childcare, which tends to be costly and have limited opening hours elsewhere in the country. “This means that mothers can work if they want to,” she said, but adds that gender pay gaps are still common.

    Many travellers will think of Vienna, which is known for its formal balls, as a very traditional society, but the professor says that multiple factors have resulted in the capital being ahead of the gender equality curve in Central and Western Europe. Sauer explains that already in the 1970s, the city was home to many active women’s groups and that Vienna has a history of having Social Democratic governments that invested in creating social equality.

    And this does not just stop with gender. According to Sauer, there has also been a lot of activism and political support for the LGBTQ community.

    Berni Ledinski, who is the Vienna coordinator for QueerCityPass, a tourist ticket for lesbian, gay and trans visitors highlighting queer-friendly institutions, agrees. Ledinski, who also performs as the drag queen Candy Licious, says that “Vienna as a city is a really safe space for queer people.” He says that it not only offers a good range of queer-friendly cafes, bars, shops and museums, but also has a division within the city administration focused on combating LGBTQ discrimination.

    For Ledinski, a central moment for the capital’s queer community was when Thomas Neuwirth won the 2014 Eurovision song contest, performing in drag as Conchita Wurst. “It definitely had a really big impact, and marketing campaigns started to include same-sex couples,” he said.

    The event also inspired the City of Vienna to make the queer community more visible in public spaces, for example, by including illustrations of same-sex couples in traffic lights. But while much progress has been made for the queer community, Ledinski says there is a potential to do more. “There is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to the recognition of inter and trans people,” he said.

    And it appears that important steps in that direction are taking place. Vienna recently unveiled its first transgender crosswalk, located close to the Vienna General Hospital, which is home to the nation’s only transgender healthcare centre. “Due to Covid-19, there have been a lot of problems with trans healthcare, and we thought it would be a great sign of solidarity,” said Dominique Mras who came up with the idea.

    Mras, who is the member of parliament in Vienna’s 9th district responsible for diversity, says it is important to note that the pink, blue and white crossing received support from all political parties, including the conservative one. And while it is the only such crosswalk planned for now, Mras believes that it is an important symbol to help open up the conversation around gender diversity and make trans people more visible in Vienna.

    “It’s a first step,” she said.


    #genre #ville #Vienne #ressources_pédagogiques #TRUST #master_trust #villes #urban_matter #espace_public #femmes #visibilité #in/visibilité #Mädchenbühne #urbanisme #féminisme

  • #Budget genré de #Lyon : pour l’#égalité réelle femmes/hommes

    Pour la première fois en #France, une ville de plus de 500 000 habitants va mettre en place un #budget_sensible_au_genre. La ville de Lyon, sous l’impulsion d’#Audrey_Henocque, première adjointe en charge des #finances, et #Florence_Delaunay, adjointe à l’égalité femmes-hommes, va en effet évaluer son budget selon la répartition de la #dépense_publique envers les bénéficiaires hommes et femmes.

    En 2021, les #lignes_budgétaires de cinq directions seront analysées : une mairie d’arrondissement, le musée des beaux-arts pour la culture, la direction des sports, la direction des espaces verts et la direction de la commande publique. En 2022, ce seront l’ensemble des lignes budgétaires qui seront étudiées.

    L’objectif est de prendre conscience des #déséquilibres éventuels, et d’y répondre par des #actions_correctives.

    Dès 2021, pour répondre aux déséquilibres déjà criants, la ville de Lyon met également en place des actions pour renforcer l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes, notamment en accordant autant de #subvention à l’OL féminin qu’à l’équipe masculine, et en travaillant sur les #cours_d’écoles à la fois pour les végétaliser, mais aussi les rendre plus adaptées à la #mixité des jeux. Pour que chacun et chacune ait sa place dans l’#espace_public, et dans la société. Pour passer d’une égalité de droits, à une #égalité_réelle entre les femmes et les hommes.

    Recommandé par l’ONU Femmes et le Conseil de l’Europe, le budget sensible au genre est déjà en place à #Vienne, capitale de l’Autriche, depuis plus de 15 ans, mais aussi au #Canada, #Mexique, #Australie, #Japon, #Islande. Marlène Schiappa avait d’ailleurs promis sa mise en place au niveau du budget de l’État. En matière d’environnement comme en matière d’égalité femmes-hommes, il y a ceux qui parlent, et les écologistes qui font.


    #genre #école #féminisation_de_la_politique

  • More Girls To Parks ! Case Study of Einsiedler Park, Vienna, Milota Sidorova

    Compared to boys, girls in the age of 9-12 years don‘t spend as much time in parks and on playgrounds. And while you may have the memory of boys actively playing football all around, girls are really missing. Girls like to chat and spend the time indoors, some explain. Well, you don‘t feel that quite a sufficient explanation even you, yourself not being a gender studies expert.

    Girls pass through Einsiedler park twice a way. Before and after school. They cross the paths through the park and quickly disappear. The park is located in ethnically diverse Viennese district. The other group of girls we have noticed were girls from families of ethnic background. They come and look up for their younger siblings, this is quite typical situation, explains Claudia Prinz-Brandenburg, landscape architect working for Park Department of Vienna.

    The pilot study consisted of several rounds of workshops with girls within one year‘s time. The results were quite surprising and showed there were no facilities for them, girls had no reason to stop here. So an inventory of the park came. Fenced, encaged basketball playground, benches, greenery and relatively poor lighting. Since there was nothing that would serve young girls, Viennese chose the strategy of quick attraction. Different elements like platforms, interactive game installations, hammocks were placed along main pedestrian roads. These elements grabbed attention of passing kids, girls among them. They stopped them for couple of more minutes. And if they are passing walking and talking and have to spend the time outdoors, why not in the park?

    Fear, which is a feeling hard to define by hard data was one of the results of workshops with the girls. They mentioned fear of probable danger. Widening main pedestrian roads leading through the park, improving lighting conditions – these were the first steps. The central element of the park is the enclosed cage playground which we call ballcage among ourselves.

    We enter the playground. After Claudia draws out the idea of fear, for a moment I see myself being eleven years old starting teenager who would be flirting with boys while playing footbal. I could see standing groups of older boys that I dared not to look at. I could see the only door into the cage and them standing very close, controlling walk-ins and walk-outs. And their comments! Oh! The intensity of a sudden memory suprised me even as a thirty years old woman. It is the the fear from impossibility to exit the enclosed space full of strangers, this is the fear that prevents girls from entering playgrounds. To prevent that a redesign ofpark was prepared by the Park Department of Vienna in cooperation with the Coordination Office for Special Needs of Women. The fence was open from three sides and double layered at sites offering three large ways to exit the playground for safe street. Suddenly you feel it and you can breathe.

    Young girls like to watch the game of the others, for example – boys. It takes a little while before they start to play themselves, they like to chat among themselves. Also you can rarely see a girl coming to the playground alone, usually they come in two or in little groups. Only when they feel confident enough they go and play. The playground space is split into two by low platform that was designed for sitting and observing. After a while it became a real center where girls started to play the music, dance and all kinds of informal, spontaneous activities emerged, says Claudia. Finally we had girls in the park!

    Gender mainstreaming carefully analyzes behavior and needs of girls, reorganizes space and improves its usability. It doesn’t necessarily improve aesthetics, but focus on optimizing functions.

    In Einsiedler park we see two playgrounds out of which one is designed for basketball and football. The other one has no signs, no equipment, nothing. With its zero design it is the space for informal ball games. Had we designed the playground, we would immediately formalize another space for football and basketball, games usually performed by boys. Girls tend to play games using whole body, including singing or chatting, throwing ball.

    The effect is that boys and men usually occupy one side of the playground, while the other is used by girls and mixed groups.

    Einsiedler park serves as a central living room of the district. Since the flats are really small here, people tend to spend quite a lot of time outdoors. To be outdoors is partially a culture, partially a necessity, especially for people of ethnic background and low income. So are sisters taking care of their younger siblings on typical playground for the youngest. Here, however they have no place to talk or play themselves. Park Department designed another playground, game elements just next to the place where their siblings are. They also placed tables and benches into the playground for kids below 6 years of age, so their baby sitters can sit inside while having their own space. Two groups of different needs were combined in one space while keeping open-ended options for both of them.

    I am passing through the park that looks nothing special at the first sight. Neither elements, nor materials look any special, hyped by design or another novelty. Still I find myself quite amazed by this behavioral explanation. Gender mainstreaming carefully analyzes behavior and needs of girls, reorganizes space and improves its usability. It doesn’t necessarily improve aesthetics, but focus on optimizing functions.

    Did you achieve what you set out to do?

    Oh yes, after a year we did an evaluation study and found out that the number of girls present in parks increased. So did the amount of informal activities. Results of this pilot project were summarized into guiding principles adopted by Park Department which have been used in design of any new park since then, sums up her part of the walk Claudia Prinz Brandenburg.

    Achieving the knowledge is a thing of expert nature, to pass on the changes – unfortunately – is something quite different.

    For me everything started when I gave birth to my twins. I had to push a giant double stroller over sidewalks of Vienna. Surely you can imagine how terrible that was – cars, narrow, uneven sidewalks, dark corners when one does not see. I immediately realized that life in city does not give the fair chances to women, especially mothers, says Renate Kaufman, sharp woman of grey eyes that directly find their target. Former teacher got incredible sensitivity towards needs of children and parents. Later on she joined politics and two years ago she concluded her fourteen years long mission on as a Chairwoman of 6th Viennese District that became the pilot district of gender mainstreaming implementation.

    Fourteen years, that is quite a time! I say to myself, I – the citizen of Central European space used to four years long political cycles that bring complete opposition towards urban planning policies of the former establishment. Political discontinuity is not efficient, but rather destructive and in its best it is – tiring. Human life however flows continually, from day to day, from year to year, slowly turning decades. It is full of duties and roles that are happening in a physical space of the city. Back home, politics is perceived as a game of sharks, dominant types discouraging more compassionate types from entering it. And when we think of our urban planning it is still considered rather a technical discipline. Parametric control over indicators of traffic, quotas on areas that are be built or not to built, volumes, heights, areas designed as development areas, all of this gives us false feeling that we are planning our cities rationally, ergo, good. But where in all of this we can find true understanding of everyday human life? Try to go even further and bring the term gender equality into this hard professional environment.

    Some municipalities tuned onto words like participation and sustainable development. We are still, however only starting. Reality of participation turns into overuse of surveys, but not a real understanding of groups representing wide range of users. We are still witnessing unprofessional processes which on the top of that are not properly paid. Awareness however kicks in and urban planners and some municipal representatives start to speak about manuals of public spaces.

    How to design good public space? For whom?

    For people.

    What kind of people?

    Well, here is where I usually don’t get the answer much further. But this is the space, the opener where you can really start to get interested in the layer of gender and gender equality. Gender mainstreaming (balancing opportunities for men and women) was implemented in Vienna in 90ties under the directive of European Union. Here is also where I stop using the passive voice. Gender mainstreaming grew into urban planning by pragmatic and practical work of Eva Kail, urban planner who had her own aha moment in 1991. She organized the exhibition Who Owns the Public Space and became interested in connections among old woman, mother, woman of ethnic background, girl using the city. She studied methodologies of gender mainstreaming in architecture and urban planning being already a norm in Germany. Later on, being an employee of Urban Planning Department of the City of Vienna, she started to lobby for budgets. Budgets for pilot studies of user behaviors, budgets for pilot projects – just like the one in Einsiedler park. During her career she was able to assist in more than 60 pilot projects, covering practical aspects of gender mainstreaming and gender equality in housing, transportation, planning and design of small scale public spaces, just like the ones of large scale.

    If you want to do something for women, do something for pedestrians.

    Results showed us women walk and use public transport more than men. Men are more frequent car drivers. Why? Well, this is connected to life roles and duties. If a woman is a mother or care taker, her way through the city is more complex. Men take cars and go to work and back. Usual. This pattern has not changed even in 2016. So, if you want to do something for women, do something for pedestrians, says Kail.

    If women are the major client in public space, how it should function? Try to look at it through eyes of mothers, girls or elderly women. The differences will come out of quite simple observation. The rest is a question of common sense and measures taken.

    How did you achieve all of this in your neighborhood? I ask Renate Kaufmann, who energetically lead our group through the streets and explain why the sidewalks are lower here, why the light was placed there or why the mirror, at all. She is much more persuasive than the gender expert herself. In politics I love to fight for the right causes, she looks at me and for a long time I have nothing to say...


    #genre #femmes #espace_public #géographie #Vienne #parcs #parcs_publics #filles #garçons #enfants #enfance #villes #Autriche #urban_matter

    ping @nepthys

  • Was ist SchloR? • Schöner leben...

    Das Projekt SchloR hat zum Ziel, in Wien langfristig abgesicherte und leistbare Räume für selbstverwaltetes und gemeinschaftliches Arbeiten und Wohnen zu schaffen. Unser Selbstverständnis beruht neben der Selbstverwaltung auf Inklusion, Solidarität, sowie der Idee des Nutzungseigentums (statt Privateigentum) und der Kapitalneutralisierung. Selbstverwaltet bedeutet, dass wir uns selbst organisieren und unsere Räume gemeinsam gestalten.
    Um unser Projekt zu realisieren, planen wir gemeinsam mit dem Dachverband habiTAT den Kauf einer Immobilie in Wien Simmering. Durch das Rechtsmodell des habiTAT wird die Immobilie vergesellschaftet und dauerhaft dem Immobilienmarkt entzogen. Außerdem fallen Personen, die Profite aus dem Grundrecht auf Wohnen schlagen, weg.
    Solidarität zeigt sich z.B. dadurch, dass jeder Person – fernab von sozialen Status & Eigenkapital – eine gleichberechtigte Teilhabe, (Mitbestimmungs-)möglichkeiten & Rechte gegeben werden. Somit sollen soziale Ungleichheiten ausbalanciert werden ohne dabei Hierarchien einzuziehen.

    Verein zur Förderung kollektiven Wohnens und kreativer Lebensvisionen (ZVR 236108850)
    Rappachgasse 26
    A-1110 Wien

    Anfragen: contact at schlor punkt org

    #Autriche #Vienne #logement

  • Vienna Rossa, utopia realizzata

    Socialismi. La mostra «Das #Rote_Wien 1919-1934» celebra le riforme rivoluzionarie iniziate nel 1919 e interrotte bruscamente con l’avvento dell’Austria nera nel 1934

    #Vienne #Autriche #Vienne_la_rouge #utopie #socialisme #exposition #villes #histoire #urban_matter #géographie_urbaine

    ping @albertocampiphoto @visionscarto

    • Das Rote Wien 1919-1934

      Die ersten freien Wahlen zum Wiener Gemeinderat im Mai 1919 bringen der Sozialdemokratischen Arbeiterpartei die absolute Mehrheit. Ein international viel beachtetes, von seinen Gegnern heftig bekämpftes soziales, kulturelles und pädagogisches Reformprojekt beginnt, das eine tief greifende Verbesserung der Lebensbedingungen der ArbeiterInnen und eine Demokratisierung aller Lebensbereiche anstrebt.

      Die Ausgangslage nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg ist katastrophal. Wien ist die Krisenstadt des Kontinents. Zur ersten Herausforderung wird die Wohnungsfrage. Auf der Grundlage einer revolutionären Fiskalpolitik („Luxussteuern“) werden bis 1934 mehr als 60.000 Wohnungen sowie zahlreiche Sozial­, Gesundheits­, Freizeit­, Bildungs­ und Kultureinrichtungen geschaffen.

      „Wie leben?“ wird im Roten Wien mit hoher Intensität debattiert. Das betrifft alle Bereiche des täglichen Lebens: die Rollen von Frauen und Männern, die Betreuung und Ausbildung der Kinder, die Gestaltung der Freizeit, das Einrichten der Wohnungen, die Verteilung der häuslichen Arbeit, den Umgang mit Körper und Tod, die Aufgaben von Kunst und Kultur.
      Die Ausstellung im MUSA wird durch mehr als ein Dutzend Orte in der Stadt erweitert. Diese „begehbaren Objekte“ mit unterschiedlichen thematischen Schwerpunkten werden temporär für das Publikum zugänglich gemacht und beziehen das reiche architektonische Erbe des Roten Wien mit ein, das sich als gebaute Utopie nachhaltig in die Stadt eingeschrieben hat.


  • City with a female face: how modern Vienna was shaped by women

    As the city’s deputy mayor, Maria Vassilakou, wrote in 2013, gender mainstreaming ensures “fair shares in the city” for all by forcing planning to be approached from different perspectives. But how do pavement widths and bench design relate to gender? And if mainstreaming aims to promote equality, does Vienna’s example prove that it works?


  • Vienne, l’utopie réalisée du logement pour tous


    Vienne, l’utopie réalisée du logement pour tous

    Pionnière mondiale de l’interventionnisme urbain, la capitale autrichienne a misé dès 1919 sur l’habitat social. Résultat, 62 % des Viennois en bénéficient aujourd’hui.

    #vienne #otto_neurath #logement #urban_matter Autriche

  • The boy left behind in Nazi Vienna - BBC News


    In fear for her life, Kurt’s Jewish single mother fled Nazi Vienna for the UK in 1939, leaving him behind. This 14-year-old’s story of abandonment and adversity can be told for the first time, through recently discovered letters.

    It is mid-March 1939 and 14-year-old Kurt and his devoted Jewish single mother Hedwig are standing on the platform of a train station in Nazi Vienna saying their tearful goodbyes.

    The destination of the impending journey is the UK, and the purpose is to escape the intensifying persecution of Austria’s Jewish citizens.

    Since December 1938, trains have been carrying Jewish children from Germany and German-annexed Europe to safety in the UK, thanks to the Kindertransport operation, a charity-run scheme sanctioned by the British Government.

    Many children have already fled Austria, leaving selfless parents behind to face an uncertain fate - in most cases, a barbaric death.

    #shoah #nazisme #vienne

  • The Grand Refugee Hotel: The Sequel to My Grandfather’s Germany

    On a visit to one of Germany’s most radical refugee integration experiments, U.S. migration journalist and academic Daniela Gerson went in search of her family history and found an increasingly uneasy relationship between past and present.

    At the #Grand_Hotel_Cosmopolis, an African teenager served cappuccinos to European travelers below clocks telling the time in Kabul, Damascus, Grozny and other global centers of crisis.

    Lamin Saidy – sporting a style he described as “American proper” with tight jeans, lots of earrings and a big smile – was 13 when he fled violence in the Gambia. After he arrived in Germany as a refugee, he was told about this place, where tourists, asylum seekers and artists all share one building. The hotel is run by staff composed of a core group of resident German artists and a diverse team that includes volunteers who may be refugees like Saidy or local college students who want to join the experiment.

    Then, in the fall of 2016, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., on immigration, a public artist gave a presentation on cultural integration initiatives in #Augsburg like none I had seen in more than a decade of reporting on immigration in the United States and Europe.

    The artist flashed images of the migrant job center, cafe and immigrant rights organization called Tuer an Tuer, which helped convince the city to take a stance against large institutional centers. Instead, all asylum seekers in Augsburg have been housed in residences of 100 or fewer people. She also showed photos of the colorful, boundary-bending Grand Hotel. This was Augsburg? It was definitely not the city of my imagination.

    Soon after, my mother forwarded me an invitation. In summer 2017, there was going to be a gathering of Jews from Augsburg and their families to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the synagogue. I set off, eager to explore my family’s past and to see if a city I associated with historic brutality had succeeded in building a more welcoming society as a result.
    A Welcoming Nation

    When I arrived in Munich, the Bavarian capital, I borrowed a friend’s bike and pedaled down to the vast main train station. In 2015, in what was known as the Welcoming Summer, more than 1 million asylum seekers came to Germany and the station was full of arriving migrants. There was such an outpouring of public support for them that they had to close the station to donations.

    Two years later, the backlash was mounting. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had taken steps to slow the tide of arrivals, limiting countries from which people are eligible for asylum and speeding up deportations of people whose applications had been rejected.

    Munich’s size has helped mask the impact of the refugee influx. Augsburg, founded more than 2,000 years ago, is a different story. With a population approaching 300,000, and a popular destination for refugees and foreign laborers, it was a contender to become the first majority minority city in Germany. Now almost 50 percent residents have a “migration background.”

    After a quick train trip an hour east of Munich, I biked across Augsburg’s picture-perfect main square of churches and beer gardens, passing by women strolling in hijabs and Chechnyan kids racing in circles on scooters. And near one of the largest cathedrals, down a cobblestone street, I found the Grand Hotel Cosmopolis. On first impression, it hardly felt grand, but rather like the 1960s old-age home it once was, converted into a lively Berlin artists’ squatter house.

    In a sun-drenched garden, I joined two of the artist founders and a refugee artist for a vegetarian lunch cooked in the communal basement kitchen. As we ate, they explained that the building had been abandoned for six years when some local artists spotted it and inquired about renting it out as a temporary exhibition space. But the owners, a Protestant social enterprise, said they had already entered into negotiations with the government to house asylum seekers.

    That’s when the idea came up to merge the two concepts, and add a hotel. The artists take care of the hotel, cafe and ateliers. The social enterprise, with government support, provides housing for the migrants.

    Three days after the first asylum seekers moved in, it became clear to the artists this was not just a utopian experiment in aesthetics and communal living when the first deportation letter for one of its residents arrived. “Many of the artists stopped their artistic work,” one of my guides, Susa Gunzner, told me. Instead, they focused all of their energies on learning about immigration laws and how to help the refugees.

    After lunch, I toured the 12 uniquely designed hotel rooms: One was bordello hot pink, another constructed to feel like a container ship, a third had a forest growing through it. My stark room, with a long wooden bench of a bed and simple, low table, struck me as a very elegant prison cell.

    Three days after the first asylum seekers moved in, it became clear to the artists this was not just a utopian experiment in aesthetics and communal living when the first deportation letter for one of its residents arrived.

    Gunzner, who teamed up with an Iranian artist to create the room, told me it symbolized freedom. The room is a homage to a Persian woman who moved with her family to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century and later became a spy against the Nazis. Gunzner pointed out illustrations of trees on the wall from Shiraz. “We are always trying to enrich each other and find out – sometimes through very slow processes – who the other person is,” she told me.

    Left on my own, I walked downstairs to the refugee floor, and passed a half-dozen or so baby carriages crowding the stairwell. I had been warned I was only allowed to intrude if an asylum seeker invited me in. The founders of the hotel like to say they “only have guests – with and without asylum.” I was also struck by the strangeness of putting us all in one building as fellow travelers: people on holiday rubbing elbows with people who have been running for their lives.

    Not far from Augsburg, in the aftermath of World War II, my other grandparents – on my father’s side – landed in a very different type of refugee camp, set up by the United Nations and largely funded by the United States. They were Polish Jews whose families had been slaughtered in the streets and in concentration camps. They survived the war in Siberian labor camps and in Uzbek villages, where my father was born.

    In the desperate limbo of the displaced persons camp, they created a community – my grandfather took part in local governance; my father remembers a pet dog, Blackie, a synagogue and a school. What would my grandmother have said if artists lived upstairs and American tourists stayed for a week or two, temporarily sharing her first home outside Poland, the place where my father formed his first memories? Would she have appreciated the attention, or would she have felt like a monkey in the zoo?
    The Shadow of the Past

    It was not the first time that I had traveled to Germany and discovered echoes of my family’s past in my present, as I grapple with issues of migration, persecution and intolerance today as a journalist and academic.


    A decade ago, I spent a little over a year researching contemporary guest worker policies in Berlin and Bonn. Despite my last living relative who survived the Holocaust reprimanding me that Germany was no place for a nice Jewish girl, I fell for the country’s bike and cafe culture, numerous lakes and deliberate approach to its troubled history. I almost always felt welcome as a Jew. Even my neighbor who was a neo-Nazi was dating a Venezuelan and liked to come over and chat with me. Another neighbor, whose grandfather had been active in Hitler Youth, became one of my closest friends.

    Though I was sometimes disturbed by the recent stance that Germany was not a country of immigration, as well as the focus on integration – this notion some leaders interpreted as demanding that newcomers should cede their other cultural identities – I, in many ways, felt that Germany had dealt with its past in ways that could be a lesson to all nations.

    Ten years later, I visited a Germany increasingly conflicted about its moral obligations as it confronted the refugee crisis. And in Augsburg the juxtaposition of this tolerant, generous nation and the pernicious shadow of its intolerant past were in stark relief.

    I left the Grand Hotel on Sunday morning to meet other descendants of Augsburg Jews in the glorious sanctuary of the synagogue built in 1917. The descendants of those who fled the Nazis, or had the foresight or luck to leave before the war, had traveled from South Africa, Norway, Israel and across the United States. Civil leaders turned out in large numbers to pledge “never again.” It was a familiar message. But the synagogue’s attic museum reminded me how quickly a nation can shift toward hate. For the first time, it felt less like a history lesson and more like a warning that struck very close to home.

    In Augsburg, the juxtaposition of this tolerant, generous nation, and the pernicious shadow of its intolerant past were in stark relief.

    Created in 1985, the Augsburg synagogue houses the first independent museum in Germany dedicated to Jewish history. It tells the story of how there were only 1,500 Jews in Augsburg when the Nazis came, but they enjoyed comfortable local prominence. The synagogue is a clear sign of that position. Congregants built the sanctuary – one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, with its 95ft (29m) dome and an architectural style that spans from Byzantine and Oriental elements to Art Noveau – investing in what they imagined would be a vibrant future in Augsburg.

    I was struck by a slide titled “Integration through Achievement.” The museum describes the dreams of these Jews, and it reminded me of the aspirations of many of the asylum seekers I met during my stay in Augsburg. They did not want just to live free from danger, they wanted an opportunity to be productive, successful German citizens. Chillingly, the museum concludes, the local Jewish communities were “extinguished totally.”
    Looking Back, Looking Forward

    In the year since my visit to the synagogue, I have covered U.S. authorities tearing apart asylum-seeking families as part of a larger, often vicious, crackdown. While I wish I could at least point to Germany today as a model of how to do things differently, the picture is unfortunately not so black and white.

    In German elections last fall, the far-right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party – whose senior member maintains that the country should be more positive about its Nazi past – won 13 percent of the popular vote. According to current polls, the party is on track to win around a similar proportion of votes in upcoming regional parliamentary elections in Bavaria on October 14.

    This year, the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sister party in Bavaria, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, pushed her to clamp down on border policy. In the eastern German city of Chemnitz, far-right protests against immigrants in recent weeks were accompanied by xenophobic tirades.

    In August Seehofer instituted the beginning of a new plan in Bavaria that could soon transform how asylum seekers are treated. In what he described as a national model, the goal is to expedite rapid deportations. Most new asylum seekers will be transported to institutions that can house more than 1,000 people, where they will not be in contact with anyone who is not an official or a lawyer or has specific permission.

    “That’s the opposite of what we tried to do in the last years, now we are going two steps back,” said Tuelay Ates-Brunner, the managing director of Tuer an Tuer. “For people who will be rejected, nobody will see them, nobody will know them.”

    “My first impression was that I felt like I was in a new world,” Saidy told me to the beat of Afro Pop on the jukebox. “The hotel is kind of incomparable.”

    The Grand Hotel is located in Augsburg, an ancient German city on Bavaria’s tourist-trod Romantic Road. It is also the place where my mother’s father was born. He was one of the first boys to have a bar mitzvah in the ornate, domed synagogue in Augsburg – just a few years before the Jews were forced to flee or perished at the hands of the Nazis.

    Nearly a century later, I went to stay at the Grand Hotel – one of Germany’s most radical refugee integration experiments.

    Like so many inherited homelands, Augsburg was a mythical place for me, formed from family memories I had never lived – portraits of stern ancestors, the men with elaborate waxy mustaches, the buxom women with beautifully tailored clothes and lace collars. My Augsburg froze when the Nazis took over.


    #Allemagne #hôtel #réfugiés #travail #migrations #asile

    • Merci pour tout ce travail :-)
      C’est bien de nous rappeller les prises de position de Thomas Bernhard au moment où Claus Peymann vient de laisser sa place de directeur du théâtre de Brecht Berliner Ensemble .

      Il nous faut ranimer le discours critique de la bourgeoisie sur la scène théâtrale et les grands théâtres en tant que tels. A Berlin il se passe le contraire. Au Kurfürstendamm deux théâtres populaires des années 1920 disparaissent au profit d’un centre commercial, le successeur de Peymann augmente le prix de l’abonnement de 100% et la mafial néolibérale chasse le directeur de la Volksbühne Frank Castorf et ses acteurs pour y installer un homme sans relation aucune à la ville et ses traditions théâtrales qui vient de se faire la malle après moins d’un an.

      Tout s’écroule alors la voie est libre pour un nouveau couple Bernhard/Peymann cette fois à Berlin au lieu de Vienne.
      Les hommes et femmes de la génération de nos parents et grand-parents s’en vont. Il est à nous de trouver de dignes successeurs.

      Claus Peymann über Thomas Bernhard (28 minutes)

      Claus Peymann kauft sich eine Hose und geht mit mir essen

      Claus Peymann kauft sich eine Hose und geht mit mir essen ist ein Dramolett des österreichischen Schriftstellers Thomas Bernhard und gleichzeitig Titel der 1990 beim Suhrkamp-Verlag erschienenen Buchausgabe, in der die eine Trilogie bildenden Dramolette Claus Peymann verlässt Bochum und geht als Burgtheaterdirektor nach Wien, Claus Peymann kauft sich eine Hose und geht mit mir essen und Claus Peymann und Hermann Beil auf der Sulzwiese zusammengefasst sind. Die drei Einakter waren ursprünglich nicht zur Aufführung bestimmt, aber das erste Dramolett (über den Umzug nach Wien) wurde schon 1986 zum Abschiedsfest Peymanns in Bochum in der Inszenierung von Hermann Beil uraufgeführt.

      #Allemagne #littérature #théâtre #Berlin #Vienne #Bochum

  • Marin Alsop appointed first female artistic director of top Vienna orchestra | Music | The Guardian

    Alsop, one of the world’s leading conductors, and the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, said she was honoured to be assuming the post in Vienna, which she called “the seat of classical music”.

    #musique #vienne #cheffe_d_orchestre
    Acknowledging how groundbreaking the appointment was for the classical music capital of the world, which has often been shockingly slow to welcome female musicians, let alone promote them to leadership roles, Alsop said she welcomed the chance to “push the envelope” for women in music. But she said she hoped the time would soon come when being “the first woman” would no longer be news.

  • La « petite #yougoslavie » de #Vienne

    Mile Stepanović, patron d’une vieille taverne balkanique, dans le centre de Vienne. © Laurent Geslin Voilà des siècles que Vienne est la « porte des #balkans », mais à partir des années 1960, l’ancienne capitale impériale des Habsbourg a accueilli des centaines de milliers d’immigrés yougoslaves. Aujourd’hui courtisée par l’extrême droite, cette communauté « yougo » n’est bien intégrée qu’en apparence et peine toujours à se réconcilier avec sa propre histoire.

    #International #Culture-Idées #Autriche #Danube

  • [Vienne] Attaque contre l’embassade italienne - Solidarité avec les anarchistes incarcéré.e.s

    Hier dans la nuit, pour exprimer activement notre solidarité, nous avons attaqué le consulat italien à la bombe de peinture.Pour la libération immédiate d’Antonio, Antonio & Francisco, emprisonnés depuis le 3 mai. Pour la fin de l’assignation à résidence d’Giada, Fabiola & Camille.Il leur est reproché de s’être opposés à une razzia policière dans leur quartier en février dernier.

    #Répression #turine #vienne

  • Descendant des montagnes
    La Vienne gagne
    Les verts coteaux
    Elle gazouille fine
    Frêle et mutine
    Comme un roseau
    Notre belle rivière
    Coule joyeuse et fière
    À travers ses bois et ses prés charmants
    Elle reflète son humble firmament
    Son onde cristalline
    Nous berce et nous câline
    Elle est adorée de tous les pêcheurs
    Au port du Naveix elle fait notre bonheur

    1905 la Rouge
    La ville bouge
    Jusqu’aux bas fonds
    Le siège d’une usine
    Fait que domine
    La voix des Ponts
    Allez Ponticaud chante
    Et que ta voix puissante
    Porte ton cri jusqu’à l’exploiteur
    Qui profit’ de la sueur de ton labeur
    En révolutionnaire
    Toute la ville est fière
    Pour développer son émancipation
    Au premier rang seront les gars des Ponts

    Mais parfois chose triste
    Des arrivistes
    Quittent les Ponts
    Et l’orgueil qui les grise
    Fait qu’ils méprisent
    Les vieux bas-fonds
    Qu’un Ponticaud déserte
    Ce n’est pas une perte
    Il peut aller dans ses beaux quartiers
    En nous laissant dans notre vétusté
    La Vienne a ses fidèles
    Qui meurent auprès d’elle
    Notre souvenir va à Louis Goujaud
    Qui fut sincère et brave Ponticaud

    « La Vienne », d’après Simone Cacaly, fille de Léon Jeammot qui tenait avec sa femme le bistrot La Crotte de Poule, sur les bords de Vienne.

    #vienne #limoges #géoculturelim

  • #Edith_Tudor-Hart, mise en lumière d’une femme de l’ombre

    Elle fut espionne communiste dans l’Europe gagnée par le fascisme ; elle fut aussi une grande photographe. Le récit-enquête de #Peter_Stephan_Jungk relate la vie de sa grand-tante, éclaire l’engagement d’une génération, loin des clichés sur la guerre froide qui ont dernièrement inspiré tant d’écrivains et de réalisateurs. Autoportrait. © Edith Tudor-Hart

    #Culture-Idées #anti-fascisme #autisme #communisme #Ecosse #grande_bretagne #La_chambre_noire_d'Edith_Tudor-Hart #Littérature #Vienne_rouge

  • WUK -> Antenna Futura – Futurological Exercises for the Unknown

    If we lived in the best of all worlds, then destiny would be our best future. That’s seldom the case in the books, films, and predictions about the voyage through the space-time continuum. the chronically fatal situation: the battle for frontiers and identity, the human race threatened by self-generated artificial intelligence – ultimately, the future of humanity. Antenna Futura follows tangents with such compelling themes, but it’s main focus probes the thought patterns we develop to create an image of the future. Utilising notions of the archive, magic, prognosis, and other methods of prediction, the presented objects, paintings, installations, photography, and video works address the core question of the exhibition: How can we conceive the unknown? We contemplate, speculate, and fabulate under the influence of the wealth of information and potentials spawned by an overloaded present.
    Imagining how the Earth will one day be and how we will experience it in the future also implies confronting it together with our present and past. Antenna Futura has transmitted signals and activated its sensors to receive answers from the infinite array of possible future scenarios.

    #art_contemporain #futur #vienne

  • Il dramma dei rifugiati: Vienna senza muri

    Una larga parte della popolazione ha temuto e teme un’invasione e lo fa sentire anche nelle urne. In questo quadro fa eccezione Vienna: la capitale, a guida socialdemocratica, si mostra all’avanguardia nell’accoglienza dei rifugiati. Il servizio di Matteo Tacconi


    #ennui #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Vienne #Autriche #travail #solidarité

  • Vienna’s ’wild settlers’ kickstart a social housing revolution | Cities | The Guardian


    Heureusement qu’on a Le Guardian pour bien nous nourrir de savoir (avec Le Monde et le Point on va devenir débiles)

    Cet article très bien document et important est l’occasion de relire "Otto Neurath et « l’orchestration » de la politique urbaine" par Sophie Hochhäusl dont cétait le sujet de PhD.


    Yet at first, the Social Democratic party had an ambivalent relationship with these settlers, conceiving their initiative of subsistence gardening to be bourgeois-conservative and not fitting into the grand picture of a socialist state. But the party’s attitude changed in part thanks to Otto Neurath, political economist and educator, who in 1921 founded the settler’s cooperative umbrella organisation, the Austrian Association for Settlements and Small Gardens.

    #vienne #villes_utopiques #otto_neurath #urban_matter

  • En #Autriche, la tentation de l’extrême droite

    Dernier meeting de campagne du FPÖ, vendredi 20 mai à #Vienne. © Reuters Dimanche 22 mai, les électeurs autrichiens élisent leur président. Après un premier tour, le 24 avril, qui a placé le candidat de l’extrême droite du FPÖ très largement en tête, la probabilité est grande pour que ce parti xénophobe prenne la tête de l’État autrichien. Reportage sur une société tentée par le réveil d’un passé enfoui.

    #International #Alexander_Van_Der_Bellen #élection_présidentielle #europe #extrême_droite #FPÖ #Norbert_Hofer #SPÖ #Verts

  • #Autriche : l’extrême droite ramasse la mise au premier tour de la présidentielle

    C’est son meilleur score jamais réalisé dans un scrutin national : dimanche 24 avril, le FPÖ, l’extrême droite autrichienne, a raflé plus de 36 % des voix. Les deux partis gouvernementaux, eux, sont hors jeu. Un résultat qui vient confirmer, une fois de plus en #europe centrale, qu’un exécutif à la rhétorique anti-migrants fait le jeu de son aile la plus réactionnaire.

    #International #élection_présidentielle #extrême_droite #FPÖ #Helderplatz #Herbert_Hofer #ÖVP #SPÖ #Vienne

  • La décence voudrait que Fabius n’ouvre plus la bouche que pour annoncer sa propre démission.


    #ParisAttacks : #Fabius vient d’arriver à #Vienne pour participer aux réunions sur la #Syrie (source)

    et le plus beau : à Vienne, une réunion de coordination entre les ministres US, France, Grande-Bretagne et Allemagne avec les pays du Golfe avant la réunion plénière sur la Syrie :

    #فيينا: اجتماع تنسيقي لوزراء اميركا و#فرنسا وبريطانيا وألمانيا ودول الخليج قبل الاجتماع الموسع حول #سوريا