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Welcome to the Vienna Project newsletter!

The Vienna Project Newsletter

 

Welcome to The Vienna Project newsletter. 

Greetings in 5774! 

I apologize for sending out a second newsletter. There was a software glitch in the last letter resulting in an unintended application of bold text on some names and not others. This letter also includes an additional piece of news. I am truly honored to announce that Austrian President, Dr. Heinz Fischer, will join our opening program at the Odeon Theatre. 

If you are receiving this newsletter for the first time, you may want to visit the project web site www.theviennaproject.org to first gain an overview of the project.

(Pre)invitation: 23.October 2013

We will send out formal invitations on September 16th. Below is a preview invitation, designed by project artist, Nikolaus Gansterer.  He constructed an imaginative street map of Vienna composed of many archival letters written by victims and survivors, gathered, scanned, and assembled as a 3-D construction of time and place. The map will serve as our project image, appearing on the invitation and the project poster. Below is a detail of the map.



The Topology of Memory: Detail. Nikolaus Gansterer.

The Vienna Project is a new social action Holocaust memorial project. In remembrance of the thousands of Austrian victims of National Socialism, The Vienna Project team invites you to attend opening events at the Odeon Theatre and along the Danube Canal.  Sidewalk stencil sprays marking 38 sites where crimes of exclusion, degradation and resistance occurred starting in 1938, will begin the next day. The sites will be posted on the web site on 24. October.
 

For a program description of opening events, please visit the website at http://theviennaproject.org/video-projections/

For a description of the sidewalk installation program, please visit  http://theviennaproject.org/installations/


Place: Odeon Theatre, Taborstraße 10  A-1020 and along the Danube Canal

Date: 23. October 2013

Time: Reception at 18:00, program at 19:00, canal projections at 20:30

RSVP: events@theviennaproject.org

Opening Events

Dr. Georg Traska, our Master of Ceremonies, will open our program at the Odeon Theatre with great fanfare. We start with a catered reception by Neni’s at 18:00 allowing guests to meet the project team and Austrian officials in attendance before our formal program at the Odeon begins at 19:00. Projections along the canal start at 20:30.

President Heinz Fischer will attend opening events, joined by other distinguished Austrian officials. Welcoming remarks will be delivered by Project President, Karen Frostig, followed by brief statements from Mag. Barbara Prammer, President of the National Council of Austria, and Mag.a Maria Vassilakou, Second Deputy State Captain of the State of Vienna, Executive City Councillor of the Viennese City. Our program features the Wiener Philharmoniker’s ensemble, “The Philharmonics”; poetry reading by the Jewish novelist and poet, Robert Schindel, and a performance by Roma actress and filmmaker, Sandra Selimovic. Taking a short walk to the Danube canal, guests will encounter nine amazing video installations planned by Elisabeth Wildling and her students from the University of Applied Arts. 


We are working with a new PR agency, Downtown Vienna to help spread the word. INFOscreen broadcasts about the project will also begin on September 16th. Seating at the Odeon is limited, please reserve seats at event@theviennaproject.org

 

Recent Team Meeting

The two newest members of our project team were at the meeting in August: Sydney Ogidan and Michaela Adelberger, filling key positions. Jerome Segal has an expanded role and Christian Gmeiner is back on the project. 

Sydney Ogidan, Executive Producer, arrived in the nick of time. Full of fire for the project, he doesn’t seem bothered by the thousand and one tasks needing immediate attention-- his relaxed disposition will be greatly appreciated as the project gains speed. MIchaela Adelberger, returns to the project as an experienced project manager used to wearing many hats.  She has stepped into the position as project treasurer. Full of humor and good judgment, we are in safe hands regarding budget allocations. Jérôme Segal is our project researcher and historian compiling the list for the 38 sites. This is an enormous task requiring insight about the different sites that must represent the different groups.  Christian Gmeiner has returned to the project as the art educator, organizing the stencil sprays with a diverse group of high school kids. Johanna Taufner is our interview/blogger working with Marliese Mendel to launch our new Tumblr blog designed by CTO, Kabren Levinson. The blog will represent multiple viewpoints--developed in German--and deliver strong visuals, capturing the dynamic quality of the memorial as it unfolds in public spaces. Peter Mlczoch was present as host and contributor, describing a project he is preparing in the second district for pogromnacht. 




The primary focus of the meeting was to discuss the 38 sidewalk addresses. Jérôme used an initial listing of sites, gathered from historians in Vienna, the US Holocaust Museum and Yad Vashem in Israel and partnering vereins in Vienna, plus additional sites from his own research to generate a powerful listing of the 38 sites, from 16 districts. We talked about each site. As a collection of memory spaces representing the seven victim groups, the sites hold great variety and tell a very complex story about racism, sadism, indifference, and rescue on the streets of Vienna, starting in 1938. Jérôme has deepened our understanding of the history with his research.
 

Dr. Ildiko Meny is organizing a series of performances at the sites that will occur on international commemoration dates dealing with Human Rights issues: 

November Pogromnacht Events: Robert Schindel’s poetry; reading from “The Hare with the Amber Eyes”; and video projections along the canal.

November 25 Violence Against Women Remembrance Day

December 10 Human Rights Day

January 27 Holocaust Remembrance Day

March 21 World Day Against Racism Day

April 8 Romani Day

Silent Witness Vigils, first Thursday afternoon of each month 


A detailed calendar of events with the identified sites will be posted on the website, starting on October 24th. With the addition of the performance art program and the thematic guided tour program, our calendar is now activated from November to April!

Chance Meeting in Munich

I affixed our project sticker to my lap top about a year ago. I realize that the sticker attracts attention, wherever I go. However, I did not expect the story I am about to tell.




Returning from Vienna to the US late August, I passed through the Munich airport and used the layover to work on project related material. I was approached by a gentleman who spotted the sticker, asking if I was connected to The Vienna Project, adding “I gave to your project!” I spent the next few minutes talking with Kurt Gutfreund who first learned about the project through a friend. Kurt Gutfreund was a child survivor from Vienna. Deported to Theresienstadt at age five, he survived that horrific ordeal to return to Vienna after the war. He now lives in Chicago!

 

This chance encounter reminds me of how connected people are from around the world to this tragic history. The Vienna Project matters to many people and makes a significant and fresh contribution to how we interact with this history, seventy-five years later.

 

Timeline

 

  • Opening event at the Odeon Theater and Danube Canal,  23. October 2013
  • First stencil sprays October 24th & 25th
  • Teaching Seminar October 28th Reminder to sign up at  http://theviennaproject.org/events/teaching-seminars/
  • November pogrom sprays November 6th & 7th
  • Performance art, thematic tours, and education program begins 
  • Closing events: Flaktürme Tower projects in the Augarten, May 6-8, 2014
  • A second closing event under develop, stay tuned

Opportunities for Activism 


If you would like to join our project as an activist donor and be included in our program booklet, please look over our list for Phase One support that includes a number of specific items. We are particularly eager to have funds support travel expenses for survivors to be present at the opening.  We also want to provide opportunities for US and Israeli college students, grad students, and even high school students to participate in opening events. This becomes an important and unique opportunity for students to have a first hand experience with Holocaust memory taking place in Vienna. 

 

Donations can take many forms, transfer of travel miles, student volunteerism, t-shirt production, etc.  Please look at the list below and contact me as soon as you can (email: karen@theviennaproject.org) if you have ideas or recommendations, or visit our donor page at http://theviennaproject.org/us-donors/. Brandies University serves as our fiscal sponsor in the US.  Go to http://theviennaproject.org/eu-donors for EU donors.

Memory requires activism and we are all implicated to keep the lessons of the Holocaust pertinent to today’s world. 

 

  • Airfare for 10 Austrian child survivors, interested and physically able to join opening events, to be interviewed by media, and to be present during sidewalk sprays in front of buildings with a history of National Socialism. If you know of a survivor interested in participating in this program, send me their name and contact info.
  • 10 grad student escorts accompanying Honorary Board members and survivors on the plane, to the hotel and to the events (airfare needed)
  • Donation to subsidize the cost of 10 student volunteers for food preparation with project caterer on October 23rd (7 hours per student volunteer).  Go to this video to learn more about our caterer Haya Molcho, moving from Israel to Vienna
  • 8 student volunteers to be theater ushers
  • 30 black t-shirts with project axiom “What happens when we forget to remember?” / â€œWas passiert wenn wir vergessen uns zu erinnern”
  • 500 black umbrellas with printed project axiom “What happens when we forget to remember?” / â€œWas passiert wenn wir vergessen uns zu erinnern”
  • 20 students with I-Phones taking videos and photos of opening events, uploaded to smartphone app
  • 500 bottles of water
  • Three large floral bouquets to be positioned at different stations within the theater.
  • Support our Performance Art program, open to artists from all over the world who would like to stage a performance at a specific memory space, that follows our guidelines. Your gift can also sponsor a particular group traveling to Vienna. For more information about this program, visit http://theviennaproject.org/installations/guidelines/


If you are a student or a group of students who want to volunteer, send me your name and contact info.


This list provides you with many opportunities for activist involvement. The project is about bringing the arts to bear on memory and to enliven the way that we think about this most difficult history. 

 

I want to thank our project team comprised of super talented artists, seasoned historians and educators, investing long hours in project preparation. I also want to thank the City of Vienna and the participating districts for not only allowing us to create The Vienna Project in public view, but also for supporting our work!

 

All the best--may it be a sweet new year,

- Karen Frostig

 


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We together cannot forget as we remember. Engage in remembrance and ensure memory by making a generous gift to The Vienna Project today.




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