The installation by Iris Andraschek and Hubert Lobnig Hubert Lobnig on the border pass Fratres/Slavonice originally done in 2009 and its further stage now opens the debate on how the borders have changed.
NATIONAL BORDER 1981-1983
Austria borders on seven foreign countries:
the Federal Republic of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein representing most diverse political systems: countries of the so-called Eastern Bloc, one non-aligned state, the NATO countries, a neutral state and a principality.
Artificially drawn political borders have always played an important role for mankind and probably will continue to do so as long as man exists. Such borders, I believe, will only lose their importance when common defense against an extraterrestrial enemy is called for.
The 1640-mile-long Austrian border is far less brutal than, for example, the Berlin border, where a concrete wall cruelly cuts a city in half. It is even beautiful, romantic, inconspicuous, but in this quiet landscape one feels the silent, sad facts more than in Berlin.
On my trips along the border I have tried to find places where there have been tragic incidences, and to find out personal stories to give myself a chance to think about the “border” phenomenon.
Seiichi Furuya, 1983
Check the the project online or see it in as a book recently published by Spector Books
What kind of impact does it create to publish ‘border projects’ from the 80s in the 2010s?
Does the distance of time create also the distance of memories?
The village of Bildein saw their their geographic position directly on the border with Hungary not only as an opportunity to base their identity upon, but also as a main characteristics to foster tourism in this village with altogether less than 350 citizens (2011). One of their activities is ‘Grenzerfahrungsweg,’ /to be roughly translated as ‘walk of border experience’/ focused on a reflection of what a border means through specific stations, introducing also WWII and Iron Curtain. They offer a variety of activities for tourists, where they also do not forget to introduce local (transborder) cuisine.
In their projects, they collaborate also with neighboring villages in Hungary.
Read more about the walk here (website in German): http://www.bildein.at/grenzerfahrungsweg/
Bildein provides a rich example of how can a place (self-)define the notion of a border. Which kind of vocabulary connected to the main concept of ‘border’ is being created by their own approach? How is their own positioning affected by the distance to a bigger city/town?
in German: Pressburgerbahn, Lokalbahn Wien-Pressburg (L.W.P.),
in Hungarian: Pozsony Országhatárszeli Helyiérdekú Villamos Vasút (P.O.H.É.V.),
in Slovak: Elektrická lokálna železnica Bratislava- krajinská hranica (BKH), colloquialism: Viedenská električka
was a direct train connection of Vienna and Pressburg (after 1919 Bratislava) which officially begun to operate to on February 5th 1914. The original route of 69,1 kilometres lead via Schwechat, Hainburg and Wolfsthal as well as through suburbs of that time and nowadays a city part of Petržalka / Pozsonyligetfalu / Engerau directly into the center of Bratislava. This route is today followed by the S7 line of the Viennese S-Bahn which ends at Wolfsthal.
Old Pressburg citizens remembered buying fruit and vegetables at Naschmarkt, where they could also meet sellers from Záhorie which brought their good on carriages via Marchegg.
Wikipedia article available both in German and Slovak (and Czech):
fb fanpage, mostly in Slovak, with regular updates on restoration of the train, its stops, etc:https://www.facebook.com/viedenskaelektricka?fref=ts
Stadlnova is a fictive suburb somewhere between Bratislava and Vienna, providing the base for a creative research platform about marginal(ized) aspects of these cities, their region and all the in-betweens. It unfolds a new space of the possible between here and there, center and periphery, growth and recession, archaeology and utopia. A space, where participation and collaboration are facilitated, infected by a genuine curiosity in peripheries.
Read more about the project here: http://stadlnova.col-me.info