aktualne.atlas.sk: Aren’t you afraid that Wolfsthal will change to a Slovak village – that there will be more Slovaks than Austrians?
Gerhard Schödinger: Not at all. Firstly, we are not planning any further big development projects, secondly, the citizenship state in one’s passport is of second-range importance to me. People living here are simply Wolfsthal people to me and therefore members of the community.
I always tell the skeptics that we all have the same visions on how to live well. So where’s the problem? And according to this rule we behave in Wolfsthal and building the infrastructure testifies this. We’re glad that life came to the community together with young families.
An interview with Wolfsthal’s mayor Gerhard Schödinger about Wolfsthal’s development, its focus on middle class and young families, about relationship to Bratislava or Vienna and about details of cooperation between villages and city parts.
Read more in Slovak: http://aktualne.atlas.sk/starosta-wolfstahlu-slovakom-sme-povedali-aby-sa-zdravili/slovensko/spolocnost/
The documentary by ORF about Kittsee (Slovak immigration, village planing, the changing conditions in the village on the border with Slovakia) can be viewed online (movie in German).
This is the documentary the Slovak boulevard responded to with a biased reaction.
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?