Very ienna

Viennese Culture and Lifestyle Beyond its Clichées


Power in Tranquility The Chinese Diaspora in Vienna Hands On, Minds On, Hearts On! Vienna’s Approach to Children’s Culture One Night in Vienna The City’s Vibrant and Unique Club and Bar Scene Step by Step Discovering Viennese Dancing Tradition

Very ienna
Viennese Culture and Lifestyle Beyond its Clichées


The Magazine Very Vienna was produced by students of the Department of Communication of the university of Vienna. The department is the largest communication education institution in the Germanspeaking countries in Europe in terms of students. Up to 6000 students are studying in Bachelor, Master or PhD programmes, each year about 1000 young people start an undergraduate programme. Fields of study include journalism, advertising, public relations, media management, communication politics, media paedagogy, media psychology, communication research and much more. The Department runs an exchange programme with the Shanghai-based Fudan University, Faculty of Journalism. Each year, a dozen of Austrian students go to Shanghai for a semester within the Media Communication Master programme MCM. In return, up to twenty students from Shanghai stay in Vienna and Salzburg for a couple of months.

Dear Readers, Thank you for picking up this magazine and for your interest. In connection with the May 2010 Austria-Day at Shanghai’s World Expo, we are happy to send a special greeting from Vienna, the capital city of Austria, to every single reader. You may agree that Vienna is famous for classical music, theatre, opera, and for its wonderful imperial architecture. And, of course, we are happy that you enjoy and admire all of this. The world’s interest and admiration has given Vienna got the reputation of being city of living history. Having a good image is an asset, but being nothing more than that which an image presents would be bad for a city’s vital identity. That is why we would also like you to know that Vienna is more than just its history. On the foundations of history, a culture of reflexion, of presence, and also of openness to the future is flourishing. One might forget that beyond the clichés and stereotypes, the gorgeous art, a marvellous show can only be realistic and credible if there is an intrinsically autochthonous and authentic side to it: the “Very Vienna” side. You may know that Vienna feeds from its local genius. That, however, you may not know well: the dialectic attitude in facing everyday life and wrestling with its contradictions. This is called the ‘Viennese Mentality’ and it is a blend of opposites: humour and sadness, will to live and desire to die, astonishing beauty and triumphant mediocrity, open and wide horizons and small minds, belief and scepticism, overpowering sorrow and sometimes negligent carelessness, easilyoffended criticism and irrational empathy and warmth. All this, and so much more, embody the psychology of an urban society characterized by rich social and cultural history, different cultural traditions, religious programs, and worlds of knowledge. Freud himself could not explain it. In order to give you an insight into Vienna as it is for itself and through itself, the students of the Department of Communication at he Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna tried to portray Vienna as it is not shown in worldwide mainstream media: as a space for creative art with a particular life style. We also wanted to portrait the city as a place of science and knowledge, but because there is only so much space in this magazine, we had to restrict ourselves to some small examples –those should, at least, show that creativity also matters in science. However, there are big differences between Vienna and Shanghai, but there is at least one similarity: Better City, Better Life! Enjoy the magazine, Warm Regards,

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Power in Tranquillity The Chinese Diaspora in Vienna Chinese New Year’s Concert in Vienna The First Chinese Lantern Festival in Vienna Step by step Discovering Vienna’ Dancing Tradition Light, Shadows and Motion Vienna’s Unique Cinema Landscape “Hands, on, Minds on, Hearts On!” Vienna’s Approach to Children’s Culture Poems, Enzi’s and Tomatoes Traces of Contemporary Art in Public Space An Urban Intervention Soho Festival at Vienna’s Brunnenmarkt One Night in Vienna The City’s Vibrant and Unique Club and Bar Scene Falafel, Sauerkraut and Dumplings Vienna´s Exotic and Lively Inner City Market Problems? No, Creatives Seize the Opportunity Creative People Giving & Benefitting in a City Filled with Possibilities Richness of the 100 Voices 100 Communities on TV to Show Their Insights and Interests Architecture Macchiato: Garnishing Architecture Young Architecture Contributing to a Vital Cityscape The Baron and His Harness Aboard one of Vienna’s Famous Fiaker Carriages Death Must Be Viennese Europe’s Biggest Cemetry and a Sepultural Museum









IMPRINT Very Vienna. Department of Communication, University of Vienna Schopenhauerstrasse 32, 1180 Vienna, Austria Editor-in-Chief Thomas A. Bauer +43 4277 49336 Executive Editor Axel Maireder +43 4277 49375 Editors Laura Bakmann Jelena Gucanin Edith Hammer Fabian Kretschmer Josef Ladenhauf Judith List Katharina Oke Andreas Rainer Amelie Springer Michael Zita English Proofreading Iphigenia Moraitini Chinese Translations Celia Tsui Graphic-Design Karl-Heinz Maireder




Dr. Thomas A. Bauer, University Professor at the Department of Communication / University of Vienna




When the Museums close, Vienna’s Clubs and Bars open their Doors for the Partiers.


ight in Vienna
Everybody knows Vienna as the home of art, culture and Sigmund Freud. However, not many outside of Vienna are aware of the fact that Vienna offers a very vibrant and unique club and bar scene for the young at heart.
By Andreas Rainer
At four in the morning, Fayola is having her first bites of a Viennese Käsekrainer, a fried sausage made with small chunks of cheese, which doesn’t exist in her home country of Kenya. Anna from Germany is sipping a can of beer, while Konrad, the only Austrian in our group, is having a conversation with strangers on how to solve the economic crisis. We are in the first district of Vienna, at a Würstelstand, a place that sells sausages and cold drinks and that acts as a gathering point for the rich and poor, party victims and street workers of the city. “In Kenya, all the clubs look pretty much the same and play similar kinds of music. In Vienna, there is a club for every kind of music,” Fayola says of the night that lies behind us - a night which started more than six hours ago at the Schikaneder.

Watching a movie, Viennese style
The Schikaneder is a mix between a cinema, a club and a bar, one of many places in Vienna with a unique concept where one can start a Saturday night. At ten in the evening, the place is already crowded with people who came for the movie that was shown before and are now enjoying a drink at the bar. A group of people are sharing a huge birthday cake, one of them offering a piece to Anna, apparently confusing her with someone else. “Lots of students, intellectuals and artists come here to watch an artsy movie and get drunk afterwards,” Konrad explains to the non-Austrians in the group. As on most nights, a DJ is playing right in front of a wall on which a cartoon movie is projected. The sound of the movie is muted and the projection serves only as the visual backdrop for the club: it is not to be confused with the actual cinema, which is in a separate area.

22 VeryVienna

Who said Austrians don´t dance?
Michaela Schwarz

Smoking is still allowed in many clubs in Vienna
Michaela Schwarz

Wuzzler: Austrians suck at soccer but they rule at the foosball table Michaela Schwarz

There is a dance floor next to the DJ, but nobody is dancing. The Viennese in general are not too eager to dance, especially the Schikaneder crowd. Listening around, the topics of conversation are music, movies, art projects and, of course, a lot of complaining, the favourite pastime of the Viennese. All the seats are already taken, the most sought after being right next to the entrance, where a few canvas chairs are standing on a little stage that is perfectly visible from the outside, through the glass window pane. “The Schikaneder is a place where people go to in order to be seen by other people. There must be something regal about people-watching while sitting on a stage. It is funny how the Viennese are so eager to be seen by strangers yet don’t want to get to know them,” Konrad adds by way of explanation. Looking around the Schikaneder, everybody is holding a wine glass or a beer bottle in their hands, and for most people it is definitely not the first drink of the night. It gets more crowded by the minute, so our group decides to move on to another place that is within short walking distance. On the way there, two men in medieval uniforms hand us some flyers. “We would like to invite you to come to our session tonight. We will talk about communist ideals and how to reimplement them into today’s society,” one of them explains. We politely decline.

Acting on the First Read
Drama Slam since 2007: When Poetry Masters meet Actors Art
By Michael Zita

Artists, the Vitamins of Society, play scripts never seen before
© Nick Albert

Clothes shopping at midnight
We arrive at our destination, a place called Mon Ami. It looks like an average club at first sight, but is much more: at the back of the club, a door leads to a clothing shop that is part of the club.

It could have been any moment in a rehersal; actors are standing on chairs with papers in their hands and reading out : “It is a Test!” “A Test?” “Don’t you realize, all the Cameras, they’re watching us!” However, given the large audience watching and voting for their favorites, the event seems to be of a diferrent nature: It is Drama Slam again. Jimi Lend, the concept’s creator, presents this type of theatre as follows: “Authors write short plays; actors will read up to ten different plays each night. This is different from thousands of other performances because the actors have never seen the scripts before, they play ‘prima vista’. This way, every performance is a masterpiece of improvisation.” It sounds experimental, but its success speaks for itself. The idea has already started to spread around the world, with performances in Berlin, Saint Petersburg and Graz. The City of Vienna became aware of the success and is now sponsoring the organization that initiated the process: The ‘Vitamins of Society’, an association founded in Moscow with the following straightforward motto: “Artists are the vitamins

of society and hence important in everyone’s life.” []



DJ and support
Michaela Schwarz

People can browse through handbags, mittens, t-shirts and many more articles of clothing while sipping a glass of wine and listening to a DJ. Anna insists on buying a red wool beret. “It matches my glass of red wine very well,” she says, justifying the price - probably the double of what the beret costs at a regular clothing store. Her friend from Berlin backs her up on this: “You can’t put a price tag on shopping at midnight while enjoying a glass of Chateau, I guess. That is what fascinates me about Vienna. You don’t find these kinds of places, even in Berlin. Vienna always manages to put an artsy side into everything.” At half past one, it is time to turn up the heat a little bit and finally move to a place where even the Viennese dare to dance.

Balkan fever in Vienna
In Club OST, the locals mingle up with an eastern European crowd, who are so eager to dance and party that even the Viennese can’t continue hiding behind their beer bottles. They start hitting the dance floor. The music seems to be exactly the same on every weekend: Balkan beats mixed with electronic music, everything that gets people moving, performed by DJs and one or two bands,

usually from Eastern Europe. Club OST is enormously popular, probably due to Vienna’s proximity to the East and the fact that the city is home to many immigrants from the Balkan region. Tonight’s band comes from the Ukraine and features an especially unusual performance: it includes the band members, all of them in their late 40s, getting naked on stage, cheered on by enthusiastic chanting from the audience. What’s more, they address the crowd after almost every song - in Ukrainian. “I guess language barriers vanish as long as the music is good enough and the alcohol doesn’t run out,” Konrad yells over the screaming guitar riffs. Every night comes to an end, and ours ends rather early by Viennese standards at the Würstelstand. Anna just ordered another round of beer and Konrad and his new friends still haven’t figured out how to solve the economic crisis. Long before the Würstelstand closes, we make our way home using the convenient Nightline system, which on Saturday night seems more like another club than a means of public transport. It never takes long to get home, which reminds us again that while Vienna is big enough to get lost in for a night, it is always small enough to find your way out again.


Buying the perfect party outfit while partying
Michaela Schwarz

24 VeryVienna

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