Festival weeks open with “art, politics and activism”.

In earlier versions of the startup, it felt like “always the same 20 voices” were heard asking, “Where are the other two million?” Milo Rao says. Members of the “Council of the Republic” such as Queen of Power, Gustav and Voodoo Jurgens and activist Carola Rockett, author Kim D. L. Horizon and The. Writer Sybil Berg likes to give the program its breadth of content. The musical responsibility for the evening, which is expected to rain according to the current weather forecast, rests with Fussman Hervik Jamernik, who is responsible for the various songs played that evening.

“The good thing about the Free Republic is that the weather is under control, made possible by chemtrails,” joked the musician. “I’m excited to do a non-mainstream concert at the beginning of the festival because I’m not available to the mainstream,” Jamernik said. The proclaimed “Free Republic of Vienna” will feature student-designed flags for festival weeks and include colors such as green (“environmentalism”), red (“love or socialist”) or pink (“for equality in gender movements”). “We choose a color of democracy. Not wanted, but for everyone,” Rao said, describing the repeated comparisons to the Palestinian flag as “ridiculous”.

For Vienna’s City Councilor for Culture Veronika Kap-Hassler (SPÖ), the opening is “a harbinger of a festival that determines politics,” reminiscent of theater festivals in ancient times where politics and art were negotiated, but also “a place of community and celebration.” Of the early debates about Omri Boehm’s “Speech to Europe” and criticism from council members such as Annie Ernaux, the French Nobel laureate for literature, and Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, he said: “We had too. Difficult discussions, necessary.” It created “a space for talking and listening.” But the anti-Semitism charge “also showed her a society full of fear in many areas, and one has to say: We have to deal with fears seriously, but not by blocking every impulse,” Kapp-Hassler said. Interview with APA.

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Boehm “is a man who wants to save the title of the Enlightenment in this century, and he says that we need to move away from the pure identity politics that drives us, determines us, and controls us in many areas.” Despite previous debates, the city of Vienna stands by Milo Rao and his project. Regarding Ernaux and Varoufakis – neither of whom will be physically present in Vienna – “she has great confidence in the artistically completely autonomous festival weeks, using these people in the right context.”

A call to active participation came from Bussy Riot singer Diana Burcot: “I believe everyone should be an activist,” she told a press conference. Either way, the audience is invited to raise their voices – and everyone is invited to sing along with the anthem at Friday’s commencement. With this, it is possible when drying in front of the television: ORF 2 and 3sat will broadcast the opening live from 9:20 pm and will accompany the program in various programs in the coming weeks.

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