Friday, 17 February 2017

"The work is dark, and it's dark on purpose."

Sean Coyle's project "Cruising Wonderland" is a memorial to sites of homophobic hate crimes in Australia and New Zealand. Coyle chose to print most of his work on metal, a glossy surface that makes visitors of his exhibition see themselves reflected into the work.

"The work is dark, and it's dark on purpose. Not just thematically dark, but the works are actually dark to see—so that they sort of just appear out of darkness, and I think that's really important for the work and in thinking about it. For me, lightness means clarity, and because I don't have that much clarity on the reasons behind why these things happen, the darkness is a really important aspect of it. Highlighting the dark history, for me, in particular the queer dark history in Australasia, I think is important. They become memorials, and it's important for us to remember. To remember our histories and move forward."
Sean Coyle

"I photographed this toilet block in Hamilton, where a man was stabbed in the back by another man. The attacker also stabbed another man in a different toilet block as well. In court, he said he wanted to rid the world of homosexuals."
Sean Coyle

"I was looking at the history of New South Wales in Australia, which has a horrific history of homophobic violence, especially in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. I was looking at where that had happened, and the cliffs of Bondi were one of the significant sites. A number of men were thrown off the cliffs, and it was ignored by police or just treated as a suicide. Multiple men this happened to, and they didn't think to connect the dots."
Sean Coyle

Photographs by Sean Coyle via

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Muslims, the Perils of Perception Survey & the Index of Ignorance

According to the latest "Ipsos Perils of Perception" survey carried out in forty countries, most countries hugely overestimate the proportion of Muslims in their population. In Britain, for instance, people think that 1 in 6 Britons are Muslim (in fact, it is fewer than 1 in 20), that 15% of the population are Muslim (instead of the 4.8%). In addition, Britons believe that the Muslim population is growing to a much greater extent than it actually is: 22% by the year 2020 (they will probably make around 6%).

Great Britain, however, is far from being the most extreme example as it is the third most accurate country in Ipsos's so-called "Index of Ignorance". Most of the countries are much more wrong. In France, the average guess is that 31% of the population is Muslim (it is 7.5%), Canada and the United States guess 17% (it is 3.2% and 1%).
The level of growth over the next few years is highly overestimated, too. In France, people tend to think that 40% of the population will be Muslim by 2020 (the projection is 8.3%). The United States has an average guess of 23% (the projection is 1.1%) (via).

The German city of Hamburg carried out a similar survey in 2014 and came to the conclusion that only 8% of its inhabitants were close to reality when guessing the proportion of the Muslim population (via).

Photographs (mostly?) by Eve Arnold (The Nation of Islam, 1961) via and via and via and via and via

Friday, 10 February 2017

"The world is more beautiful the more you accept"

Online homestay network Airbnb has a clear message: The world is more beautiful the more you accept. Their clip #WeAccept was shown during the last Superbowl, their tweets - followed by more than 571.000 persons - are dedicated to diversity and acceptance. The company also announced that they would offer free housing to refugees and blocked travellers (via).

Here are some tweets:

"Acceptance means being culturally sensitive toward each other and loving our similarities rather than hating our differences."

"If we all wrote down our own hopes and dreams, I think they'd be similar around the world. We're more the same than different."

"No matter how different we are, there's one thing we should agree on: Every human is deserving of equal opportunity and respect."

"Acceptance means being seen, heard, understood, recognized, respected & embraced for one's own truth."

"It is our duty as a progressive and thoughtful society to make everyone, regardless of background, feel welcome and celebrated."

"I think acceptance is the ability to see strangers—people that may not look like you—as potential friends, not as enemies."

"Acceptance to me means having the ability to go anywhere in the world and still be yourself without discrimination."

"Acceptance is when someone knows I’m different, but treats me the same."

“It's always been part of our family's value system to love everyone. We all belong to this world."

And here the clip:

The following message was published by the founders of Airbnb on 5 February 2017

We believe in the simple idea that no matter who you are, where you're from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong. We know this is an idealistic notion that faces huge obstacles because of something that also seems simple, but isn't - that not everyone is accepted.

People who've been displaced, whether because of war or conflict or other factors, are acutely vulnerable to not being accepted. They are, quite literally, in need of a place to belong, which is why we've been inspired to take action.

We started by providing housing for evacuees of disasters and have since provided housing during 54 global disasters. We partnered with organizations dedicated to the needs of refugees around the world. And just last week, we announced that the Airbnb community will provide free housing to refugees and those recently barred from entering the US. When we announced this, there was an outpouring of interest from our community, and we were inspired to go bigger.

Today we're setting a goal to provide short-term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need. We'll start with refugees, disaster survivors, and relief workers, though we want to accommodate many more types of displaced people over time. To help people around the world facing displacement, we'll work with our community of hosts to find not just a place to stay, but also a place to feel connected, respected, and a part of a community again. In addition, Airbnb will contribute $4 million over the course of four years to the International Rescue Committee to support the most critical needs of displaced populations globally.

We couldn’t talk about the lack of acceptance in the world without pointing out the challenges in our own community at Airbnb. The painful truth is that guests on Airbnb have experienced discrimination, something that is the very opposite of our values. We know we have work to do and are dedicated to achieving greater acceptance in our community.

These efforts are just the beginning, and we hope you consider joining us by sharing your home with someone who is displaced or donating to organizations that assist those in need. It’s possible that a child today will grow up in a different kind of world, one where they're accepted for who they are, no matter where they are. Because we really do believe that the world is a better, more beautiful place the more we accept each other.

- The founders of Airbnb

Brian Joe Nate

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
images via and via and via and via and via

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Next Doctor Who

"Doctor Who", the British science-fiction TV programme that started in 1963, has had twelve doctors so far. After Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor Who since 2014 (and who was a "risk" for the BBC because he was older than most of the doctors before him), announced that he would leave the show, fans called "to seize the opportunity to appoint a black or female actor as the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord".

Current writer Steven Moffat said that it would be "amazing" to have two non-white leading actors (via). Since shape-lifting is part of the narrative, more flexibility is given. The new cast certainly is "an obvious opportunity - at a time of urgent debate in British TV about diversity" (via).

“Of course there should be a female Doctor Who, but what we need is a man as her assistant. She has got to tell him what to do. He will need that leadership.”
Harriet Harman, former Labour deputy leader

“Before the BBC consider changing the lead role to a female Doctor, they should consider getting more female directors on the show. In the entire 50 years that Doctor Who has been on air there’s only been 10 female directors, which is a terrible reflection of the time we live in. Doctor Who’s very first producer was a woman, now there’s a success story for taking a risk. If they could do that a bit more now, it would be a better series as a result.”
Sebastian J. Brook, founder of Doctor Who Online

images of John Pertwee (1970-1974), Patrick Troughton (1966-1969) and William Hartnell (1963-1966) via and via and via

Monday, 6 February 2017

The -ism Series (28): White Supremacism

“We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.” 
John Wayne

"someone who believes that a particular type or group of people should lead or have control over other types or groups of people because they believe they are better" Cambridge Dictionary
"It’s about a fragile sense of superiority (covering a sense of insecurity) that must be actively promoted to be maintained. It reflects a system that is inflexible, rigid, and socially autistic (awkward social relations)." Darcia Narvaez
White supremacy is an "institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations" in order to maintain and defend the established system of power, privilege and wealth (via) based on the racist ideology that white people are superior to other ethnicities. This privilege, in fact, is given by society without asking whether one wants it or not. According to Harry Brod, there is no option of not taking. And due to this very view of our heritage we can grow up without ever questioning our supremacy based on skin tone. We are deprived of the skills of cricital thinking (via) and may not even realise the privilege. According to a poll released in November 2015, about half of white US-Americans believed they faced just as much discrimination as blacks (via).
White supremacy is a deeply rooted system, a complex multi-generational socialisation process that defines relationships of power between whites and non-whites; it is a social control mechanism. This system started to develop when Europeans started conquest, colonisation and slavery in the 1500s (via) and continued e.g. with Jim Crow laws in the United States and the apartheid legislation in South Africa. White supremacy still exists, it just looks different.
"Historically white identity has been grounded in the experiences of fear, control, and violence. White supremacy leads to fear of people of color. Fear of slave revolts. Fear of loss of political power as in the time of Reconstruction. Fear of declining property values when neighborhoods change. Fear of losing social capital as in integrated education. Fear that whites will become a “minority” in the United States by the year 2050." (via)
"The white race is not a passive demographic act but an invented voluntary social institution whose only utility is oppression." Gardiner, 2009

"The Jewish people and the Negro people both know the meaning of Nordic supremacy. We have both looked into the eyes of terror."
Langston Hughes

- Gardiner, W. J. (2009) Reflections on the History of White Supremacy in the United States; pdf
- Narvaez, D. (2016). The Psychology of Supremacism: Whether White, Male or Human. Online: Psychology Today
- images of John Wayne (1972) via and via and  via and via

::: America's white fragility complex: Why white people get so defensive about their privilege; Salon
::: Kendall, F. E. (2002). Understanding White Privilege; pdf

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Audi's Daughter

"What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?..."

"Progress is in every decision we make, every technology we invent, every vehicle we build. It’s our past, our future, our reason to exist. Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. A 2016 report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee found that women were paid 21% less than men on average. 
This is a story of a young girl competing in a downhill cart race in her hometown. As the fearless daughter weaves her way through a field of competitors, her father contemplates whether his daughter’s worth will be measured by her gender through a series of provocative questions. It is a reminder that progress doesn’t belong to any one group. Progress is for everyone." Audi USA
Audi launched its ninth Super Bowl ad stating in a press release that is committed to supporting women's pay equality in the workplace. In addition, 50% of candidates of its graduate internship programme have to be female. The commercial was created by Venables Bell & Partners and will be aired tomorrow in the third quarter of the game (via).

Friday, 3 February 2017

Time Use Survey & Gender

According to a 2013 survey carried out by the Pew Research Center, women in the United States have about five hours less free time per week than men. When there are children under 18 at home, the gap is three hours as both men and women have less free time when there are children. Working fathers, on average, have three more hours of leisure time per week than working mothers (via and via and via).

"Men were more likely than women to participate in sports, exercise, or recreation on a given day--23 percent compared with 18 percent. On days they participated, men also spent more time in these activities than did women--1.7 hours compared with 1.2 hours."
American Time Use Survey, 2015
A Dutch study comes to the conclusion that men and women have the same amount of free time but that the times they are free differ. Women have more free time on weekdays while men engage in leisure activities more often than women at weekends. Interestingly, women seem to have a smaller "free time budget" as their free time is more fragmented, divided up into shorter segments of leisure time (via).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Photograph of Paulette Dubost by Robert Doisneau (1959) via

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Alt Det Vi Deler

"All that we share" is a commerical that features eighty Danes from all walks of life. Before filming, participants were given forty questions to consider. During filming, they clustered according to their responses...

"It’s easy to put people in boxes. There’s us. And there’s them. The high earners. And those just getting by. Those we trust. And those we avoid. There’s the new Danes. And those who have always been here. The people from the countryside. And those who have never seen a cow. The religious. And the confident. There are those we share something with. And those we don’t share something with.

Welcome. I am going to ask you some questions today. Some might be a bit personal – but I hope you will answer them honestly. Who in this room was the class clown? Who are step parents? And then there’s suddenly us. We who believe in life after death. We who have seen a UFO. And all of us who love to dance. We who have been bullied. And we who have bullied others. And then there’s us who had sex this past week. We who are brokenhearted. We who are madly in love. We who feel lonely. We who are bisexual. And we who acknowledge the courage of others. We who have found the meaning of life. And those of us who have saved a life. And then there’s all of us who just love Denmark. So maybe there’s more that brings us together than we think."

Developed at &Co, Copenhagen.
Shot by director Asger Leth via Moland Film
Music “Heartfelt Universe” by Michael Sajic


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Arnie says...

"To go and ban people who have a green card? That means that the United States of America has given you permission to work here permanently in this country and you are on the way to permanent citizenship. I was in that position.
To get stuck at the airport and someone says to you you cannot come in, or students that have been studying at Yale or Harvard or different universities all over the country and they have gone to the Middle East home for a few days on vacation to visit their parents and then to come back again to continue the study ... and now they are told that they can't come in? I mean it's crazy. It's crazy and it makes us look stupid when the White House is ill prepared to put this kind of executive orders out there. (...) I learned very quickly that I have to be more inclusive."
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Last October, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that for the first time since he had become a citizen in 1983, he would not vote for the Republican candidate for President" (via).

Update (2 February 2017)
Arnie's response to Trump who at the National Prayer Breakfast said he wanted to pray for Schwarzenegger: LINK

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Photograph ov Arnold Schwarzenegger by Annie Leibovitz via

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Der Präsident

26th of January was the inauguration day of Austria's president Alexander van der Bellen. In his inauguration speech, which he clearly addressed to Austrians and foreigners living in Austria, he called for tolerance and a diverse nation free of racial hatred, talked about migration, antisemitism, fear, peace, confidence, about being born as a refugee child, called for equality no matter if a person was a man or a woman and loved a man or a woman... or their smartphone, no matter what age and for how many generations one's family had been living in Austria.

Meanwhile, his opponent Norbert Hofer contacted Moby as he seemed irritated to see himself in Moby's video "Erupt & Matter". Moby's reply:
Dear Norbert Hofer,
I'm sorry if my "erupt & matter" video has upset you or caused you grief.

But honestly what's upset me and caused me(and countless others)grief is the 21st century's slide into xenophobic right wing politics and populism. In the 20th century we saw both the rise and collapse of far-right ideologically driven political movements. By the end of the 20th century i had naively assumed that as a species we'd learned from the mistakes of the 20th century, and were ready to leave xenophobic populism and far right politics behind. Sadly, i was wrong, as the politics of fear and hate have come roaring back in the 21st century almost everywhere in the world(including the united states, as we now have a dangerously incompetent xenophobe, donald trump, as our 45th president).

I understand that the complex changes and challenges facing us in the 21st century can lead to fear and uncertainty. But cynically and disingenuously responding to the fear and uncertainty by blaming ethnic minorities and advancing economic populism is both dangerous and wrong. A look at the 20th century clearly shows that whenever a country has blamed it's ills on minorities and retreated into nativist, economic populism the results have been disastrous.

So, i will happily remove you from the video if you renounce the politics of racism, xenophobia, and right wing economic populism.
::: Erupt & Matter: WATCH/LISTEN

Excerpts of the speech (in German):

Sehr geehrte Frau Nationalratspräsidentin, sehr geehrte Frau Bundesratspräsidentin, Hohe Bundesversammlung, sehr verehrte Ehrengäste, hier im Raum, draußen von den Fernsehschirmen, vor dem Radio vielleicht. Liebe Österreicherinnen und Österreicher, liebe ausländische Mitbürgerinnen und Mitbürger dieses Landes.

Ich stehe hier mit bisschen einem Gefühl der Unwirklichkeit. Nicht wegen des langen Wahlkampfes, der war eigentlich großteils ganz vergnüglich, sondern ich stehe hier mit einer großen Freude und Zuversicht. Denn schlussendlich könnte man sagen, jetzt bis du endlich angekommen. Meine Eltern waren ja keine indigenen Österreicher, ich bin als Flüchtlingskind zur Welt gekommen. Von Wien nach Tirol ins Kaunertal transportiert – ich war ja ein Baby -, dort aufgewachsen, in Innsbruck in die Schule gegangen und so weiter und so fort.

Und jetzt darf ich als Ihr Bundespräsident vor Ihnen stehen. Das ist eine besondere Ehre für mich, eine Freude. Und es erfüllt mich, wie soll ich sagen, mit dem Gefühl, dass Österreich tatsächlich ein Land sehr großer Möglichkeiten ist, ein Land – um diese Metapher zu gebrauchen – der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten. Daran sollten wir uns hin und wieder erinnern und uns nicht kleinmachen.


Dieses Gerede von der Spaltung halte ich für maßlos übertrieben. Österreich, das sind einfach wir alle. Alle Bewohner und Bewohnerinnen dieses schönen Landes, ganz gleich, woher sie kommen – aus Wien, aus Graz, aus Salzburg, dem Kaunertal, aus Pinkafeld zum Beispiel und anderen Ecken unserer schönen Heimat. Es ist auch gleich, wen diese Bewohner und Bewohnerinnen lieben – hoffentlich sich selbst – aber, ob sie Mann oder Frau lieben, gleichgültig, ob sie nun Männer oder Frauen sind. Ob sie die Städte lieben oder das flache Land, oder ihr Smartphone oder alles zusammen.

Es ist auch gleich – im Prinzip – ob sie ihr Leben noch vor sich haben – und ich werde am Schluss noch einen Appell an die Jugend richten – oder schon hoffentlich auf ein erfülltes Leben zurückblicken können. Und es ist auch weitgehend gleich, ob die Familie schon seit Generationen hier ist oder eben noch nicht. Zumindest sind wir Österreicherinnen und Österreicher gleich an Rechten und Pflichten – bei aller Vielfalt, bei aller Diversität, die ich sehr liebe, aber gleich an Rechten und Pflichten. Wir gehören einander und wir bedingen einander. Wir sind so stark wie unser Zusammenhalt, besonders in diesen schwierigen Zeiten, denen wir entgegen gehen.

Es liegt in der Natur der Sache, wenn drei Menschen mehr oder weniger kurze Reden halten und sich nicht absprechen, dass sich diese Reden überschneiden. Ich bin jetzt auf der Suche nach etwas, was ich abkürze. Wir waren uns einig, glaube ich, die beiden Präsidentinnen und ich, dass wir in einer Zeit der Veränderung leben. In einer Zeit der Veränderung, in der die bewährten Gewissheiten, die bewährten Rezepte, nicht mehr wie in der Vergangenheit zu greifen scheinen und sich etwas Neues finden und bilden muss, aber es ist nicht klar was. Es ist gewissermaßen eine Zeit zwischen den Zeiten, in der wir uns befinden.

Ich zähle nicht alles auf, es wurde schon viel gesagt – die Automatisierung, die Vernetzung, die Flucht- und Migration, auch der wissenschaftliche Fortschritt, der uns teilweise vor ganz neue Fragen in ethischer Hinsicht und moralischer Hinsicht stellt. Und das alles in einem Europa, das angesichts von Nationalismen und kurzsichtiger Eigenbrötelei um seine Akzeptanz, vielleicht sogar um seine Existenz ringt. Erschüttert auch von verachtenswerten Aktionen des internationalen Terrors, die unseren Zusammenhalt gefährden. Last, not least der Klimawandel, die Veränderung des Klimas, des Wetters und mit den entsprechenden Folgen auf der ganzen Welt, auch bei uns in den Alpen.

Diese Veränderungen sind so eine Sache. Viele davon machen Angst. Veränderung ist notwendig, aber sie macht auch Angst. Wenn ich mich erinnere, wie ich in der Schule – ich glaube erste Klasse Gymnasium – zum ersten Mal auf dem Drei-Meter-Brett im Hallenbad stand: Es kostete mich doch eine gewisse Überwindung. Freude hat mir das keine gemacht. Sondern es war schon das Gefühl da, wenn ich mich weiterentwickeln will – also ich behaupte nicht, dass man mit elf Jahren so denkt, aber ich denke, intuitiv war das der Fall -, dann muss ich springen, aber ich weiß nicht, wie das ist. Ist das Hallenbad überhaupt groß genug, dass ich ins Wasser komme und wie tief wird das sein und wann und ob ich da wieder hochkomme.


Und im Grunde genommen ist das mit der Zuversicht eine einfache Sache: Man muss sich einfach dazu entscheiden, zuversichtlich zu sein. Diese Entscheidung haben wir in der Vergangenheit schon oft getroffen. Und wenn jeder einzelne von uns diese Entscheidung trifft, dann wird uns diese Zuversicht Dinge ermöglichen, die der Zweifel allein nie zugelassen hätte. Poetisch gesagt – erlauben sie, dass ich zwei Zeilen poetisiere: 'Wo der Zweifel nur den dunklen Nachthimmel sieht, sieht die Zuversicht den Sternenhimmel.'

Aber in diesem Zusammenhang ist es wichtig, auch den Blick auf das zu richten, was sich hoffentlich nicht ändert. Nämlich auf unsere Grundprinzipien. Das Fundament unserer zentralen Glaubenssätze unserer Republik, einer Art Credo. Nämlich, dass Freiheit und Würde des Menschen universell und unteilbar sind. Dass alle Menschen frei und gleich an Rechten geboren sind. Dass diese Menschenrechte uneingeschränkt gelten. Immer, wenn Sie über die Rampe ins Parlament kommen, sehen Sie die Erklärung der Menschenrechte auf dieser schönen Tafel. Dass der Privilegierte die Weisheit haben möge, dem Schwächeren zu helfen und seine Position der Stärke nicht zu missbrauchen, dass wir für unsere Mitmenschen auch mitverantwortlich sind. Dass zu einem gesunden Menschenverstand auch ein mitfühlendes Herz gehört. Dass es unserer Menschenpflicht ist, Menschen in Not zu helfen, unabhängig davon ob, sie In- oder Ausländer sind. Aber natürlich, wer bei uns Hilfe sucht, hat sich an unsere rechtsstaatliche Grundwerte zu halten, die nicht verhandelbar sind. -

Mit anderen Worten – ich zitiere ein bisschen 1789: Glauben wir an die Freiheit, die Gleichheit, die Solidarität, und vor allem an Österreichs Fähigkeiten und an das, was dieses Österreich und Europa in der Vergangenheit stark gemacht hat. Auf diesem Wertefundament kann man aufbauen.


Ich hoffe, dass Einigkeit darüber besteht, dass Österreich im Herzen Europas liegt – und das meine ich nicht geografisch, sondern politisch. Dass Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung Schlüssel sind für die zukünftige Entwicklung und dass wir hier die nötigen Ressourcen und Veränderungen vornehmen müssen. Ich hoffe, dass uns allen bewusst ist, dass Mann und Frau gleichberechtigt sind, aber dass wir noch nicht in der Praxis soweit sind, dass es stimmt, seit hundert Jahren nicht.


Meine sehr geehrte Damen und Herren! Morgen ist ein besonderer Tag, morgen ist der Internationale Holocaust Gedenktag. In Erinnerung an das größte Verbrechen der Menschheitsgeschichte. Der Holocaust ist auch Teil unserer Geschichte. Millionen Menschen wurden in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus ermordet. Österreicher gehörten zu den Opfern, aber auch zu den Tätern. Jenen Menschen, die gerade noch fliehen konnten, wurde ihre Heimat genommen. Wenige der Geflüchteten wurden eingeladen wieder zurückzukommen. Und viele wurden, wenn sie doch zurückkamen, in Österreich nicht willkommen geheißen. Das halte ich für die dunkelste Seite unserer Österreichischen Geschichte. Die dunkelste Seite, die wir niemals vergessen werden.

Meine Damen und Herren! Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg entschlossen sich Europas Politiker und Politikerinnen, waren meistens Männer damals noch, endlich zur Versöhnung und zur Gemeinsamkeit. Daraus erwuchs das Projekt der Europäischen Union. Dieses Projekt ist nicht abgeschlossen. Ich bin überzeugt, dass die Europäische Union ein Raum des Friedens, der Freiheit und des Wohlstands ist und weiterhin sein kann. Es ist ein historisches Ereignis, dass die Staaten und Völker der Europäischen Union die Gewalt aus ihren Beziehungen verbannt haben. Es gibt nicht viele Regionen auf der Welt, wo wir dasselbe sagen können, wenn überhaupt eine.

Aber diese Europa ist unvollständig und verletzlich. Und es ist kompliziert. Das ist auch kein Wunder, wenn 28 hoch entwickelte Demokratien sich zusammentun und ein Drehbuch für ihr Zusammenleben schreiben, dann kann es nicht einfach sein und im Einzelnen nicht unbestritten sein. Aber die größte Gefahr sehe ich darin, sich von vermeintlich einfachen Antworten verführen zu lassen und dabei in Richtung Nationalismus und Kleinstaaterei zu kippen. Das kann schon gar nicht im österreichischen Interesse als im Weltmaßstab doch sehr kleiner Staat sein. Lassen wir uns nicht verführen. Lassen wir uns von der Arbeit an einem gemeinsamen Europa nicht abbringen. Die Erhaltung dieses Friedensprojektes ist aller Mühen wert.

Vielleicht ein paar Worte zu meinem Amtsverständnis. Es ist an und für sich – wie soll ich sagen – auf gut Österreichisch 'eh klar': Nämlich, dass ich nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen versuchen werde, nicht nur versuchen, sondern ich werde es sein, ein überparteilicher Bundespräsident, einer, der für alle Menschen in Österreich da ist. (...)

Ich hoffe, die gute Tradition der Zusammenarbeit mit allen politischen Institutionen und Verfassungsorganen sehr gut fortsetzen zu können, auch die Zusammenarbeit mit den Sozialpartnern, auch den Akteuren der Zivilgesellschaft mit ihren vielen Freiwilligen und den Religionsgemeinschaften, um gemeinsam immer wieder für die Erneuerung des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts in Österreich das Meinige dazu beizutragen.

Und selbstverständlich ist der Bundespräsident dazu berufen, Österreich nach außen würdig zu vertreten, zu versuchen Brücken zu bauen. Und ich glaube, eines der Fundamente dieses Brückenbauens ist auch die Neutralität. Diese außenpolitische Tradition in Europa und der ganzen Welt sollten wir beibehalten.


Also, Schlusswort: Mutig in die neuen Zeiten. Es lebe unsere friedliche europäische Zukunft und es lebe unsere Republik Österreich. Ich danke ihnen!


- - - - - - - - -
photographs via and via