High culture versus popular culture
Hearings: Week 4
Admission free This event is in the past

Limited seating capacity, first come, first served. Counting cards for available seats will be handed out from 5.30pm.
We ask for your understanding that, for safety reasons, only the permitted number of seats can be provided.

11 June
Time 6pm
12 June
Time 6pm
11 June
Time 6pm
12 June
Time 6pm

The Festwochen have often been criticised as a hermetic festival of high culture, produced for an elitist circle of art lovers. What relationships do we have to enter, which apparent and invisible boundaries do we have to break down in order to unite experiment and tradition, discourse and entertainment, politics and aesthetics, high culture and popular culture, Vienna and the world? How might a diverse, varied and universally accessible theatre festival work? What is the right ‘mixture’ for maximum openness – for everyone?

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are hearing days – a series in which we will develop the rules for the festival of the future together. Who takes decisions? Where does project funding come from and where does it go? Who is invited and who isn’t – and why? Who is the producer, who is the audience? Boycotts – yes or no? And: how does a globally active festival agree with sustainability? Experts, artists and activists provide an insight into their practices and examine potential alternatives. Over the duration of five weeks, the Council of the Republic will attend and discuss the hearings and design the Festwochen’s own constitution, which will be presented to the audience at the end of the festival as the Vienna Declaration.

Tuesday, 11 June Stage
Wednesday, 12 June
Committee management
Meinhard Rauchensteiner, Kid Pex (Pero Rosandic)
Luana Oliveira / Devanir Oliveira de Araújo - MST, Andreas Rotheneder, Walburga Fröhlich, Lukas Crepaz, Anahita Naghabat, Alexander Götz, Aslı Kışlal, Johanna Doderer, Ahmad Mitaev, Fabian Reicher and Michael Scheidl


Nada Chekh, born in Vienna in 1996, studied Slavic and Eastern European Studies. She works as a journalist for the transcultural magazine biber and as a freelance radio producer for Ö1. She specialises in the tensions of a multi-ethnic society, but is also at home in cultural journalism. She is the winner of the Journalist Award Integration of the ÖIF 2019 in the print category. She published the non-fiction book Eine Blume ohne Wurzeln with Haymon Verlag in October 2023.

Lukas Crepaz, born in Tyrol in 1981, studied International Economics at the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck and at the Universitat de Barcelona. During his studies, he worked as a commercial employee at the Osterfestival Tirol. He has also initiated and realised numerous cultural projects. Lukas Crepaz has many years of experience as a cultural manager in Austria and Germany. From 2007 to 2011, he was involved in setting up the commercial department of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, most recently heading the finance, controlling and general administration departments. Between 2011 and March 2017, he was responsible for the commercial management of Kultur Ruhr GmbH with its four programme areas Ruhrtriennale - Festival of the Arts, Urbane Künste Ruhr, ChorWerk Ruhr and Tanzlandschaft Ruhr and managed the organisation under two artistic directors - Heiner Goebbels (2011-2014) and Johan Simons (2014-2017). Lukas Crepaz has been Commercial Director of the Salzburg Festival since 2017. In 2021, his contract was extended for a further five years until 2027.

Walburga Fröhlich is Managing Director of atempo GmbH and Managing Partner of CFS GmbH. She trained in social work and social management with a Master of Arts degree from the FH Joanneum in Graz. This was followed by training in integrative supervision and organisational consulting at the Fritz Perls Institute in Düsseldorf. She has gained professional experience as a social worker, supervisor, consultant and speaker, has been an Ashoka Fellow since 2015 and is a graduate of the Ashoka Visionary Programme 2016 for innovative leadership and impact orientation. Walburga Fröhlich gained experience in the development and management of advisory centres and the conception and management of transnational research and development projects. She is co-founder of atempo and, together with Klaus Candussi, central representative of the atempo Group.

Alexander Götz studied business administration and business education at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. He initially worked at Österreichische Wirtschaftsberatung GmbH: auditing and management consultancy in tax and business management, primarily for commercial and service companies (including Theater in der Josefstadt Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H.). He has worked at Theater in der Josefstadt Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. Vienna since 1993, initially as head of accounting / IT; since 1999 he has been managing director of Theater in der Josefstadt Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. Vienna as well as vice president and member of the board of the Wiener Bühnenverein. He is also a member of the supervisory board of Wiener Sängerknaben Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H. and a member of the board of the Theatre Training and Research Private Foundation. Alexander Görtz teaches theatre law and production management.

Achmad Mitaev (“Che”) is 24 years old and is known as TikTok creator among young people in Vienna. Together with Uwe Schaffer, he developed the Cop & Che format and has achieved over 25 million views on TikTok. He is currently working on several (digital) projects and passes on his experiences to young people as part of peer sessions for the Extremism Advice Centre. His first book was published in 2024.

Anahita Neghabat, MA, is a social anthropologist, artist and activist working on critical education, intersectional feminism and (anti-Muslim) racism. As a researcher-in-residence, she recently conducted research on co-creation and mediation at the KinderKunstLabor, an exhibition centre for contemporary art for and with children. She is currently a Predoc Researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Since 2019, she has been commenting on Austrian domestic politics with satirical images as @ibiza_austrian_memes; she has been holding artistic meme workshops since 2020.

Luana Oliveira is a poet, cultural worker and MST activist. She works in the cultural sector and the National Coordination of the MST.

Devanir Oliveira de Araújo is an MST activist and coordinates the national planning for planting trees and producing healthy food.

Fabian Reicher, born in 1987, works as a social worker at the Extremism Counselling Centre in the field of exit and distancing work. Before that, he worked as a street worker in Vienna for six years, mainly dealing with youth subcultures with an affinity for violence and/or extremism. He is co-founder of several online streetwork initiatives, including the project Jamal al-Khatib - Mein Weg, Bro & Kontra and the TikTok format Cop&Che, which was recognised as ‘best practice’ by the European Commission. Reicher teaches at several universities in Austria, works internationally as a speaker and can look back on various (scientific) publications, most recently Die Wütenden. Why we need to radically rethink the way we deal with jihadist terror, which was published by Westend Verlag in February 2022.

Andreas Rotheneder is an Austrian officer, currently holding the rank of Major General.

Related content
Press the Enter key to search or ESC to close
The Wiener Festwochen would like to thank their main sponsors.