Die Festwochen in der Donaustadt

© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen
© Elodie Grethen

During the opening weekend, and starting in a specific area of the 22nd district, the Wiener Festwochen explore what a city festival could mean by presenting a series of artistic projects that address communal life. Most of these have been developed specifically for this area and/or together with local inhabitants. Donaustadt is the district that has experienced the largest population growth in all of Vienna. Here, on the other side of the river, the population is younger on average than in the city as a whole. And yet this district still offers relatively little by way of cultural infrastructures and public events. Overflowing from the city centre, the Wiener Festwochen 2019 present a programme that combines in- and outdoor events including short pieces, durational installations, (disco) ice skating and parties, all concentrated around the Erste Bank Arena. The central piece is Mariano Pensotti’s Diamante, a masterly theatrical marathon that depicts an urban settlement in a deserted area. All around, a black flag is passed from hand to hand, and a group of women temporarily nestle in a public square like migrant birds. Surprising artistic interventions invigorate the area and facilitate human encounters: from a council building that beats to the sound of its inhabitants’ heartbeats to a library of living books. These projects address forms of communal life, marginalisation and cultural blackouts and are open to everybody (most of them for free). Following the opening weekend of the festival, some of the projects will continue their journey in other parts of Vienna.

With works by Mette Edvardsen, Bouchra Ouizguen, Mariano Pensotti / Grupo Marea, Alice Ripoll / Cia REC, Ula Sickle, Sarah Vanhee, Benjamin Verdonck, Anna Witt

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