Revisiting Historical Encounters and Relationships.
Date: Sept. 21, 2013, 19 p.m.r
Location: Kulturfabrik Hainburg
Organisers: Harmony of Hearts, Vienna in cooperation with the Islamic Arts Centre, Hainburg
As a border city on the banks of the River Danube, Hainburg’s cultural legacy is richly determined by encounters between the Orient and the Occident. Where once the border of the Ottoman Empire was situated and the Iron Curtain was erected, history has left its traces. Unlike Vienna, where changes are quickly absorbed by everyday life, Hainburg is still influenced by its past.
This intercultural and interreligious festival aimed to promote a better understanding of the common history of the Austrian and Turkish people of Hainburg, who make up 15 percent of the local population. Harald Leban, a renowned photographer from Hainburg, presented his unique work, contrasting Hapsburg-Ottoman relations with the life of Austrians and Turks of today's Hainburg. Stefan Scholz, a historian, delivered an address, shedding new light on the myths about the Ottoman campaigns.
The highlight of the evening was a musical symbiosis of Ottoman-Austrian relations. While the Ottoman Military Band revived the glory of former times, the Naqshi-Band from Ludwigshafen combined the traditional with the modern and brought Ottoman spirituality alive in an enthralling context. New Spirit, a gospel choir from Bad Altenburg, linked the devotional melodies of classical spirituals with compositions by Leonard Cohen.
A rich buffet with Austrian and Turkish specialties rounded up the programme and offered a delightful opportunity for a new dialogue in the spirit of Johan Wolfgang von Goethe's saying: "If you know yourself and those around you, you will realise that the Orient and the Occident can no longer be separated."