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The Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest: Promoting Austrian Art and Culture in Romania

With more than 130 cultural events per year, the Austrian Cultural Forum (ACF) acts as a platform for

Thomas Kloiber, Director Austrian Cultural Forum, credits Nicolas Friess

Austrian artists and scientists who intend to perform in Romania or to cooperate with Romanian partners in joint projects. Just like the chamber formation “TrioVanBeethoven”, which will contribute to this years’ celebration of the Austrian National Day, a huge number of musicians, visual artists, actors, writers and artists of all disciplines approach the Austrian Cultural Forum in order to realize a cultural project in Romania. The Austrian Cultural Forum either connects Austrian artists with local festivals and art managers or directly supports them in carrying out their project.

In 2018, the Austrian Cultural Forum focused intensely on commemorating 100 years of the Austrian Republic: The ACF organized conferences on this topic, held exhibitions (Gustav Klimt and his contemporaries, the end of the Habsburg Empire) and even selected its musical program with regard to 100 years of the Republic.

On July 12th, the Austrian Cultural Forum also accompanied the beginning of Austria’s Presidency within the Council of the European Union at the OMV/Petrom-Building by elaborating a video installation entitled “How we look at things”. The exhibition was curated by Romanian artist and art theoretician Răzvan Ion and encouraged visitors to consider the impact of the individual approach of interpreting the environment. Videos of Bulgarian, Austrian and Romanian artists, displayed in black booths, referred to characteristics of each nation. The selection of the artists was a tribute to the successive Presidencies of the Council of the European Union. The different sizes of the booths as well as their position were conceived as a reference to Stonehenge and thus to the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The ACF intends to show it to the public in Bucharest from January 24th to February 23rd 2019. (Photo).

According to the primary objectives of Austria’s international cultural policy, the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest emphasizes the advancement of the process of European integration by contributing to the cultural projects of EUNIC, the platform of National Cultural Institutes of the European Union in Romania. This year, the ACF took part in the European Film Week of the Invisible Roma, the European Months of Literature and the Cultural Management Academy by supporting the contributions of Austrian artists and academics.
Another way of strengthening a shared sense of EU identity is the promotion of multilingualism in the EU. The Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest therefore organizes many literature events in order to introduce “Austrian German”, i.e. the German language as it is written and spoken in Austria, into Romanian society. Writers such as Cornelia Travnicek or Franzobel presented their novels at the Austrian Libraries in Romania and in the Republic of Moldova. In November, the famous Austrian actor Mercedes Echerer will present the fairy-tale collection “Povesti, Mituri & Muzică – Dunărea” (Fairy tales, myths and music – the River Danube) to German-speaking school children as well as to an adult audience.

Especially during the period of the back-to-back EU-Council Presidencies of Austria and Romania, the Austrian Cultural Forum Bucharest is fostering intercultural projects in which artists of both countries take part and interact on an artistic level. Within the framework of this concept, photographers of “Fotogalerie Wien” will organize a group exhibition at Galeria Posibila, whereas their Romanian colleagues already showed their works in Vienna this fall.

You can follow the activities of the Austrian Cultural Forum by visiting our website https://www.bmeia.gv.at/kf-bukarest/ or by visiting us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fca.bucuresti/ . You can also subscribe to the periodical newsletter by emailing us at bukarest-kf@bmeia.gv.at.

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