The Ars Electronica Festival will host the 2nd Conference of People Providing Aid to Refugees in the Province of Upper Austria in order to offer part-time volunteers and full-time staffers a setting in which to do networking, acquire information and exchange views. Wide-ranging input from experts and various workshops on subjects such as language, cultural understanding, work and training are meant to strengthen and motivate helpers as they carry on their efforts on behalf of refugees.
A young blonde said to me, “Welcome.” Last September, transiting to the airport, at Vienna’s Westbahnhof rail terminus I was suddenly caught up in the crowd transiting to Europe from the east. Side by side, we are waiting for the next train.
Upper Austrian photographers Werner Dedl and Volker Weihbold did a lot of traveling while the flow of refugees was at its peak—to train stations, temporary quarters and meet&greet events, and to Jordan near the epicenter of the crisis. They photographed people who had just made it through the perilous ordeal of fleeing to Europe.
Together with Joan Bairam you will get to know and discuss projects at POSTCITY that were realized by refugees or deal with the internationally relevant topic of escape, prosecution and displacement. Especially the social dimensions of forming communities, mixing cultures, looking for and finding an identity will be focused in this tour. These concerns can be found in many artistic and documentary projects throughout the festival.