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Nassfeld: Frontier Fantasies

Nassfeld: Frontier Fantasies

I flung open the window to the balcony of my room in the Gartnerkofel hotel, breathed in the icy air, and peered out over a vast forest of heavily snow-laden trees. It was like waking up in Narnia. The hotel is built at an altitude of 1500 m, so for the first time on a […]

A Portrait of Life After War

A Portrait of Life After War

You have heard about the terrible war in ex- Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1999. You have read about it, maybe tried to understand it. You heard sad stories and saw shocking pictures. Maybe you’ve seen movies about it – like Angelina Jolie’s 2011 film In the Land of Blood and Honey that takes on the […]

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch: Music Amid the Memories of Horror

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch: Music Amid the Memories of Horror

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch had arrived by normal train to Auschwitz in September of 1942, not in a cattle car. Although she was a Jew, her job in a paper factory had protected her – until she and her sister were arrested for forging travel documents for French prisoners of war. So they were considered criminals, a […]

Book Review: Upriver With Nick Thorpe

Book Review: Upriver With Nick Thorpe

“These are the stories of the people of the Danube, and their dark dreamy river,” announces Nick  Thorpe at the beginning of a work that oozes with love for one of the world’s great arteries and is brought to life by the eccentricities and warmth of the diverse people who live by its banks. […]

A Tiny Brain is Grown

A Tiny Brain is Grown

Peering into her microscope morning after morning, Dr. Madeline Lancaster watched through the lens as strange new worlds began to grow. Under the glass, she saw tissue crosssections begin to form just like a cerebral cortex, bringing scientists closer than ever before to creating a human brain. “I could see different brain regions that looked […]

God and the Devil in the Details

God and the Devil in the Details

High above, a raven sits atop a medieval torture wheel, scraps of rags still hanging from the last victim. On the ground, a man in white stands watching, as a vast procession moves across a green and brown plain. In the middle of the procession, if you peer closely, you can see Christ carrying the […]

‘Silvester’ on the Graben

‘Silvester’ on the Graben

My plane set down in Vienna at 8:32 in the morning of December 31. It was grey and rainy, and much too warm to be New Years Eve. It had been a rough flight, at least on the inside: there were four babies in our section, with parents either too green or too tired to […]

(Un)dress To Impress

(Un)dress To Impress

For retro-themed ambiance, Vienna has few rivals, being somewhat Vintage itself: elegantly decrepit fin-de-siècle decadence still saturates the very walls of the manifold venues presenting themselves. One of them is the Volkstheater’s Rote Bar, home of the burlesque carnival Cirque Rouge, a celebration of vaudeville and cabaret culture taking place every few months. Setting it apart is its dedication to recreating a first-half […]

Far From Flanders Fields

Far From Flanders Fields

On 28 June 1914, the shots were fired that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, triggering a war in which over 16 million people died. As winter comes to Vienna, we approach the centennial of a war that shaped today’s western world, and defined the modern Austrian Republic. Over the next four years, […]

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