An unusual program starts 16 May, with a centre in Kogart House, on Andrássy Street. The representatives of Österreich Werbung in Budapest aim to bring the culture of Hungary’s neighbour, Austria closer to us. The special festival is on till 22 May and features concerts, a fashion workshop and a traditional Austrian dinner, among others.
How does the „neighbour’s flat” looks? For years, some 500 000 Hungarians have been travelling to Austria to spend their holidays. But do we know the country, its traditions, cuisine or music well enough? The exhibition opening in Kogart House dislays the modern cultural and touristic facilities of Austria. The first floor of the villa is transformed into the neighbour’s flat by Austrian fashion designer Manuela Freigang. Visitors can watch designer’s Lena Hoschek’s walkable „fashion dice”, a special photomontage of the country, beautiful collages are placed over a large area and pieces of contemporary and classical furniture support the „Austrian atmosphere”.
The festival opens 16 May with the concert of the Schoenbrunn Palace Orchestra. The event, born with the motto ’Austria – Europe’s meeting place’, vivifies Vienna’s glitter and glamour. It features 8 musicians, all currently living in the country but originating from various parts of Europe. Their repertoire includes pieces of recognized international composers whose creative work is closely connected to Austria.
Mixing tradition and the modern prêt-à-porter approach, Lena Hoschek presents her newest collection 20 May and at a workshop teaches us about the neighbour’s fashion industry. The following day, we can get acquainted with Austria’s gastronomy, too; well-known chef and president of the association ’Best Austrian Hospitality’ (’Beste österreichise Gastlichkeit’), Toni Mörwald presents a menu proving the culinary diversity of the country as well.
But it’s probably neither fashion, nor food that first comes to one’s mind when thinking of Austria – I would say it’s rather a spectacular mountain scenery. As a closing event, on 22 May, Thomas Glavinic Austrian writer and Robert Schauer, the first Ausrtian to climb Mount Everest (1978) will hold an exciting conversation on the „magic of mountains”. Glavinic, in his new novel Greater Magic (Das größere Wunder) deals with alpine mountain climbing and authentically portrays the mental and physical experiences of his protagonist.
It seems that 25 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Hungary and Austria are getting closer and closer to each-other, and now we are welcome again in „the neighbour’s flat”.