Sonntag, 23. November 2008

The Beginning: Questions

Living in Austria before 1989 meant that a part of the northern border all the eastern border and part of the southern border were formed by the so-called Iron Curtain. This was for the most part a very substantial system of fences, watch towers and guards, but it was also a dividing line between the "Weltanschauungen". From Salzburg the farthest distance to this border was 400 kilometres - everything else was closer. This meant for me that I was always very aware of this dividing line in our post Cold War world. The fall of the Iron Curtain was as much of a surprise to me as it was for everybody else. But now, almost 20 years later, this once unconquerable border is barely on my mind and I cross it without even reducing the speed of my car.

This seemed to me the perfect time to find out the present situation at this former border. What is left of the fortifications and fences. What is left in the minds of people who still live there. Why did others deliberately go there to take advantage of opportunities. Is the border still visible in the land or in the behaviour of the inhabitants. What kind of new projects were created to overcome the former divide and how does the new generation cope with the burden of the past. And above all - what will I be able to capture and communicate in photographs.

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