MASN Vienna

"Syrreal Symphonie" [the title]

This ist the place for MASN-Wiens first project in 2014/15. It can be a chaotic place for you to discuss, present information, leave ideas before you forget them, confirm dates, raise questions, and most important it's a good place to be wrong and make mistakes. so don't be shy.... (on page two there is a big empty gap, but after that messages will come)

sorry for that chaotic, paragraph-free text...it looked different before i sent it...

dear masn-people,

i'm amazed by your enthusiam and enthusiastic myself to participate in the organization of the refugee-benefiz-project :-)

some points i thought about:

- to organize the presentations as a panel discussion with an intitial introductory note would be nice, because there are so many potential interesting persons with expertise in the field
--> Fartacek, Langthaler (asylkoordination), Klaric (purple sheep), ruth schöffl (unhcr) ...
- we could use various network-channels to promote the event fitting the topic (e.g. öst.orientgesellschaft, südwind, a.a.i., ...). and i think we should promote it big :-)
- i made research on purple sheep and i'm awaiting a call from karin klaric to get more details. but i also got information on wadi, and actually i think they would be more fitting to our pupose
about purple sheep: they are more concerned with the general problematic of securing rights for asylum seekers in austria and they mainly work with people who are already in austria, are integrated to a certain extent and run the risk of deportation. i mean, they do great work - but it's not syria specific and it's not mainly concerned with refugees coming right now to seek asylum.

on the other hand, wadi is engaging in the region right now. do we have personal contacts? or would it be possible to meet up with some active members?

but for discussion input, i think karin klaric would be an interesting and competent candidate...
and another thought: the purple sheep house in the 12.district (freundeschützenhaus) is trying to raise awareness by organizing events and readings and i know a person who was already engaged in such an event. depending on how the location search moves on tomorrow, we might also consider this house for staging the benefiz?

moving the money directly to the region would also be nice (although i guess it won't be an abundant sum) - especially as the winter puts mounting pressure on refugees.

- did we talk about funding? it might be possible to get money from the öh? or other institutions like südwind? that way we wouldn't need to use incomes on expenses...

- about the movies...depending on how many we are going to present, if we have parallel presentations, ect we also could consider those...???:

there is a new movie about macondo, which is supposed to be very good and was shown at viennale (although it might not be easy to get it, if it runs in cinemas at the moment..)

and the unhcr has a dvd with open access:

ok...that was a lot. for the meeting on tuesday, i think i won't make it..the day is too long already. maybe on wednesday in shelters...and maybe film watching on sunday. 26th and 28th are not possible...

but i'm looking forward to the next brainstorming-organizing-committee!

and another question: how can i get the posts into my emails? maia, i don't find that "eye" you told me about...

Tomorrow Tuesday 22:00 we will meet at Cafe C.I. - Club International (Payergasse 14, actualy at yppenplatz/brunnenmarkt)

p.s.: for some weired reason i wasn informed by mail, about saskyas message....

unfortunatly i can't join the concert, have morning shift on thursday.

sorry, I madfe a big mistake for tuesday, i have a meeting at 19:00 so i could oinly be there at 22:00. If that's ok for you. Other option for me would be Wendsday, but than Saskya would have to run to get to the concert in time. and i'm not sure if there is some programm in all the places we want to look at on wendsday. On the other hand wendsday is cinemaday in AU, which may also be interessting to witness, since we also want to play movies. but still i would prefere tuesday night a lot. Maybe some of you could meet before in AU, and than i join at 10:00


Mehrdad, i'd be up for checking out the places as well!

Except the 19th -> the concert of the band that i'd like to talk into playing for us at the event, is playing at the shelter at 20.30! please feel free to come, all of you, i'd be glad to see you there!

Let me know what's good for you,

@ Mehrad, yeah thanks, I'll look it up, for going to check the places, I am free the 18th of November and I'd be to join ! when and where you call it ! until then I'll read everything that was posted.

Bis später, flavian

I'm writing mails for my Vereine since 9 in the morning on my free day. So i will wirte this last one quiet fast, use german words where i lack english and so on, so plz excuse those things use google translate where it may help and your phone or mail, where only i can explain.

Some additonal Informations for the Syreal-Evening (no panic, it's just the working title):
We made some categories and task forces, that should be responsibal for them. they are not made of stone, so things can change people can switch and so on. And most important: the most important task forces still have no people in them: the people responsible will be in brackets responsible persons name here
1.)Presentations ?,?,?
2.)Discussion [?,?,?
3.) Critical perspective from us on us as european anthropologist behaving like we can save the world/ discussing our motives for doing that evening. In short: theoretical self-reflections: Maia and Flavian
4.)Choosing location: Mehrdad,+?,+?
5.) More infos abou the project we will donate to. Each person will check out a differnet project victoria(purple house?), mehrdad (wadi),+?,+?
6.) Deciding for movie after watching it all who watch it
7.) Flyers, artwork: Maia, Robin?
8.) the bestest Band which ever played on a syrian-benefit.evening. EVER!Apu, Saskiya, Victoria . As above metioned I think i got the perfect Dj for us, and he already answered that he would be interessted.
9.) Food and drinks: preperation and selling! Saskiya and me can organize perfect schnaps. food should fit to the topic (syrian bred, chees, falafell) ?,?,?
10.) Fleamarket/Artmarket ?,?,? + coop with Behinderten- und Flüchtlingsvereinen, +Weihnachtsgeschenkspendensammlung/ -Markt
11.) Networking with Austro-syrian groups. ?,?,?,?,?,. this las point is very sensitiv, and also connected to number 3. Involving a group without knowing alot about who they are and what they stand for, may get us in an awfull position. Involving none of them can send quiet an imperialistic message. This point besides some people taking responsability for gathering informations, need the critical thoughts of all of us: so start thinking about it
12.) Infobooklets, -flyers about the region our topics (in coop. with the speakers) and about MASN (to recruit some new people): ?,?,?,
13.) a proper name for the event
14.) Date: 22.1. 18:30 (not fixed yet, but we wish this)

@Flavian: you wanted a list, here is your list, and it even got numbers!


I would love to join the next meeting with him.
His proposals sound great and leave a lot of choices open for us. I think we should stay superexcited for now, let ideas grow, and meet as soon as possible after knowing our movies, to make decisions.
until now, nobody answered to my mail about checking out the locations on 18th nov. if a min. of 2more people would join me, it would be enough- the more the better.===

From a friend who also makes a lot of events i heard some more details about the locations, which gave AU some bonuspoints.

AU also has an more or less regular disco-style event called "Alamut Rebell Club", named after the Assasin-castle Alamut. The last Assasins-castle was at Alepo in syria. The organizer of ARC is also Dj and loves ethno-music, especialy afriacan and oriental-styles ("oriental" in this case I use for the clishès that i have in my ears- just to stay a little bit critical). I will ask him if he has interest in playing some music at our event.
I guess having an Dj and a band has the benefit of the music not stopping to abruptly and if the event because much more fun than expected and there are much more people, a dj can usualy make his set 2hours longer, or other way round he can change his music from dancemusic to chill-out music without too much trouble (although most dj's aren't gonna be happy if you tell them to do so). Also the ARC-partys are usualy quiet crowded, so i guess that would get us some more people too.

So i think one band+one dj would be enough for the "fun part" of the event. The Rest should be informativ.
I read an article about Volkshochschulen yesterday, and got some ideas from there. The founding idea of Volkshochschulen was to prepare people for there newly gained democratic rights, in middle of 19th century. Only people with knowledge about matters can be democratic. We probably are not going to change the outcome of the next elections, but I think we should keep in mind that one well informed person can spread like a virus, and maybe change 1%from this party to that party (which than actauly makes already 2%difference!!). viennas elections are comming soon, and IS(lam) is probably going to be a big propaganda topic again (propaganda in chomsky's sense, as any kind of information given to people to influence there actions). In this sense i would realy love the idea of believing that after our event, there will be maybe 20 or70 people more in this town, that are able and willing to speak up when they hear propaganda that will lead to bad actions and can give proper, anthropologicaly well-founded information (propaganda) against,
cheers, hope to hear/see/read you all soon

Dear MASN-People!

After the magical appearance of Dr. Gebhard Fartacek yesterday in Cafè Merkur, we took the opportunity to introduce us and our project and met him again this afternoon to exchange some ideas and information. The meeting resulted in a very positive, enthusiastic, motivated brainstorming - here are the thoughts and ideas:

Eventually he would be willing to participate/support us in different ways:

  • presentation - altogether he did 2 ½ years of fieldwork in Syria, where he focused on pilgrimage, religion, perception (the others/self, ethnicity) - presentations from his side would be about the mentioned topics

  • generally he would also be up for leading the group presentation

  • movie: in his class „Ethnologie des Nahen Ostens“ which Franz and I are attending, he will soon show a movie about Syria (further information will follow as soon as i get his e-mail with the link, and of course after we saw the movie)

  • locations: he proposed the
Lalish (Theaterlabor, Forschungszentrum für Theater und Performance-Kultur)
as well as the „Depot“ (unfortunately pricey…)
and the „Club International“ (at Yppenplatz -> Mehrdad: we could check that out on the way to the other two locations)

  • donations: he personally liked the idea of supporting the refugees in vienna directly, because he pointed out the emotional aspect/empathic value: the suffering and rejection experienced/the feeling of support and care that we could create and share, by actually showing up/donating more personal items than money (winter clothes)…

  • thought: why not split the amount and donate to different organizations?

  • Asylkoordination a place where the money would also be in good hands -> the founder is an ethnologist (Herbert Langthaler)
sending donations to Syria: he has trustworthy contacts there, problem: western union is the only way to get it there, do we want that?

  • Networking: Dr. Fartacek could provide us with many interested contacts to join our event, ethnologists, friends from the Angewandte…

  • student-presentations: not possible because of the lack of time

  • he offered to let us present MASN in one of his lectures, to invite people to either participate or just join the event?

please note: Dr. Gebhard Fartacek was very motivated to propose his ideas, everything mentioned here is open to be discussed. We would like to keep him updated with basic information and achievements due to his interest in the event and to make it easier to help each other making this event an inspiring success for further MASN-projects.

He proposed another meeting before or after christmas, meanwhile we would stay in contact via e-mail (tips for movies, interesting people to contact,…) and have chats after his lectures.

so, that’s that. exciting!

Lg Saskya & Franz

thats sound more like a festival than a small event :-) but if we find the proper speakers, films and location, why not make it bigger. I think we should start thinking about a date. I think if we want to make it larger we should advertise it at least 4weeks in advance.

Spitze Mehrdad - Great Mehrdad ;)
i also tried to call Martin but didn't reach him until now, so super that you're already in touch with Nora and that they very probably will be able to contribute some or one film :-) I'm fine with your expressed ideas. Concerning the program i could imagine that we could also have parallel running slots, if there are at least 2 separate rooms. So two films and two presentation with discussion could run. Or several films could run the whole evening while in the other, central room there are presentations, discussions, music (?), food (?), drinks, the art market, Flyers, informative booklets from the Organization, ... just an idea!
Wonderful - the project gets more precise :-)
cheers, maia

I'm in contact with ethnocinea and they seem interessted in supporting our idea. To save some time i will post here the last conversation, because by answering her mail I had to make some structures for the event. See them as a basis for discussion and feel free to comment on them.

From Ethnocinea:
hallo mehrdad,
bitte entschuldige die späte antwort! ich betreue die koops der
ethnocineca& daher hat mir martin deine email weiter geleitet.

wir haben sicher interesse an eurem projekt und würden gern einen oder
zwei filme beisteuern. daher meine fragen:
  • wie weit seid ihr mit den planungen? bleibt es bei dem termin ende
november/anfang dezember?
  • falls die veranstaltung bereits grob strukturiert wurde, wie groß is der
slot für die filme, sprich würden wir (zb) 1 stunde des programms
gestalten oder laufen die filme über den tag verteilt, wobei deren länge
keine rolle spielt.
  • außer der regionalen begrenzung andere filmkriterien?

ich kann euch leider nicht 100%ig versprechen, dass jemand von uns es
schaffen wird, den film zu kommentieren und eine diskussion mit dem
publikum zu moderieren. das hängt stark davon ab, wann ihr die
veranstaltung geplant habt (wir alle hackeln nebenher), aber ich werd
versuchen jemanden zu finden.

ab spätestens kommenden montag könnte ich euch vielleicht auch schon
filmvorschläge schicken.

From me:
Hallo Nora,

Ersteinmal vielen dank für die sehr ausführliche Antwort.
Wir sind mit der Planung noch sehr am Anfang. Im Moment tut sich auch grad einiges organisatorisches zwischen MASN-Austria und MASN-Wien, so dass wir beschlossen haben den Termin auf Anfang bis Mitte Jänner zu verschieben. Meine Idealvorstellung von der Abendgestaltung wäre: 1-2 Filme(ca.1h-1,5h) und 1-2 Vorträge (ca.1h-1,5h), danach, davor und zwischendurch ein wenig Platz für Diskussion. 3h wäre insgesamt aber schon recht lang für vorträge+Filme, da die Veranstaltung nur einen Abend füllen soll und den Gästen die Köpfe nicht allzu sehr rauchen sollten.
Im Moment ist noch nichts fixiert, was uns den Vorteil sehr hoher Flexibilität bringt :-) . Also wenn du einen Film gefunden hast, der dir persönlich thematisch (oder aus anderen Gründen) sehr passend scheint, oder sonst wie am Herzen liegt, aber nicht in meine Idealvorstellung oben passt, dann lass es mich bitte wissen.
Ich finde ein guter Film wäre ein gutes "zentrum" für die Veranstaltung, um das sich dann die Vorträge und Diskussionsmöglichkeiten leicht koordinieren lassen.
Kurzfilme wären natürlich auch eine Möglichkeit!

Ich möchte möglichtst nur eins oder wenige der folgenden Themen in das Zentrum stellen:
-)Religiöse bzw. Ethnische Minderheiten der Region (Drusen, Alawiten, Christliche Gruppen, Yeziden, Assyrer, die kleineren shiitischen Gemeisnchaften,....)
-) Flucht und Vertreibung im direkten zusammenhang mit der Region, aber u.U. auch etwas über das Leben der Flüchtlinge von dort in Österreich
-)Kurden -Kurdistan
-) "Volksislam"
-)politischer Islam

In meinem Traum hast du einen 1,5h Film für uns, der den perfekten Kompromiss zwischen unterhaltsamer Folklore, informativer Dokumentation und politisierenden Inhalten schafft. Aber da wo der Film schwächelt können ja die Vorträge ergänzen. Darum wäre es sehr gut wenn wir möglichst früh den/die Filme(e) sehen würden um passende Vorträge zu organisieren.


Discussion topics: Question #2 is more urgent, because a decission there may make it much easier to choose a name or ask for support.

  1. 1: The workingtitle for the project should change to a proper name. ideas?

  1. 2: Yesterday the idea was raised, that raising money for refugees who already arrived in vienna, may be much more efficient, since less money will be lost through transfers and logistic. On the other hand the level of need may be much higher in the war-region. What do you think? Should we send the money to the war-region or invest it in projects in front of our doorsteps?
Question #2 is more urgent,

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