In 2016 the jury chose four projects out of a large number of applicants that take a very clear position politically, as well as aesthetically. Projects that combine local and global perspectives, and criticism with humour.
The rapper Item 7, who proposed producing a musical based on his experiences with the Austrian system of asylum; the artist Mariel Rodriguez, who proposed researching the themes colonialism, narco-politics, and bio-piracy by using the image of the coca leaf; the activist Grace Latigo, who will show us her daily experiences in Vienna in a cheeky and grotesque stand-up show; and the author Vina Yun, who will create a graphic novel about the Korean community in Vienna were selected as recipients of this years scholarship program.
This year’s jury consisted of curator and head of dramaturgy at the Tanzquartier Gabrielle Cram, the musician and moderator Patrick Bongola alias Topoke, Gabriele Bagher from the Institut im Kontext, the journalist Hirut Kiesel, the artist Stephanie Misa, as well as the artistic director of the Brunnenpassage Ivana Pilic.
This was the statement of the jury:
“To begin with we would like to thank all applicants for all the inspirational and important submissions!
It was not easy for us, as a jury, to decide which of the 150 proposals, that spanned across a vast field of artistic expression, to include in the short-list of 22.
Meeting the applicants in person gave us further insight in the different subject areas, and the way these were dealt with artistically. This made coming to a decision even more interesting, but at the same time it also made it harder.
We decided upon projects that take a very clear position politically, as well as aesthetically. Projects that combine local and global perspectives, and criticism with humour.
We hope that the four scholarship holders are able to open up new perspectives also for the public concerning Vienna, and Austria, and it’s complex history and present.
Thank you to all applicants for kültür gemma! and we wish you all the best for the future!
The rapper Item 7 will tell a story about what it means to come from a ghetto in Lagos, arrive in Vienna in a shelter for asylum seekers, and try to set up a life for himself in a new place. To do this he has chosen a surprising medium: the musical. Together with other musicians, they will sing, rap, and perform and tell us of their shared experiences. The way a very personal story was put in such a complex form, yet retained a very clear language, convinced the jury.
The women- and human rights activist lays claim to stages of all shapes and sizes. Her work, that is highly appreciated by the jury, can be found where politics and art, or popular- and counter culture meet. As a stand-up comedian, Latigo will take a cheeky and grotesque look at the daily life of a strong black woman in Vienna who does not let the most difficult circumstances drag her down.
Mariel Rodriguez puts the emphasis of her artistic research on a highly controversial plant: the coca leaf. Based on archive work, of, for instance, the famous Novara-expedition that brought the plant to Vienna, Rodriguez puts colonialism, bio-piracy, and narco-politics in relationship to one another. The artistic way of dealing with the intricacies of economy and politics, as well as the effects that has one a local, but also on a global level, is something that the jury found to be highly relevant, and is looking forward to a multi-layered exhibition.
The author and journalist Vina Yun will deal with a topic that has hardly ever been dealt with before through he means of comic, the story of Korean migration in Vienna. The story is told from the perspective of second-generation immigrants that enter into a dialogue with their parents and grandparents. The idea to deal with this topic in a collective manner, but also to combine analysis with satire through the means of graphic novel, filled the jury with enthusiasm.”