As a festival of contemporary art based at various locations outside main centers of population, REGIONALE12 looks into the question of how rural areas could become a model for innovative discourse on social development in times of urban growth and the simultaneous decline of urban centers. Murau defines itself as a timber region that lives from and through its raw materials. The program will focus on issues such as working with natural resources as a basis for cultural, economical and social and alternative energy supplies as well as global climate discourse.


The Murau District is currently confronted with many challenges. For example: how can demographic regression be counteracted, collaboration of all kinds be strengthened and novel strategies be devised to attract economic attention and ensure the region's survival? Tradition and changed living conditions seem to collide with one another.

REGIONALE12 intends to shed more light on raw materials in Murau. The word raw material itself means material derived from a natural source which has a certain exchange value as an unprocessed item. The cycle is triggered as soon as additional value or use can be gained by processing that material. The challenge for regional development also begins with resources and their processes - just as it does for REGIONALE12.


The main content of REGIONALE12 is represented by three thematic clusters:

1_ Youth/Mobility/Town
2_Natural Environment/Sustainability
3_Living together/Working together

In peripheral regions, mobility is a central issue in more ways than one, whether in terms of commuting, the necessity of planning new public transport models or simply devising new ways of living. Do historical trade routes like the mountain pass Soelkpass, which even today remains closed for half the year, still have any significance? Which infrastructures ought to be developed and how are they to be discussed? What kind of mobility concepts do we need to maintain the natural environment? Could the weather in Murau be somehow changed by means of new technologies and trees be created which can convert a thousand times more carbon dioxide than now? Or should we simply stick to preserving things? What role do young people play and what chances will they have if they opt to stay in Murau? What will have to be done to enable them to stay? Which social models exist in a general sense and where, above all, would changed conditions have to be introduced?

Cultural anthropologist Arjun Appadurai is convinced that landscapes (scapes) as such no longer exist. Instead, many different kinds of landscapes intermingle to form a plural landscape. These different landscapes are continuously intertwining and flowing together. One of the most important tools we need to envision the details of this flow is imagination work. A landscape on the move was how the applicants of the Region described the phenomenon in their application for REGIONALE12. A society on the move will definitely be a subject of research for REGIONALE12. To show how the interaction of life in this environment works and perhaps how to open it up, will require a more complex view of its social space, which we can ascertain from its communities and forms of cooperation. No matter whether we are dealing with a small town or a natural habitat, many different rural and urban raw materials and their production processes will play an important part in REGIONALE12.

Maren Richter
Artistic Director of REGIONALE12
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