A Rewarding Challenge

Expert hearings—a staged panel discussion in the pedestrian zone of Innsbruck’s Maria-Theresien-Straße

This enactment involved six actresses reading their texts while sitting on a podium. Passers-by were stopped by the moderator and encouraged to join in the discussion.
Discussions were repeated in intervals starting at around 11:00 o’clock and lasted for approximately one and a half hours.

From the script by Farida Heuck:
Parliament correspondence No. 372 from 05-20-2011
Topics: Affairs
Subject Area: Committee meetings of the National Council

Parliamentary deliberations on the multilingualism amendment began with a hearing yesterday. The Commission, which has joined us today as guests, introduces its new framework strategy for multi-lingualism, which pursues two main objectives: promoting and exposure of language learning and linguistic diversity in society, thus encouraging a multilingual economy.

Experts at the hearing came to the conclusion that monolingualism promotes simple-mindedness but is curable. The Commission makes clear how languages support intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, thus establishing a clear link between integration and linguistic diversity. The conclusion of yesterday’s Committee meeting was to urge all citizens to learn one “second language”.

The group of us here today will be used to advise the Commission on multilingualism, improve intercultural dialogue and promote integration in the majority society. The experts here will shed light their work program titled A Rewarding Challenge.

The multilingualism amendment focuses on all majority citizens who have no second language. To avoid monolingualism and thus stupidity, these people are asked to learn a “personal adoptive language”. Personal adoptive languages are those native to countries from which migrants come, where German or English is not the mother tongue. (Incidentally, most migrants to Austria come from Germany.) Special focus is given to first languages spoken by people outside the EU.

The five invited guests will seize different aspects of the issue. You are more than welcome to voice your position on this and ask detailed questions at any time. […]

• Moderator, played by Manuel Wenda
• A representative of the “Arbeiterkammer”, Department of Labor Market and Commerce, played by Wolfgang Klinger
• Director of Adult Education Claudia S., played by Katharina Hölbing
• Manditory Heribert D., Department of Politics, played by Markus Kozuh
• Linguist Hans-Jürgen K., Department of Science, played by Armin Staffler
• Attorney Nadia L., Department of Justice, played by Claudia Kasebacher

Farida HEUCK ist bildende Künstlerin und lebt in Berlin. In ihrer Arbeit setzt sie sich immer wieder mit dem Spannungsfeld von Kunst und Politik auseinander. Ihre multimedialen orts- und kontextspezifischen Installationen versteht sie als Schnittstelle zwischen den Bedingungen und der medialen Repräsentation von Migration. Dabei stehen Fragen nach Identitätszuschreibung täglichen Leben, deren Stereotypisierung und die daraus folgenden Ein- und Ausschlusskriterien im Vordergrund.


6020 Innsbruck