In honour of Boris Johnson losing his job, we offer a final analysis of his achievement in Britain, looking at the horror story of Brexit. This walk looks at the cultural dialogue between Great Britain and Vienna, which may be lost in the future, after Brexit.
Brexit is one of the key developments of the last few years. No country has ever left the European Union, and all eyes are on Britain and its disengagement from the trade, travel, political and cultural commitments it has with Brussels.
As a passionate European, but also a Brit, Whoosh co-founder Eugene Quinn has a special interest in this subject. What happens next will affect him and millions of others - Europeans living in UK and British people who live across the Union. He finds that Brits make the mistake of viewing Europe as an economic project, ignoring the cultural, health, peace, sport, arts, education, travel and dialogue dynamics of contemporary European Union relations.
To mark this bizarre event, Eugene invites you to visit British art and architecture, look at pubs, football, media and some people from the island who have made a new life in Central Europe.
It's also interesting to explore how Austria has influenced the UK, with good music, art, philosophy and ideas. Also food, refugees, and the Freud family legacy.
The most visible British exports are pop music and the English language. FM4 employs 14 British moderators and DJs. Films like The Third Man present an outsiders' view of Vienna, and helped to romanticise this city in the USA. Here is a useful summary of what the film says to the Anglosphere about Vienna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iidNmjeKMs
We will discuss how the EU changes without any influence from London. Global players like Banksy, Adele and Neil Gaiman help to present a certain kind of youthful cool. Which country will step up to take the place of these iconic figures?
Humour is a notable British export. Which other EU nation can provide the clowny behaviour we see in so many photos of Boris Johnson? Here is a quick reminder that we Brits can turn anything into a joke, including leaving Europe (for those of you unfamiliar with the diversity of British-English, comedian John Oliver comes from Birmingham, in west England, but broadcasts for the American channel HBO):
The UK has been responsible for much innovation with global consequences, from the industrial revolution and trains, Parliamentary democracy and electricity, to telephones and the internet. Will Europe miss that? Or does the EU have a brighter, more unified future without those irritating British, refusing to join in with the Brussels party?
Eugene understands this walk as a kind of protest therapy, where he can show that not all Brits are as cynical or uninformed as our Government, about what Europe means, and the rich vitality that comes from migration, diversity, curiosity and cross-cultural engagement. And some people are treating this walk as a demonstration to show that we want more Europe, not less.
There was an extra event, on Brexit Night (31 January, 2020), where Eugene was dj, but only playing cool British music in a pub (Tube Station in Landstrasse). That was free, from 5pm-midnight, when Eugene abruptly turned off all sound, to mark the moment. APA, ZiB, Die Presse, FM4 Morningshow, Servus & Oe1 reported. This walk in August 2022 will be our last public version of this tour, since Brexit has now happened.
Walk language: English (of course - most Brits speak only one language and this is part of the problem in terms of a lack of understanding of the Euro perspective). And yes, if you are a teacher, you can also arrange this walk for your students, as an open-air English lesson.
The walk will end in a pub, of course.
This walk is part of a series of events celebrating Vienna as a progressive, liberal city:
Human Rights & the City tour
#HowtobeAustrian short films on integration, from migrants.
Austrians attempt to pass the Austrian Citizenship Test
UNHCR Tag der Flucht tour to Macondo refugee camp and the Jewish part of Zentralfriedhof
Wir freuen uns sehr über die finanzielle Unterstützung der Wirtschaftsagentur Wien und über die Förderung von Wien Tourismus, der Mobilitätsagentur und diversen Mediengruppen (inklusiv ORF). Außerdem sind wir stolz, dass wir in die Initiative Reparatur der Zukunft aufgenommen wurden, eine Kooperation von Ö1, Forum Alpbach, Ars Electronica und Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien.