Kakanien – New Homelands

Woe to him who has no homeland. Homeland is where nobody was and will ever be. Homeland is feeling in unison with one’s world. Homeland has become plural. Homeland is quite a paradoxical idea. Homeland is the people you are responsible for. Blessed is he who still has a homeland.

As you can see, opinions on the concept of homeland differ – and the new Kakania series will surely be no exception. Originally a multi-ethnic monarchic state, later a victim and/or follower of two different totalitarian systems in succession, a trouble spot of ethnic conflict after the fall of the Berlin wall, today partly integrated into the EU – this is Kakania.

What do the residents of this unique and sprawling region tell us? What does homeland mean to writers, artists, scientists? They all give their host, an actor at Vienna’s Burgtheater, a very personal answer. Over the course of the evening they will investigate the respective personal and literary concepts of homeland together. From Bulgarian burlesque and Hungarian hip-hop to Istrian fish soup – everything is possible, with each session adopting a new literary and geographical focus.Kakanien – Neue Heimaten:

Following Joachim Meyerhoff and Philipp Hauß, this coming 2012/13 season will welcome a number of new hosts, including Caroline Peters and Nicholas Ofczarek.

Episode 2: with Kriszta Bódis, Klaus-Michael Bogdal, Philipp Hauß and others

On 19 June 2012 at 8 pm in Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz 


It is both a challenge and a great opportunity to live without a homeland. “We, the countless millions of migrants (whether we are foreign workers, displaced persons, refugees or intellectuals commuting from Graz to Prague), don’t perceive ourselves as outsiders but as outposts of the future.” Vilém Flusser’s concept of homeland and his praise of homelessness are the main themes that Philipp Hauß has chosen for his very personal video piece. Hauß will host the second Kakania evening at the Kasino, revolving around the topic of heimat.

The evening will also feature a largely unknown and striking travelogue from Romania by Herta Müller: “Der Staub ist blind, die Sonne ist ein Krüppel (Dust is blind, the sun is a cripple)” and the travel report from eastern Slovakia by Karl-Markus Gauß: “Die Hundeesser von Svinia (The Dogeaters of Svinia)”.

The nomad – according to the hypothesis – is not an imperfect being but the embodiment of potential. In the Kakanian region the Roma population looks back on a long tradition of nomadic life. They are, however, also modern people who have committed themselves to the freedom of a flexible life and a state of conscious uncertainty without having a place they call home. Guests include Hungarian author and documentary filmmaker Kriszta Bódis (“Artista”, Voland & Quist publishing house, Dresden and Leipzig 2009) and the literary scholar Klaus-Michael Bogdal (“Europa er-findet die Zigeuner. Eine Geschichte von Faszination und Verachtung” – “Europe invents the gypsies. A history of fascination and contempt”).