Unknown Hometown Salzburg

Cosmopolitan Salzburg has a backstage scene as well where we do not encounter the amateur performer of our fun-oriented society searching for a holiday destination, we rather meet people who came to Salzburg by chance or force – refugees from all over the world who fled torture and political persecution, ethnic “cleansing” and war, who found no economic and political prospects at home, or people who came here for private reasons. Generally they have no access to the lovely and delightful sides of this city or its highly sophisticated cultural life. What they get to see and experience is walls: prison walls during remand pending deportation, bureaucratic walls denying residence permits, backyard walls, walls built up in our heads by our prejudices.

This publication opens up gaps in these walls, gaps which offer insights into the colorful and vital diversity of other cultures. Thus we realize that what we discern as frighteningly foreign might very well have already sneaked into our lives. The author Josef Mautner talks to people of “different“ origins who have been living in Salzburg for some time - some shorter, some longer. They talk about their homecountry, they tell their story and how they live in Salzburg, what they have experienced here. Angelika Kampfer’s photos supplement these conversations, we feel these people speak to us not only in their words but also through their faces, their looks and their surroundings. Common prejudices may then dissolve and be replaced by a feeling of spiritual enlargement through the great diversity of other cultures.

Verlag Anton Pustet, Salzburg – München 1995