Salzkammergut 2024

6 December 2024 | Text: Hubert von Goisern

Here it is, the programme catalogue for the Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024. With many ambitious, exciting and yes, some controversial, challenging, if not provocative projects. 

I can understand if the Capital of Culture 2024 holds no great significance for some people. What I can't understand is the unfortunately widespread opposition.

What on earth can you have against around €30m Euros being poured into a region like the Salzkammergut for the good of culture? Money that for the most part comes from outside! From the government, from the province, from Brussels. Money that is flowing into cultural projects and causes no damage to the land. No buildings are being torn down, no new green spaces are being concreted over, nothing is being taken away from anybody. The opposite is the case. Efforts are being made to use vacant properties, to raise awareness of land degradation, and to promote cultural initiatives and artists. Crucial questions are being asked: about our past and our heritage – who we were, are and want to be – and why not?

The only reason I can think of that someone would be against all that is jealousy. Jealousy at not being involved – which is mostly a self-chosen position – and incomprehension. But does that mean you have to condemn something and call it terrible, simply because you don't understand it, and haven't even tried to understand it? There are several things I don't understand in the programme catalogue, but I trust the project managers and am looking forward to everything being implemented next year.

Condemning everything in advance is like thinking a book, a film, or music is bad without having ever read, watched or listened to it. That kind of attitude is called ignorance and does us no good at all. If pride is a questionable state of mind, ignorance is simply embarrassing. Curiosity is better.

Hubert von Goisern

Hubert von Goisern and the programme catalogue for the Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024