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☰ Edwin Stolk

Conversation Pieces
Supergau Festival 2023 - in progress

As an artist I am interested in social themes. In Lungau I focus on the 'rural flight'. That's what it's called when young people exchange the countryside for the big city. This beautiful region in Austria has a rich cultural past but how about its future? During the upcoming Supergau Festival, I initiate site specific 'Conversation Pieces' to imagine and debate the future.

"The Way the Water Flows" is a text that I wrote after several interesting meetings we had during our September stay in the Lungau region in Austria. I want to thank everyone so far for sharing their interesting insights! Looking forward to continue to develop the ideas towards realization at the festival from 26 May until the 4th of June 2023.

!Women from Lungau, I need your help! Do you think gender equality is an important issue? Please read on here.

Also read my other contributions on Supergau Magazin!

In an early stage of my research I became fascinated by the phenomenon of the 'rural flight' and its impact on the Lungau region. Young people move to cities like Salzburg, Wien or Graz to study and often do not return. As a result, local amenities come under pressure. This rural brain drain is a worldwide problem, related to globalization and the competition for talent.

"The most powerful engine for change is the evocation of desire for change. Imagination is essential to this. It is not the world that determines who we are, but the other way round - we shape the world with our stories." Floris Alkemade.

During my stay in Lungau I exchanged thoughts on the possible causes of this rural flight towards the city. While the main focus in Lungau is on tourism, agriculture and forestry, career opportunities for the higher educated are missing. Visually this region breathes its rich cultural past, but how about its future?

conversation pieces

Do the climate and corona crisis require a revaluation of the countryside? What happens when we start to imagine a future for Lungau? Is Lungau able to turn the tide? From a brain drain, towards a brain gain? I am looking forward hearing your thoughts! (info[at]edwinstolk.nl)

"The places that will be most able to absorb new energies will be those that are both open to diversity and also capable of internalizing the externalities that the creative economy gives rise to." The flight of the creative class by Richard Florida.

Art can offer a window of opportunities. For the duration of the Supergau Festival, 26 May until the 4th of June 2023, I want to engage specific surroundings with 'Conversation Pieces'. Together with you and the help of people at local governments & companies, I want to develop construction boards (big or small) presenting site specific future perspectives. These 'Conversation Pieces' touch upon urgent social topics and offer alternatives.

Cocreation starts with finding each other and work together on a specific themes or topics of our concern. So far I met and talked with a variety of people who care about the Lungau region and its future. Thank you for your trust and for sharing your experiences. On this page you find a map with all the developments & research so far. Let this initiative be an open invitation to get in touch and work together on these aims. Together we can make the difference!

I would love to meet with you in person!

Also read my latest text "The Way the Water Flows"and contributions for Supergau Magazin!



Land Salzburg

'Conversation Pieces' is made possible by: Supergau Festival 2023, Land Salzburg and could use your help! Your (company) name here? Do not hesitate to contact me when you are interested to collaborate!

'Conversation Pieces' was mentioned in the following press: RTS Regional TV Salzburg

'Conversation Pieces' follows the concept behind #theorganisation

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Best regards, Edwin Stolk.