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Making the World Better and Beautiful Through Collaboration
Jaimie (Joo Im) Moon
Making the World Better and Beautiful Through Collaboration
Oscar Tollast 
For Jaimie (Joo Im) Moon, her experience in Salzburg was “inspiring” for many reasons – none more so than her realizing “how so many great and creative people are out there making our world better and beautiful…” Her participation in the Young Cultural Innovators Forum (YCI) also helped her make connections that would have otherwise been difficult to make. “It was also very meaningful for me to get to talk with global fellows from the regions that are comparatively rare to meet in East Asia, such as those from Eastern Europe and South America. The thoughtfully curated programs of YCI led us to become friends and to exchange thoughts and experiences in fun and mindful way[s].” Moon, from the Republic of Korea, arrived in Salzburg in October 2016 as a senior researcher and cultural designer for the Bureau of Strategic Planning of the World Culture Open, a non-profit organization that promotes cultural diversity and unprejudiced cultural exchange around the globe. Now, she is the executive director of the Bureau that stands in its place: The Bureau of Research & Plan. Moon has since grown more confident about her life goal. She said, “I think I was able to be clearer about my goal through YCI and recent years of work because I feel that there are more allies, the comrades, and friends to learn from and to exchange knowledge and experiences with for the common goal. Such [a] feeling of solidarity brings up confidence and willpower in me.” Better Together At World Culture Open, Moon is working on the organization’s Better Together Initiative, which tries to bring together social entrepreneurs from around the world who are working for the greater good. Moon said, “World Culture Open shares a very similar goal of what Salzburg Global Seminar has been achieving over 70 years - convening creative minds across sectors, fostering networks and partnership for social change, [and] connecting local innovators across the globe.” One of the two pillars of this initiative is the Better Together Festival (Challenge), an annual three-day global gathering of change-makers where participants can share stories of their projects and win prizes through a contest-format program. They can also exchange knowledge, attend talks and concerts, have in-depth group discussions on social issues, and discuss potential partnerships. Last year’s festival was held in Pyeongchang and featured hundreds of practitioners from around the world, including several YCI Fellows. Susanna Seidl-Fox, a program director at Salzburg Global responsible for culture and the arts, was also in attendance. Moon said, “Along with the Challenge, we were happy to be able to invite some YCI Fellows as advisory members to the Better Together initiative this year. Advisory members… are those recognized as proactive agents of change in their own communities who actively engage in shaping and implementing Better Together initiative with a collaborative network of practitioners and change-makers.” Collaborative Partnerships Moon said she had benefited personally and professionally from knowing Seidl-Fox. “She has been a great mentor for me in the aspect of leadership, management, and communication… I believe such professionalism that Susi shows throughout the process of work is also a very important learning element for young cultural innovators.” The YCI Forum is building a global network of 500 change-makers in hub communities to design collaborative projects, build skills, provide mentorship, and connector innovators in different cities and countries. Moon has collaborated with Salzburg Global Fellows, including Phloen Prim, Siphiwe Mbinda, Rebecca Chan, Yu Nakamura, Sebastian Chuffer, Chunnoon Song-e Song, and more. Moon said, “The YCI network, a pool of hundreds of creative minds is an incredible source of greater-good practitioners [whom] I can invite, connect [with] and introduce [to] the field of work that I am involved in. “For the projects that I curated in Korea, I could invite YCI Fellows as global speakers, facilitators and expert/advisory members, or connect the Fellows to other cultural projects and collaborative opportunities in Korea.” Arts and Culture in the Republic of Korea In the Republic of Korea, Moon said there are a “good amount” of grants and government-backed cultural foundations that support the arts. World Culture Open, for example, works closely with the public sector at various levels. Moon said, “We partner with the Presidential Committee for the National Balanced Development for a project to find and support the cultural innovators in local areas… They are the core element in terms of [the] sustainable development of the region. Such collaborative effort[s] [are] important, especially when the disparity between cosmopolitan urban [cities] like Seoul and the other regions is generating many social problems. “The Better Together Global Festival has [also] been hosted and funded by the city-level regional governments each year. And we often get invited by the government bureaus for consultancy to various arts and culture-related matters in the regions.” Despite this financial support, Moon believes the arts and culture sector in Korea is still considered a secondary subject when compared with technology, the economy, or politics. “We need to acknowledge cultural innovators – those who practice and promote arts and culture – are also the social innovators. Cultural innovators approach social issue[s] with [flexibility] and creative perspective[s] and find breakthroughs from unconventional approaches. Arts and culture brings advancement to technology, [the] economy, and even politics with creativity.” If Moon could change one thing about the arts and culture sector in her country, it would be the arts education system. She believes arts and culture need to be taught as a natural means of expression and creativity. “Arts and culture should be appreciated and valued more importantly in terms of class time and resource allocation at schools, and it should be applied cross-sectoral throughout various subjects. Teachers need more learning resources and practical training. It is never enough. Governments and corporations need to invest more in arts education.”
The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected changemakers in “hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.
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The Life and Times of a News Bureau Chief in Washington
Elisabeth Bumiller speaking at the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA)
The Life and Times of a News Bureau Chief in Washington
Mirabelle Morah and Oscar Tollast 
In her role as the New York Times’ Washington bureau chief, Elisabeth Bumiller’s day can start as early as five o’clock in the morning. The news never sleeps, and there are always overnight events for her to catch up on. By nine o’clock, Bumiller is in the office preparing for the morning news meeting. She joins her colleagues in New York via video link and outlines the bureau’s plans for the day. Forty-five minutes or so later, the meeting reaches a conclusion – for now. Following many questions and intense conversations, Bumiller has a firmer idea of what her day ahead may look like – well, at least as much as is possible in the life of a journalist at a major national news outlet. As stories come in, reporters begin to file them. Some articles are put online before noon to catch the morning traffic. Bumiller may attend another small editors’ meeting about previously discussed topics, or she may go out for a working lunch with a colleague. By half-past two, she’s in touch with New York again. “I start getting calls from New York, or I call them saying here’s what we think is good for the front page… I’ll say, ‘This story is looking good,’ ‘This one’s not ready yet, but you should think about it,’ ‘This one is not going to work,’ ‘We’re holding this.’” Bumiller will then start asking reporters for the tops of their stories. “I can’t pitch the story if I don’t know what you’re going to say. That’s a constant stress,” she said. By half-past four, there’s a bit more clarity. By then, barring any breaking news, staff know what will be on tomorrow’s front page, what stories matter for the web and which stories will need to be cared for overnight.  “Between five and eight stories are coming in, and I don’t edit as much as I used to… but I often will just grab a story because we’re shorthanded or if there’s a story I want to edit…” explains Bumiller. “I usually leave sometime around 7.30 or 8 [pm]. That’s my day.”  Life-long dream Bumiller always wanted to write. Her uncle, Frank Cormier, a White House reporter for the Associated Press, appeared to have a “very exciting life.” That is what inspired Bumiller to pursue journalism, starting with her high school newspaper, the Walnut Hills Chatterbox. She then attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University – where she got her “real education” working for the Daily Northwestern. Her education continued thereafter at the Miami Herald and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  Upon leaving Columbia, she received a message to call Sally Quinn, a writer for the Washington Post’s style section. Would Bumiller be interested in covering events in Washington? “I ended up flying down to Washington right before I graduated, and I got the job,” Bumiller remembers. “My classmates all said… they wouldn’t have taken that frivolous job but, at the time, the Washington Post was the most exciting paper on the face of the earth.” Bumiller joined the newspaper a few years after the Watergate scandal. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who did much of the original reporting on the scandal for the Post, were still in the newsroom. In her role, Bumiller covered events such as political fundraisers on Capitol Hill and parties at the State Department, but she was also able to write feature stories and profiles. She said, “I made it into a better a job.” The role gave her a greater education on politics in the US capital. “The style section was really well-read… It was a great job. It was high pressure, actually… The idea was I wasn’t going to cover what people were wearing, I was covering what they were saying about politics and the news of the day.” After stints in New Delhi, India and Tokyo, Japan (accompanying her husband, New York Times journalist Steven R. Weisman), where she continued to write for the Post as well as two books about the lives of women in each country, Bumiller joined the Times in 1995 as a metro reporter. She was later promoted to City Hall bureau chief before returning to the US capital as a White House correspondent on September 10, 2001. The next day’s infamous events dramatically changed the trajectory of her reporting from a domestic focus to an increasingly international one. In her current role as Washington bureau chief, her primary responsibility concerns overseeing daily operations and leading all news coverage from Washington, domestic and international. Her breadth of experience in the media industry made her an appropriate choice of speaker for the latest symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association – The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends. “This seminar is fascinating because I am very interested in the perspective of people from around the world on media and journalism,” said Bumiller. “I was fascinated by the question from the gentleman… who asked why we [the media] couldn’t just join with the government. Oh dear, that’s not going to work in the United States!...  “I was also interested in the question from someone who kept asking me, ‘Why don’t you feel pressure from the administration? Don’t you feel pressure from the White House and Trump?’…I kept on saying, ‘No’… I realized she didn’t necessarily believe me, but it’s just not a factor in the United States – at least not for my publication.” Mistakes can happen in reporting, but Bumiller maintains the Times is a “very competitive place” with “really smart people” who believe in independent journalism and getting at the truth. “It’s also just been the privilege of a lifetime,” says Bumiller. “I’ve travelled a lot for the Times. I’m now working with people on their stories and on their careers… It’s a constant invigorating education, and I really do mean it’s a privilege.”   The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends features as part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) multi-year series. You can capture highlights on social media using the hashtag #SSASA.
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The Art of Dialogue and International Exchange
Jing Xu at Salzburg Global Seminar
The Art of Dialogue and International Exchange
Mirabelle Morah and Oscar Tollast 
“When I was a student, I met a very good professor… In her classroom, she told us that if you want to do some research, the first thing you’ll need to do is [learn] where China was, where China is, [and] where China will be.” said Jing Xu, speaking at the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA). “I need to know more about China.” Why would someone wanting to learn about China come to an American Studies symposium? Xu is the vice director of the Communication and Culture Research Center and a professor at the School of Journalism at Peking University, in China, and the latest SSASA symposium was titled The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends. For Xu, learning about other countries and other cultures is just as important as learning more about China. She has spent more than 34 years at Peking University, first arriving as an undergraduate student. She earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at the School of International Studies before transferring to the School of Journalism & Communication. Much of her research has focused on Chinese media, politics, public opinion, media governance, and health communication. In Salzburg, Xu was able to provide a unique perspective as the sole participant from China. But she could also reflect on her experiences in Japan, the UK, Sweden, Hong Kong, Belgium, and Italy. Xu is a firm believer in international exchange, having founded the Europe-China Dialogue in Media and Communications Summer School in 2013. The program is now in its seventh year, having held its latest meeting in Beijing, China in July 2019. It aims to provide a platform linking scholars from Europe and China to foster the generation of new ideas for a better global communication exchange. Xu says they want to broaden students’ perspectives. At the program, both professors and students present their own research. “After the presentation, professors – one Chinese professor [and] another European professor – will give [the students] comments to tell them how to modify, how to craft their thesis. That’s very helpful. We call it dialogue,” explains Xu. “In some conferences, the students have a rare chance to get more feedback from professors – maybe several sentences. But in our… program each one will do [a] 15-minute presentation and get feedback from different professors. So, [it] almost lasts one hour.” Xu says last year’s program received more than 60 proposals, more than double the number of places available. It was “the biggest success” for the program to date, according to Xu. Changes were made to the program as it sought to provide more theoretical and methodological guidance for Ph.D. students, with a greater focus on scientific training. Xu is clearly proud of how the program has progressed. “I feel happy. [This is] the first time that people hear my story about the summer school.” Xu has attended a number of different international events in her career, including those where thousands of people come together. Events like this, however, make it difficult to have real dialogue, according to Xu. Thankfully, it is a different story in Salzburg. “People are encouraged to speak, have different in-depth dialogue and conversation,” she explains. “So, that’s very, very interesting and [a] benefit for me… I also have a chance to put forward my ideas… To some extent, I’m timid. I don’t want to speak too much, but here, I feel more and more optimistic [and] confident with my English… I think when I say something, people are really interested in that.” The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends features as part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) multi-year series. You can capture highlights on social media using the hashtag #SSASA.
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Using Film and Photos to Understand Complex Issues
Documentary Filmmaker Azza Cohen speaking at  Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA)
Using Film and Photos to Understand Complex Issues
Mirabelle Morah and Oscar Tollast 
“Journalism has really been rapidly evolving, and it’s exciting. I feel like this is an exciting time to be a visual storyteller,” said Azza Cohen, speaking at the latest symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association, The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends. Cohen, a documentary filmmaker and historian, is dedicated to storytelling in the public’s service. At the time of interview in Salzburg, she was working on her first feature film, The Last Statesman. The film centers on the life of political negotiator George Mitchell, who helped negotiate peace in Northern Ireland with the Belfast Agreement a.k.a. the “Good Friday Agreement” in 1998, and his relationship with conflict negotiators in different countries. It is a film rooted in Cohen’s academic and visual interests, and one she hopes will “highlight positive examples of negotiation and examples of statesmanship which I think are really missing from our political conversation, definitely in America.” “I’ve always felt – and I think especially after the 2016 [US] election – that young people don’t feel inspired by politicians and that young people don’t really see negotiation happening on a scale of the national conversation or international conversations.  “I think particularly as a Jewish person, you learn about the conflict in the Middle East, and you learn about what’s happening in Israel and Palestine, and all you see is people talking past each other. You don’t really see attempts at genuine negotiation… You have to come to the table and then decide on what gets left behind or what is a priority,” said Cohen. Cohen has worked in documentary filmmaking since graduating from the National University of Ireland in 2017, where she obtained a master’s degree in culture and colonialism, and history. Before this, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA, where one of her undergraduate thesis projects involved producing a multimedia study of racial segregation in St. Louis, Mo., USA. “I think there are ways to blend… moving images, photography, and the written word, which can give you a fuller picture of a community or an issue,” she says.  Cohen describes herself as a “big history nerd,” but it was only after attending Princeton that she encountered “how much of history informs we who are.” She said, “History is really amazing, and so many people don’t have access to understanding their own history… I think that movies and photography… can be a really great way to help people understand and be excited by history.” Moving images can be really empowering, according to Cohen, but they can also be exploitative. She said, “It’s important that we have these discussions, especially related to this seminar… [about] the ways that media can be very harmful. I think we’ve thought about it in a lot of political sense and a lot of ways that… headlines are harmful, and memes are harmful. But I also think that moving images can be harmful, and in conversations about violence or representations of minors or children, I think there’s just a lot to think about.” Cohen said the symposium in Salzburg continued to inspire her to consider how visual storytelling can look different – moving away from the traditional feature-length films shown at movie theaters and film festivals.  Reflecting on her experience at Salzburg Global Seminar, she says, “What is so deeply meaningful to me is the way that this place was founded. That it was founded after World War II with an eye towards restoring the idea that you have to restore Europe through intellectual, cultural, political exchange and not just rebuilding the roads and fixing the buildings that were bombed.  “I think that’s so incredibly profound.”  She adds: “What we’re missing in politics, in academia [and] in so many things is this basic idea of civility and decency, and that exchanging ideas with people you don’t know and with people from different countries is the very foundation of how we live in a world that makes sense and treats people well… To be a part of that tradition that was started in 1947 is such an honor, honestly… “I think this subject matter is particularly resonant [and] particularly timely… I just think it’s really important to constantly be thinking about the media and the effect of technology because we don’t have any other choice… I feel very much inspired and terrified about the state of things. But the only way that you can make yourself feel better is by doing something. So, you might as well be equipped and know from experts and be able to look at things sort of dispassionately and then act passionately.” The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends features as part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) multi-year series. You can capture highlights on social media using the hashtag #SSASA.
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The Need for Critical Thinking and Co-operation
Pavel Koshkin at Salzburg Global Seminar
The Need for Critical Thinking and Co-operation
Mirabelle Morah and Oscar Tollast 
To err is human, but journalists who make errors in today’s climate receive little sympathy. For some critics, an honest mistake can be a sign of a hidden agenda, or proof of “fake news” and a corrupt media. The reality is slightly different. Our decision-making is affected when we work under pressure, and it is no different for reporters, according to Russian journalist Pavel Koshin. “You have an assignment from an editor... You have to write it [and] come up with a story for one hour. It should be analytical, in-depth. You have to interview a couple of people, two or three. It’s crazy, I think.” Koshin, a research fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia, has experience in this field. While working as a journalist, Koshkin covered topics related to US-Russia relations for several Russian media outlets, including RBC Daily, Russia Direct, Cyber World, and more. He currently contributes to Forbes.ru. “Mistakes are not fake news, and to prevent these mistakes, I think all American newspapers and Russian ones should establish [a] good department of fact-checkers – a separate department. It’s a separate profession because a staff writer can write well, can interview well, can just collect information well, but there should be a fact-checker. It’s [a] top priority.” Koshkin spoke while attending the 17th symposium of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA), The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends. As one would expect, “fake news” was a popular topic of discussion. During the symposium, Koshkin took part in a panel discussion on the issue of fake news and the media. In Koshkin’s opinion, fake news is a “very important” problem that requires our attention. Fake news, he says, is “a deliberate attempt to spread falsehood(s), false information for the sake of manipulation, and this information is distributed by groups of interest by certain stakeholders. I don’t know who they are, but they pursue either political goals or corporate goals. What fake news is not, however, is propaganda. “Fake news is not propaganda. It’s a part of propaganda. Propaganda is a broader term; it might use fake news to achieve its goals." Koshkin developed his interest in the US as a junior in the journalism department at Moscow State University. He says, “I was crazy about American culture, movies, music, literature,” he remembers. “[I] attended a lot of lectures at the American Center in Moscow. They’re called ‘American Corners’ in Moscow. There is one in St. Petersburg, in Kazan, and I just attended every time they had lectures just to talk with native speakers.” In 2010, as a result of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, Koshkin received a scholarship to attend the Tennessee Technology University for one year. His experience deepened his interest in the nation. “I was exposed to American life, ordinary life, culture. I had an opportunity to travel a lot around the United States,” he reminisces.   As the years have gone by, Koshkin has further immersed himself in US-Russia relations. One of his primary goals now is to see how both countries can work together. Koshkin says, “I think with Russia, the US should be friends. I know it’s idealistic. I know it’s gullible today, but I don’t care whether it’s gullible or not. I believe it. This is me and nobody else… I really believe that the US and Russia should work together, or should minimize this distrust… We need people… who bring together two countries when their relations are in bad shape.” Improving those relations would partly depend on improving understanding – and thus reducing fake news. “We need to be mindful about the limits of [the] human brain: we have so much information that we are not able to process and, most importantly, understand. We live in abundance, but we are fed up with it. We have numerous sources of information on the Web, but we find ourselves lost in this ocean of data. Sometimes we even don’t know how to use it [in] a practical way. “Paradoxically, the more we get, the less we know. It is a paradox, which sometimes makes us more vulnerable to manipulation and fake news.” “What is to be done?” he asks. “We need to focus on critical thinking and sound skepticism (do not confuse [this] with nihilism), we need to be more painstaking and meticulous in nuances. The Devil is in the details.” The Changing Role of the Media in American Life and Culture: Emerging Trends features as part of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) multi-year series. You can capture highlights on social media using the hashtag #SSASA.
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Salzburg Global Seminar Mourns the Death of Irmtraut Ranzinger
Irmtraut Ranzinger - May 29, 1930 to January 8, 2020
Salzburg Global Seminar Mourns the Death of Irmtraut Ranzinger
Salzburg Global Seminar 
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Frau Irmtraut Ranzinger on January 8, 2020. For 30 crucial years in the life of Salzburg Global Seminar and Schloss Leopoldskron – from 1955 to 1985 – Frau Ranzinger played a significant role in the evolution of the institution, its Fellows and its staff. As Business Manager, and later as Business Director, Frau Ranzinger was the key liaison between the organization’s President, at that time based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, our Salzburg-based staff, and all of the programs that took place at Schloss Leopoldskron. Over the three decades that Frau Ranzinger served Salzburg Global Seminar, the institution went through a considerable global expansion of its programs and Fellows, as well as numerous periods of financial difficulty. During her tenure, Frau Ranzinger was always steadfast and dedicated to the success of Salzburg Global Seminar and the preservation and protection of Schloss Leopoldskron. One of her most significant achievements was that on two occasions she saved the Venetian Room from being sold, which had been considered by management as an option to raise funds. It was Frau Ranzinger who provided continuity in Salzburg for our staff, local partners, supporters, and friends. She could be tough and resolute when necessary, while at the same time always looking out for the interests of staff. We are extremely grateful for her legacy. For three decades she worked tirelessly to advance Salzburg Global Seminar and to protect and preserve Schloss Leopoldskron. She is sorely missed and will always be fondly remembered. ----- Mit großer Trauer verkünden wir den Tod von Frau Irmtraut Ranzinger, die am 8. Januar verstorben ist. Frau Ranzinger spielte für die Organisation Salzburg Global Seminar während 30 Jahren - von 1955 bis 1985 - in der Entwicklung der Institution, ihrer Fellows und ihrer Mitarbeiter eine bedeutende Rolle. Als Business Manager und später als Business Director war Frau Ranzinger die zentrale Verbindungsperson zwischen dem damaligen Präsidenten des Seminars in Cambridge, Massachusetts, unseren Salzburger Mitarbeitern und allen Programmen, die auf Schloss Leopoldskron stattfanden. In den drei Jahrzehnten, in denen Frau Ranzinger am Salzburg Global Seminar arbeitete, hat die Institution ihre Programme und Fellows weltweit erheblich ausgeweitet und zahlreiche Phasen finanzieller Schwierigkeiten hinter sich gelassen. Während ihrer Amtszeit war Frau Ranzinger stets ein Fels in der Brandung und engagierte sich sehr für den Erfolg von Salzburg Global und für die Erhaltung und den Schutz von Schloss Leopoldskron. Eine ihrer bedeutendsten Errungenschaften war, dass sie den Venezianischen Raum zweimal vor dem Verkauf bewahrte, der vom Management als Option für die Beschaffung von Geldern in Betracht gezogen wurde. Es war Frau Ranzinger, die für die Kontinuität unserer Mitarbeiter, lokalen Partner, Unterstützer und Freunde in Salzburg sorgte. Sie konnte resolut und entschlossen sein, wenn es nötig war, während sie gleichzeitig immer auf die Interessen der Mitarbeiter achtete. Wir sind sehr dankbar für ihr Vermächtnis. Drei Jahrzehnte lang arbeitete sie unermüdlich daran, Salzburg Global Seminar voranzutreiben und Schloss Leopoldskron zu schützen und zu bewahren. Wir vermissen sie sehr und wir werden ihr Vermächtnis in Leopoldskon hoch halten.
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Confronting Resistance and Change Through Poetry
A front view of the zine Sanja Grozdanic created with contributions from Detriot writers on the theme "My Last Day on Earth."
Confronting Resistance and Change Through Poetry
Soila Kenya 
Would your last day on earth be ecstasy or grief? Sanja Grozdanic, a writer and editor from Adelaide, Australia, traveled to Detroit in the United States to explore the theme “My Last Day on Earth.” Through a scholarship from the Kresge Foundation, she met up with Maia Asshaq, both of whom attended the third program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016. Together, they organized a reading and poetry night on December 10, 2019, at the Room Project to provoke thoughts about the current socio-political anxieties in the world. “It encouraged writers to think about resistance as a daily practice – what we might take into the new decade, and what we must leave behind,” said Grozdanic. During the evening, Detroit writers Scott Northrup and Cy Tulip performed original new works in response to the theme, along with performances from Grozdanic and Asshaq. Attendees were also invited to present their own contributions. “It was a great turn out, ending with a beautiful durational performance by Cy Tulip,” said Grozdanic. She added, “The Detroit artistic community was welcoming, open and receptive to the evening and theme.” A zine that included several other responses on the theme was published by Grozdanic and made available for free during the event. On this accomplishment, she said, “I took the project much wider than I had originally planned, as I was very happy with the theme we chose. I am glad that a piece of the evening will continue to live on in this way.” In the days following the event, the two Salzburg Global Fellows spent time exploring the creative scene in Detroit. “We went to a reading and screening at the Arab American Museum, where Maia also performed, to galleries, bookshops, and met with Leslie Perlman, who was one of the founders of the legendary Detroit Printing Co-op,” said Grozdanic. Grozdanic is the co-founder of KRASS Journal, an independent arts and culture publication based in Adelaide but distributed internationally. Based on the success of the event, she looks forward to bringing similar events to other cities. “When I return to my YCI Hub of Adelaide, I would be thrilled to host a poetry night on the same theme, with the zines available as well.” She added, “I hope Maia and myself will continue to collaborate on projects large and small. I am aiming to re-print the publication I created for the event, for posterity, and because the work was of such a stellar standard.” For Grozdanic, her participation in the YCI Travel Scheme provided the opportunity to connect with the Detroit creative community. “I was humbled and inspired by the ingenuity and experimentation I witnessed in Detroit. I have been reflecting on this since my return to Berlin.” The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected changemakers in “hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.
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Gayropa – Portraying the New Reality Shaped by LGBT refugees in Europe
British photographer Bradley Secker is capturing the stories of LGBT refugees across Europe, including Noel Inglessias and Faris Cuchi Gezahegn from Ethiopia and now in Austria, in his series Gayropa.
Gayropa – Portraying the New Reality Shaped by LGBT refugees in Europe
Klaus Mueller 
British photojournalist Bradley Secker has been working in Istanbul, Turkey and across the region for more than ten years. One of his long-term projects is a photo-led documentation of queer migration and asylum across Europe, documenting not only the difficult process of finding asylum, but also the new lives LGBT refugees build for themselves in Europe. Some of the refugees he works with are also fellows of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum. Klaus Mueller, Chair & Founder of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum met with Secker to talk about the growing recognition for Bradley’s work, his project Gayropa in which he profiles the vastly different personal stories he captures by photo and text, and his future plans.   Bradley, how did you come up with the title Gayropa for your new project? “Gayropa” is a word often used by Russian authorities to refer to Europe, in a derogatory sense. By adopting the term for my project, I want to make a statement: Yes, Europe is indeed a place where LGBT people can live openly, even though it is not perfect and discrimination still exists. I want to reframe the term: Gayropa is a place where LGBT people can form their own communities, and I want to show their lives and faces. This includes the entire spectrum of LGBTI or non-binary people, and how someone defines themselves. It is also personal for me. The stories I hear and the things I see do affect me. Collecting their stories takes time and I try to show how different refugees arrive and cope with their new environment, also of course depending on the country where they are. I am very impressed with how LGBT refugees I meet are dealing with the daily challenges of creating a life for themselves in a new country with a sense of purpose and, despite everything, joy. In general, being LGBT often means that one has to migrate, from one small place to a bigger city, or escaping one’s country for safety reasons. I myself come from a small, dull and unwelcoming place where I was the “only gay in the village.” After a first trip to Syria, you went back in 2010 with a focus on the situation for gay Iraqi men who had to flee from Iraq. Since your move to Turkey in 2011, you documented the story of Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian LGBT refugees. There was no editorial interest at that time. Now recognition and support seems to be growing. Can you explain? I think the focus on LGBT human rights has become more international and because of huge numbers of refugees arriving in Europe since 2015, there is a wider interest by the public and also publishers. Social media has changed a lot, people can tell their own stories and form communities online, then bring them into actual physical spaces. It is helpful for my work as I can reach people more easily: networks are much larger than they used to be. On my first trip to Syria, it took me three months to connect. Now I can set it up remotely already through the net. My work on queer migration receives funding from the Pulitzer Center and other organizations, and also more recognition from LGBT networks like the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum.   You also work with Fellows you met at sessions of the Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum , for example with Faris Cuchi Gezahegn who is a refugee from Ethiopia. Can you share how you approach people you want to profile? How do you work? For Gayropa, it’s a mixture of people I worked with in the past, or people I contact through friends and friends of friends, or social media. I want to cover as many countries in Europe as possible, and each refugee gives a glimpse into that country. I met Faris – who identifies as a non-binary person and is using they/them as a personal pronoun – at the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum [in 2015]. Faris comes from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and now lives in Vienna. Faris was forced to seek political asylum in Austria after attending a program in Salzburg. The offices of their LGBT group in Ethiopia had been attacked, and their security became worse and worse. Faris was granted asylum in Austria in July 2017. So we hooked up, and I visit Faris several times during a year whenever something really relevant happens. Only with time one can build a relationship that allows me to portray a person, their house, friends, and work. I give myself a whole year to complete the Gayropa project, and maybe I need to add more time. When I first met Faris at the Forum, our relationship was one of activists. I presented my project later and we have been in a lot of conversations about the project, online and in Vienna, to explore comfort levels.   How do you share your work? Gayropa is soon to be a standalone website documenting stories of LGBTIQ migration around Europe (gayropa.eu), and already an Instagram page. I work also with various outlets like Politico.eu or Buzzfeed News. I hope to reach politicians and in general people who never met LGBT refugees and introduce them to the different lives of LGBT refugees. And of course our LGBT community and refugee communities. I hope that the LGBT refugees are happy with how I capture their stories. I’m not a big believer that photojournalism can change the world. I don’t think it’s that profound. Purely and simply I think the work I’m doing will just illustrate and educate people. But together, as a more cohesive body of work, I hope it would stand as a documentation of queer newcomers to Europe for this period that I’m covering it. Bradley Secker was a participant at the fifth annual Salzburg Global LGBT* Forum – Home: Safety, Wellness and Belonging. * LGBT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. We are using this term as it is currently widely used in human rights conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity in many parts of the world, but we would not wish it to be read as exclusive of other cultural concepts, contemporary or historical, to express sexuality and gender, intersex and gender non-conforming identities.
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Bringing a First Nations Perspective to the Program
Louisa Whettam (right) presents a painting to Salzburg Global Seminar as a gift
Bringing a First Nations Perspective to the Program
Claire Kidwell 
“I think that this is the first step in moving forward for First Nations people at a global level,” said Louisa Whettam, a cultural practice advisor for Opportunity Child. Whettam, a descendant from the Wiradjuri tribe in New South Wales, Australia, said she was honored to represent the First Nations Peoples of Australia at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Halting the Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Identifying Decisive Interventions in Complex Systems. She spoke with Salzburg Global just after sharing an emotional and personal anecdote with participants about the impact of colonization on the health of First Nations people, as well as land and food resources. The colonization of Australia led to many conflicts, deaths, and settlers seizing the land of First Nations people. Whettam said, “[The colonizers] would just gather the people and put them in an area where they now had to live. But then [the First Nations people] also had to work the land for those who now occupied the land. So, that means vegetation was taken away. They had to clear their own vegetation, the food source that they were living off.” Whettam said First Nations people employed by settlers would be paid with staples of food - often flour and sugar. “So, nutrition then became really terrible for First Nations people.” The history of forced removals and loss of land and culture have all contributed to intergenerational trauma. The impact of the Stolen Generations, where Aboriginal Australian children were forcibly removed from their homes and put into institutions, has led to a “whole generation of lost adults who have never connected back to their family,” according to Whettam. In 2017, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare published a report called “A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia.” The report indicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents were more likely to be overweight or obese than non-indigenous children and adolescents.  The report said in 2012-13, 30 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2-14 were living with obesity or overweight, compared with 25 percent of their non-Indigenous counterparts. In August 2019, ABC reported on the rising trend of children in Australia experiencing malnutrition. The Food Bank of Australia estimated one in five children had gone hungry in the past year. Whettam said the affordability of food was a factor, and people won’t buy food with nutritional value if it is too expensive. Meanwhile, takeaway food from fast-food restaurants and other processed food remains cheap. In her work at Opportunity Child, Whettam helps ensure Australian children can succeed within their own communities. The organization provides practical support to backbone teams and community structures; it uses its social innovation hub to help communities find solutions to complex issues; it advocates with “One Voice” to drive systems change. Whettam said, “If you have children that have obesity or malnutrition, then that is a concern because they are not thriving within their own community.” Whettam is a respected representative of the Warril Yari-Go Committee and is passionate about systemic change and how it impacts First Nations people. But she’s not sure if she has the answers yet on how to tackle childhood obesity among First Nations people, suggesting other factors have to be taken into account as well. She said, “How do you fix that? Like, how do you look at the complexity of all the policies that have been made in the government that still continue to oppress a whole culture? How do you turn that around? I don’t know.” Whettam hopes to find more answers and clarity in Salzburg, which she described as a “fantastic opportunity” to bring her perspective forward and learn from other experts around the world. She said, “I think this is a great opportunity to make friends, where you can have friends from all around the world that can stand with you when you get back to your country [or] when I go back to my country and challenge and disrupt that system. I think that’s pretty awesome in moving forward.” A Gift for Salzburg Global At the end of the program, Whettam presented Salzburg Global a piece of Indigenous art she had created. The painting was a way for her to say “Thank you” for being able to attend and provide a perspective from the First Nations Peoples of Australia. Whettam said she wanted to depict the story of Salzburg Global, the past, present, and future. In her own words, we asked Whettam to describe what different parts of the painting symbolized. She said, “Salzburg Global Seminar is the big middle piece, and the globe represents all the people coming together… The U-shaped people sitting around that circle represent the people from all different countries coming together and being a part of a [program]. “The footprints represent the journey going there, but also the journey going back… The red dots represent the topic, and they’re red because, as the world, we all need to be looking at this [topic] because it’s an epidemic. I also had the cross-hatching around the globe, representing the complex systems that we’re talking about. “Then I had other dots representing the conversations that we’re all having together. There are ocean-like… coloured dots going out to the outer circles, and that’s the conversation carrying on outside of the [program]. We're taking back to our country all the warnings and all the knowledge from what's being given to us from other leaders around the world. “Also, we're cross-pollinating the conversation; we're still having conversations with those who we met there, but they might know some key people who could help us create partnerships or collaborations. That's why you see all those dots crossing… “You'll see white [dots] that are keeping the conversation in place so that it's not being swallowed up by other conversations. It's protecting that conversation so that you can bring it back and talk about the issue in your own country. “Then the outer circles represent your country, and the handprint in the middle represents the children. And that's looking at the child in the future, but also the child now…  that's who it's impacting on - future children, children in the present and it has also impacted on past children… Around that hand, I have the red dots and yellow dots representing the hard conversations we're having within complex systems... And then you got cross-hatching around that as well that represents the government or complex systems that you have to deal with around that topic. The different colored outer dots that surround the painting depicts all peoples from around the world.” Clare Shine, vice president and chief program officer at Salzburg Global, received the painting on the organization’s behalf. Shine said, “It’s fascinating to see how Louisa has used Indigenous Australian art forms to make sense of the complexity and trauma bound up with childhood obesity and depict the long-term impact we hope will radiate from this collaboration. I’m so moved by her generosity in creating this beautiful painting. We look forward to hanging it where as many people as possible can enjoy and learn from it.” One month on, Whettam is still reflecting on the program she participated in and is still in touch with people she met. Despite feeling out of place at the beginning, the mix of the people in the room left her feeling uplifted. She said, “I was really inspired by the influence that people had, which they sometimes don't realize that they had in terms of funding, policy, legislation, and decisions that are being made… I don't know if researchers realize this, but they have a massive influence in how that all gets processed. I didn't realize that myself, and I thought that policymakers had the biggest influence. But I now think that researchers have the biggest influence because funders won't give funding unless its evidence-based and the government won't act unless it's evidence-based and all that comes from researchers. “For me, that is inspiring me to come back to study and become a researcher, especially as a First Nations person, and what influence I can do in the field that will make a better world for future generations of First Nations people in Australia. That has massively influenced me. “I was also really inspired by the younger people over there. I was blown away by the passion they have. As an older person, the burden is really heavy, especially if you are a First Nations person, from whatever country you're from because of the impact that colonization has had on your people. There is a heavy burden that you carry; you want to see change happening, and you want to see the oppression stop. “Seeing them and their passion made me realize that they're going to be rising up and they're going to be taking over where you leave off. It's not just about when you finish work, but it's about making sure you're mentoring them, and you're encouraging them and also that they are also encouraging you and mentoring you. It's not just about elders being right and having the power, but we're learning off one another.” The Salzburg Global Seminar program, Halting the Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Identifying Decisive Interventions in Complex Systems, is part of our Health and Health Care Innovation multi-year series. This program is being held in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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