Brexit is one of the key developments this year. No country has ever left the European Union, and all eyes will be on Britain and its disengagement from the trade, travel, political and cultural commitments it has with Brussels. Nobody knows when it will happen, or even if it will happen. But the schedule is 31 October, 2019. Let’s see.
As a dedicated European, but also a Brit, space and place co-founder Eugene Quinn has a special interest in this subject. What happens next will affect him and millions of others – Europeans living in UK and British people who live across the Union.
To mark this bizarre and sad event, Eugene will make a tour looking at the dialogue between Great Britain and Vienna. We will visit British art and architecture, look at pubs, football, media and some people from the island who have made a new life in Central Europe.
Perhaps the most visible British exports are pop music and the English language. FM4 employs 14 British moderators and DJs. Films like Third Man present an outsider’s view of Vienna, and helped to romanticise this city in the USA. Here is a useful summary of what the film says to the Anglosphere about Vienna> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iidNmjeKMs.
We will also discuss how the EU changes without any influence from London. Global players like Banksy, Adele or Harry Potter help to present a certain kind of youthful cool. Which country will step up to take the place of these iconic figures?
Humour is also a notable British export. Which other EU nation can provide the kind of clowny behaviour we see in the photograph above? Here is a quick reminder that we Brits can turn anything into a joke, including such a tragic phenomenon as leaving Europe (for those of you unfamiliar with the beautiful diversity of British-English, the comedian John Oliver comes from Birmingham, in west England, near to Wales, but broadcasts for the American channel HBO):
UK has been responsible for much innovation with global consequences, from the industrial revolution and trains, Parliamentary democracy and electricity, to telephones and the internet. Will Europe miss that? Or does the EU have a brighter, more unified future without the irritating British, refusing to join in with the Brussels party? Bye bye Britain!
Eugene understands this walk to be some kind of therapy, where he can show that not all Brits are as cynical or uninformed as our Government about what Europe means, and the rich vitality that comes from migration, diversity, curiosity and cross-cultural engagement. And some people are treating this tour as a demonstration to show that we want more Europe, not less.
Tour language: English (of course – most Brits speak only one language and this is part of the problem in terms of a lack of understanding of the Euro perspective). And yes, if you are a teacher, you can also arrange this tour for your students, as an open-air English lesson.
Meeting point: outside the Freud Museum, 9., Berggasse 19 (U2/4 Schottenring). The Freud family legacy in London is astonishing, and not so well-known in Vienna.
Time: 10:30 on Saturday 19th October, 2019 – if Brexit really happens in that month. The tour will end in a pub, of course.
Final Tour: Sat, 2 Nov, at 10:30
Tour leader: Eugene Quinn
Cost: €5. No registration possible. Just be there on time.