L'viv – Danube Region?!

Kopernika 17.
Lviv Oblast

The Donau Lounge, a regional cultural initiative of the Collegium Hungaricum Vienna, will give a guest performance in September 2014 at the International Book Forum in the West Ukrainian city of L'viv. The participants of the programme are authors from nine Danube countries. The Donau Lounge will take place from September 10th-14th in L'viv and will present authors and cultural experts from Ukraine, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

Several internationally renowned authors such as Jurko Prohasko (UA), László Darvasi (H), Daniel Bănulescu (RO), Martin Pollak (A) and Duygu Özkan (A) support this close literary and cultural cooperation with their appearance. Famous experts for the Danube Region will honour us by also taking part in the programme, for example the former Austrian vice-chancellor Dr. Erhard Busek (IDM – Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe in Vienna) and Peter Langer (Council of Danube Cities and Regions), the founder of the Ulmer Donaufest. Main organizers of the programme in the former Galician metropolis are the Collegium Hungaricum Vienna and the OeAD Cooperation Office L'viv.

Apart from the presentation of selected contemporary authors – many of them for the first time in Ukrainian – the Donau Lounge’s central topics will be the mobility of artists in the Danube Region, the benefits of project cooperations, and the exciting question: Why is L’viv – though not along the Danube – also part of this cultural region?

The initiative came from Collegium Hungaricum Vienna (Hungarian Cultural Institute) in 2012 with the goal of creating a platform for the dialogue of poets, authors and historians of the region for international book fairs in the Danube Region. In the framework of the Donau Lounge, which with its approach is also putting the goals of the European Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) into action, new publications can be presented from the Danube countries.

Furthermore the extremely relevant thematic years – e.g. “First World War centenary” or “25 year anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain” – can create an important focus for the region. The Donau Lounge had its debut two years ago at the International Book Fair in Vienna (BUCH WIEN) and has through a large-scale cooperation since then developed into a Danube-regionwide brand: 2013 the Donau Lounge was hosted in Vienna, L‘viv and Târgu Mureș in Romania. The result of the first appearance in L’viv was the invitation to this year’s Book Forum – this time as a focus programme at the International Book Forum. 2014 the Donau Lounge premiered also at the Bookfest in Bucharest and will finish this year’s tour after L’viv again in Vienna. Probably the most important goal of the Donau Lounge is the establishment of an open and “loveable” cultural platform for the Danube countries.

The strong potential for cultural cohesion in the region is symbolized by the Danube as an eternal metaphor. As the Slovak professor Peter Zajac, participant of the Donau Lounge in Vienna 2013 said: “Through the help of the Donau Lounge the cultural and historical misunderstandings in Central Europe become misunderstandings themselves.”

The Donau Lounge at the International Book Forum in L’viv is a joint event of Balassi Institute – Collegium Hungaricum Vienna, OeAD Cooperation Office Lviv, Lviv International Book Forum in cooperation with National Cultural Fund of Hungary (NKA), Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Literarne Informačné Centrum Bratislava, literarnyclub.sk, Hungarian Cultural Association Lviv, Austrian Cultural Forum Kiev, The City of Vienna, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) - Vienna, Council of Danube Cities and Regions, European Danube Academy (EDA) - Ulm, Czech Centre Kiev, Romanian Cultural Institute Vienna, Goethe-Institute, Hotel Suputnyk Lviv and Hotel George Lviv. The Romanian Cultural Institute Vienna and the Balassi Institute – Collegium Hungaricum Vienna are members of EUNIC Austria (European Union’s National Institutes of Culture).