Our (?) America

Austro-American snapshots in the context of the US elections 2012

After the success in 2008 and lots of positive feedback the Austrian Mauthausen Committee organised a new activity for young people with the key theme of the 2012 American election, running 17.09.-06.11.2012.

"Our (?) America – Austro-American snapshots in context of the US Election 2012" started on 17th September with a public opening. Willi Mernyi, chairman of the Austrian Mauthausen Committee welcomed 120 people, many of whom were school pupils and apprentices to the events featuring music by Carole Alston. Before the official opening, the Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, the Minister for Education Claudia Schmidt, the Minister for Health Alois Stöger and the Austrian Trade Union Federation President and Vice-President Erich Folger and Sabine Oberhauser visited the exhibition.

The exhibition was dedicated to the US and took as its starting point the US elections, aiming to offer a nuanced perspective of the US. To provide the young visitors with new perceptions and different perspectives, the following themes were included alongside the central topic of the elections:

  • Life in America
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • American Exports (music/cars/sport/lifestyle/food/language)
  • Austria and America (Marshall Plan/liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp)

The accompanying programme complimented these topics and was offered to young people without any extra cost. The 90 minute guided tours through the exhibition were specially developed for different target groups and could be booked in either German or English. Following every tour, each participant received a booklet with the content of the exhibition.

Altogether 117 groups made up of 3,000 pupils and apprentices took part in activities relating to the exhibition. Including the people who took part in two discussion-based events, around 3,150 people engaged with the programme and events that took place as part of the exhibition.

All pupils and apprentices who visited the exhibition and liked the Facebook page took part in a competition. The main prize was popcorn, crisps and cola for the whole class/group. The Professional School for Food, Tourism and Dental technology was the lucky winner.

For more detailed information, please visit www.unser-amerika.at