Extend the Sensors to the West and South

by | 6. October 2018

In our Austria-Tour we still have one more stop to do. On 16 October we will rebuild the Dome for an “inclusive Dome Talk” – in Vienna, where the opening event also took place in July. In the meantime, however, we were on our way – with a detour to South Tyrol – in the West of Austria and within a week we had eight Dome discussions in four locations. The photos are online and two of the videos have already been edited. The further documentation for our “Future Archive” with videos and detailed reports will follow little by little. But firstly an initial report from the Viennese crew member Ines Kanka on our September stops in Western Austria and South Tyrol.
Salzburg, Brenner Pass, Bolzano and Bregenz – these are the places we set out to on 8 September as part of our Austria tour following the EU Council Presidency (incl. South Tyrol/Italy), in order to create a space for discussion through the construction of the Dome, with very different people and on different issues. Always about our future issues as European citizens. We are always curious to see what awaits us and hope that our preparations will be sufficient to succeed! But we first have to see whether all parts of the Dome, the dismountable cardboard stools, the ladder, blackboard and chalk, the video and other equipment, fit into the VW bus together with our personal luggage and the three of us? Somehow everything can be loaded on board and the journey begins!
…in front of the Dome scenery
The Dome in Salzburg on 9 September 2018 …
Already the procedure for obtaining permission to erect the Dome at the various locations has proven to be very different from place to place. On the one hand a bureaucratic jungle of approvals with different contacts for the installation of the Dome and the access of the car, another time the verbal approval and mayor’s handshake will hopefully suffice. With a certain amount of courage, we set off for the unknown. There are more questions that concern me:

Will the construction of the Dome with the new, optimized connectors go smoothly? Who of a large number of invited guests will actually show up? Some last-minute cancellations cause me some anxiety. Will passers-by also dare to come under the Dome with me? Will a good conversation develop, where all participants listen and respond to each other? Or will we spontaneously even have to deal with troublemakers? And above all: Does the weather play along? The weather forecast changes daily, once it promises sun, once it warns of rain. All of these questions are on my mind.

But then, when we drive up to the square in the morning by car, to the Mozart Square in Salzburg, to the church square on the Brenner Pass, to the university square in Bolzano and to the square in front of the Vorarlberg Museum in Bregenz, a long and eventful, wonderful day unfolds with many maneuvers until the Dome is constructed and with intensive encounters under the Dome until the evening. Such a “Dome day” almost seems like three to me!
And then I have to continue moving and engage with a new place with its own reality and the new people with their ideas and to remember that on the spot nothing is and is thought and felt the way as I might have rhymed it up in far-away Vienna beforehand. These are valuable experiences that I take with me and this might as well be the case with the other guests under the Dome.
Dome Talk on the Brenner – jointly with the Omnibus for Direct Democracy 
Brenner 11 September: Set-up in front of the church – Ines Kanka screws the last connector in place.
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The task of the European Public Sphere on its journey through the country is to assemble European “building blocks”. We record different peoples’ experiences and ideas to put together the picture of a future Europe from these mosaic parts. An exciting bottom-up process, which to me seems to become more and more necessary during the course of our journey.
We collect ideas and at the same time discuss what can be learned for cooperation in the European whole from the concrete and locally quite different experiences: In Salzburg, we meet a colorful and active civil society and talk about security. At the Brenner, the topic of borders is the focus; the encounter with friends from the Omnibus for Direct Democracy, whom we meet there and also in Bolzano, is very enriching. Also, the cooperation with the Newrope-Project, with which we have already taken a look at Europe on the “Camino revolta” in Spain, can continue on our tour. In Bolzano, we make new friendships with the South Tyrolean Democracy Movement and in Bregenz, we succeed in linking initiatives from Switzerland, Germany, and Austria on the exciting topic “Common Property Ground”.
On 15 September in Bregenz with people from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland
13 September: Bilingually in Bozen
All of this will soon be available in individual reports and other videos, together with the seeds we gathered in Rome at the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. There the Dome stood on the Capitoline Hill for three days, open for discussions and workshops. It’s about time for winter to start to catch up with all the leftover work.


Finally, I can say that the insights into the world of life and thoughts of the people I met on our tour will continue to accompany me as I sit at my desk after this eventful week on the road to prepare for our future Dome events. I am curious to see where the journey with this wonderful and enriching European Public Sphere initiative will take me!

The video documentation of two of the Dome Talks is already available:
Security! What security? Dome Talk in Salzburg
EUROPE(‘S) BORDER(LESS) – DomeTalk on the Brenner
Some impressions from our stops: