writing between cultures – schreiben zwischen den kulturen

Last night I was fortunate to attend the prizegiving for the Exile Literature Prize which was held in a room above the courtyard of the Amerlinghaus, an old house in Vienna’s 7th district.

Carina Nekolny, a student in the workshop I attended in May, was one of the prizewinners for her story, Chleb, which appears in the anthology „sprachflüge“ published by Exil (Centre for intercultural art and anti-racism work). A whole school class also received a prize for their work which gave a new spin on what it’s like living in Austria and not being from Austria, and the stories of these young people also appear in the anthology.

The room was packed, almost 100 people, and afterwards there was food and music by the band Ginga in the courtyard. A great home-away-from-home atmosphere for young and not so young, locals and those becoming such.

Home, to my mind these days, is not really a place, but a state of being, or perhaps becoming, belonging, or just longing to be. I still have to work out what the word really means.