Photo: private.

Dr. Melani Barlai (University of Andrássy, Budapest)

The Danube School 2019 is a great opportunity for students of the Danube Region to discuss about different political, social and cultural issues and interact during the workshops with experts. I hope that young participants will be encouraged to share their views on “Cultural Diversity and Identity in the Danube Region”. I wish our students a great time in Ulm and Neu-Ulm, good debates and interesting talks!

Melani Barlai is co-founder and coordinator of the Hungarian online voting advice tool “Vokskabin” which helps voters to decide how to vote in local, parliamentary and European elections. She currently works at netPOL (Network Political Communication), an international academic political communications network. Together with political scientists and activists she founded the NGO Unhack Democracy Europe (Unhack Democracy Europe) which aim is to uncover voting irregularities in Hungary. Her research topics are: Hungarian Politics, Voting Advice Applications, Right-wing extremism in Hungary. More about Dr. Melani Barlai.

Prof. Dr. Julia Kormann (University of Applied Sciences, Neu-Ulm)

My mother taught me the rhymes she knew from her childhood which her mother knew from her childhood: „Brigach und Breg bringen die Donau zuweg“, „Iller, Lech, Isar, Inn, fließen rechts zur Donau hin“, „Altmühl, Wörnitz, Naab und Regen kommen ihr von links entgegen.“ These rhymes help children memorize the origins of the danube river and its tributaries in Bavaria which cause this river to grow and prosper. Not included in these rhymes are all the tributaries of other countries, but implicitely included are the local antecedents to the larger identity of the river danube.

In times of digitalization and globalization our construction of the identity of the Danube stems from our collective understanding of the contributing tales, myths and stories, including their inherent values and virtues, as well as the stories yet untold. Surprisingly enough, the Blau – a must-see for tourists is the mystical Blautopf – is not included in these rhymes, even though it is the scene of a lot of myths and tales and instills the quest for the larger entity this mythical spot constitues for everyone who catches a glimpse of the dark blue water.

To me, the danube river is like an artefact of human history, encompassing all its contributing factors. Similarly, in my own experience working in a global company, the values, virtues, myths, tales and stories of my colleagues from all over the world always invigorated the global entity that emerged from their contribution. Every person‘s contribution to our collective memory transcends entities like the Danube river, turning it into an artefact of human history. Yet the danube river also tells us that global entities live from the free flow of myths and tales, values and virtues, and prosper without boundaries.

Julia Kormann is professor at the department of Information Management at the University of Applied Sciences Neu-Ulm (“HNU”). She is also Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Sustainability, Head of the Centre for Interdisciplinary, International and Engaged Learning (ZiieL) and Head of the Centre for Corporate Communications at the HNU. More about Prof. Dr. Julia Kormann.

Photo: Stefan Loeffler, kawe8 – pressebuero und verlag

Photo: Stefan Loeffler, kawe8 – pressebuero und verlag

Prof. Dr. Julia Kormann (University of Applied Sciences, Neu-Ulm)

My mother taught me the rhymes she knew from her childhood which her mother knew from her childhood: „Brigach und Breg bringen die Donau zuweg“, „Iller, Lech, Isar, Inn, fließen rechts zur Donau hin“, „Altmühl, Wörnitz, Naab und Regen kommen ihr von links entgegen.“ These rhymes help children memorize the origins of the danube river and its tributaries in Bavaria which cause this river to grow and prosper. Not included in these rhymes are all the tributaries of other countries, but implicitely included are the local antecedents to the larger identity of the river danube.

In times of digitalization and globalization our construction of the identity of the Danube stems from our collective understanding of the contributing tales, myths and stories, including their inherent values and virtues, as well as the stories yet untold. Surprisingly enough, the Blau – a must-see for tourists is the mystical Blautopf – is not included in these rhymes, even though it is the scene of a lot of myths and tales and instills the quest for the larger entity this mythical spot constitues for everyone who catches a glimpse of the dark blue water.

To me, the danube river is like an artefact of human history, encompassing all its contributing factors. Similarly, in my own experience working in a global company, the values, virtues, myths, tales and stories of my colleagues from all over the world always invigorated the global entity that emerged from their contribution. Every person‘s contribution to our collective memory transcends entities like the Danube river, turning it into an artefact of human history. Yet the danube river also tells us that global entities live from the free flow of myths and tales, values and virtues, and prosper without boundaries.

Julia Kormann is professor at the department of Information Management at the University of Applied Sciences Neu-Ulm (“HNU”). She is also Vice President for Teaching and Learning, Sustainability, Head of the Centre for Interdisciplinary, International and Engaged Learning (ZiieL) and Head of the Centre for Corporate Communications at the HNU. More about Prof. Dr. Julia Kormann.

Photo: private.

Dr. Olivia Spiridon (Institute of Danube Swabian History and Regional Studies, Tübingen)

During a visit at the Danube source in Donaueschingen I noticed something: In front of the large map of Danube region there were groups of people from different countries standing and doing something similar. They were pointing to a spot on the map – probably their country of origin –, while being photographed. I realized that the river constitutes a massive reference plane and provides orientation, but also that all those spots form a network. In this sense Danube river embodies the request to network in a large region, that is shaped by great diversity; it lectures us. Thus the Danube is a European textbook. My lecture about diversity at the lower Danube in literature and visual media shows excerpts of that by illustrating through some examples from island Ada Kaleh to the estuary how people deal with diversity and to what extent it can be of relevance for today’s issues.

Olivia Spiridon is a research assistant at the Institute of Danube Swabian History and Regional Studies (“Donauschwäbisches Institut für Geschichte und Landeskunde”), head of the research area Literary Studies / Linguistic Sciences and also lecturer at the department of German Studies at the University of Tuebingen. More about Dr. Olivia Spiridon.