Germany/Austria group: Danubian travels, food and how to make a documentary film

Blog entry by Selly Faraein Binti Mansyur

The third day of the Danube Summer School started with the lecture from Prof. Wendy Bracewell about the Danube through the travellers’ experience. For example, William Beattie mentioned the Danube as part of the Barbaric past. Negley Farson also mentioned seeing Romanian officers wearing cosmetics, but as it turns out, this was based on a stereotype and not reality.

The travellers came from various places such as Britain. They had different views about the west and east side of the Danube region. The British travellers left the modern London and went to explore the exotic east. As they left the west and went towards the east, some of them felt that they were about to leave civilisation. The advantage of having to travel along the Danube was the chance to report back to the British for the possibility of investment in the Danube regions.

Michael Quinn encouraged people to follow Western examples in making changes to the region. Claudio Magris believed that the Danube connects the people in Europe. The idea of dividing the region to west and east are also related to how we are compared to others. Prof. Bracewell also mentioned about the importance of having a travel account which can be used as future readings and guide for other people who are going to the same place.

“Where exactly is the central Europe?” There is no definite answer for this. In fact, the answer itself is not important, the interesting part is the argument of why do we need the “Central Europe” term and does it important being in central Europe?

The global citizenship can be defined as how we are connected to other people around the world. By travel writing, we can develop a sense of having a place and explore the relative notion of the world.

During the tutorial session, our group discussed about the travel guide and how it can be a historical evidence and whether it is still valid today. We also discussed about the rationale behind dividing the Danube region to north/south and west/east during the Enlightenment and came up with other examples such as the idea of development division ie. developed countries and developing countries.

During the skill session, we learnt about filmmaking based on the theme of migration and identity. We were also exposed to the evolution of filmmaking in which now many documentary offers cinematic experience. But the most important key of any film documentary is the personal story or character.

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This is an example of German documentary by Werner Herzog which involved personal story.

We learnt about the Austrian in London during the German language session. It covered topics such as famous Austrian people in London, Austrian restaurants, Austrian society, the embassy etc.

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Another example of a documentary from the filmmaking session

There were also stories delivered by people who came from the Danubian regions and how multi-cultural and multi-linguistics background play a part in their everyday lives. The last session for today was “A Taste of the Danube Reception” in which we had the chance to try the Danubian food, which is seen below!

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