Editor's Letter
Naked and ScreamingIt was way too soon. When the phone call came from a close friend that his son was about to be born, I didn’t know what to say. At 25 weeks, the baby was extremely premature. What sort of chance did he have to survive?  Was his new life almost over even though it had barely begun?Despite...
Letters to the Editor
We’ve been getting great feedback from our readers over social media. Thanks very much for your thoughts, ideas and insights! Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!To the Editor,Recently, I treated myself to Metropole. Chapeau, team, I’m absolutely delighted! I like the mix of topics; from a student’s guide to discounts and a blog post “How to get punk...
opinion
Sugar-coated English versions of Grimm's Fairy Tales usually end with a utopian promise: “And they lived happily ever after.” In the original German: “Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, so leben sie noch heute.” Literally: “And if they haven’t died yet, they’re still alive today.” That's a big difference and gets to the heart of each culture’s attitudes towards death....
opinion
Across Europe, liberal principles are under pressure, Austrian democracy must not be put at riskIn a few weeks, Austrians will again go to the polls to elect a president – their representational and highly symbolic head of state. On May 23, they had elected former Green Party leader Alexander Van der Bellen by a slim margin of 32,000 votes over...
opinion
If you’ve been following the American election, this has been a very tumultuous month for women. The release of a ten-year-old tape showing Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault unleashed a wave of ­disavowal – but it was too little, too late What it also did was pull the curtain back on a ­social pretense – namely, that men and...
opinion
Women led protests against a government-backed plan to ban abortion. They are now center stage in Poland’s most important dispute since the end of communismBasia and her boyfriend Maciek aren’t usually interested in political protests. But this one is different because it’s about abortion, so it concerns them directly. Two years ago, they traveled to Slovakia to abort a...
melange
The controversial performance artist Hermann Nitsch invited us to visit in Prinzendorf to discuss art, nature, death and wine“In art you don’t have ‘ideas’,” Hermann Nitsch said across his sitting-room table. “You work something out. Ideas are for swindlers.”For over six decades, Nitsch has been “working out” his artistic statements. One of Austria’s most famous living artists, he is...
Death in Vienna
Some Viennese may play down any special relationship with death. But, then again, it’s probably better not to take any chances...It was a stunningly beautiful summer’s day on July 16, 2011, for the final farewell to Otto von Habsburg, the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary. And for this day of days, Vienna had pulled out all the stops. By two o’clock, an...
día de los muertos
Whether you avoid your countrymen or seek out their company, everyone needs something to remind them of home. For Mexicans, it’s the Day of the DeadFancy coming to a massive party? It’ll be chock-full of music, dancing, inappropriate jokes and skull-shaped sugary treats in all the colors of the rainbow. The guests of honor may not be present in...
samariter
As we enter or leave this world, there are those seldom-thanked individuals that accompany us. We spoke to people who think and talk about living and dying every dayRoman Steinfelder, Rafel Bis, Lisa Schmidt, Markus RösnerAt the Samariterbund, a humanitarian organization that offers emergency medical services in Vienna, teamwork is everything. The staff is made up of volunteers, Zivildiener...
stephansdom
As we enter or leave this world, there are those seldom-thanked individuals that accompany us. We spoke to people who think and talk about living and dying every dayStephansdom Tour GuideWhen we entered the Stephansdom early on a Monday afternoon, the place was crammed, as usual – with both the living and the dead. On any given day, the...
midwife
As we enter or leave this world, there are those seldom-thanked individuals that accompany us. We spoke to people who think and talk about living and dying every dayMidwifeTalk about “midwifery” to an American, and they will start thinking about antiquated methods of childbearing. Midwives were gradually replaced by physicians from the 1930s onwards, as women started to give...
nursing home
As we enter or leave this world, there are those seldom-thanked individuals that accompany us. We spoke to people who think and talk about living and dying every dayManager, Ärzteheim nursing homeRunning a nursing home is just one of the positions that Dr. Cornel Binder-Krieglstein occupies. He’s also a Red Cross volunteer, an author, a refugee center board member,...
preparing for death
Most of us don’t like to think about the end of our days. But getting our affairs in order in time can be a huge relief for all partiesWriting a last will and testament can seem like something out of a movie –  where dramatic twists of fate might force a protagonist to reconsider her heirs, or documents mysteriously...
genetic modification
Fertility specialists have made a breakthrough that could eradicate a rare deadly disease. So why isn’t the world celebrating?After several miscarriages and the deaths of two children at an early age, a Jordanian woman finally gave birth to a healthy boy this summer. A cause for private celebration? Undoubtedly. But this boy has already made headlines around the world.The...
robot worker
We all fear that our jobs will eventually be automated. But cheer up! Where one job dies, another rises from the ashesImagine a world where writers have vanished. Editorial departments, the places where the magic of newspaper and magazine writing used to happen, are run by computers relying on the eternal knowledge of the web. With access to big...
Elizabeth Greenwood
Enjoy the true stories in Elizabeth Greenwood’s Playing Dead, but don’t expect deep insights It all began with a conversation about student loans. Like many recent graduates, American author Elizabeth Greenwood was wondering how to get herself out of debt. She considered options both fanciful (get rich through giving inspiring TedTalks) and desperate (run off to Belize). Then a colleague...
Habsburg Empire Pieter Judson
A myth-busting new history of the Habsburg Empire by Pieter M. Judson gives valuable insights on nationalism and identity in Central EuropeIn June 1911, over four and a half million citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire went to the polling stations to elect a new parliament. People from Bukowina to Vorarlberg, from Trieste to Prague were keen to decide their...
zentralfriedhof
Hardly a place embodies the city’s heart and soul more than the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna’s Central CemeteryAs October ends and the city recoils from the gusty winds and harsh, grey weather, the Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery) is just hitting its annual high point: Every year on All Saints’ Day – adhering to ancient Catholic tradition – the Viennese make...
mozart grave
Mozart's Final Resting PlaceThe myth that a destitute Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was buried and abandoned in an unmarked mass grave persists to this day. The movie Amadeus perpetuates this notion, along with a sense of poetic justice for Mozart, who took his own fortunes for granted.  So when I went to explore St. Marx Cemetery, the maestro’s final resting place,...
grätzl
Wedged between the lively arteries of Wiedner Hauptstrasse and Margaretenstrasse, Mittersteig is a mostly residential area with some hidden gemsFor years, cycling down Mittersteig was just part of my daily commute from the 12th district to the inner city. Mornings and afternoons were always calm and uneventful, much like the neighborhood itself, almost making me feel like an intruder...
Wien Modern festival
Bernhard Günther, the new artistic director of the Wien Modern festival, sets his courseWhere do we come from? Where are we going? And where the hell are we? These are the three “ultimate” questions of life. While the answers will undoubtedly remain forever elusive, the search for them has been a wellspring of human creativity for millennia.Bernhard Günther, the new...
Blue Bird Festival
The Vienna Songwriting Association puts indie music on center stageGiving artists the chance to wow an audience hungry for newcomers, the Blue Bird Festival beckons with an eclectic line-up of rock, folk, blues, electric and country, showcasing the versatility of contemporary folk and singer/songwriting.Organized by the not-for-profit Vienna Songwriting Association, the three-day festival is now in its 12th edition,...
Pixies
The alternative rock icons come to town with a brand new albumA huge influence on the grunge movement and bands like Nirvana, Blur or Radiohead, this seminal band from Boston is fronted by Black Francis (sometimes known as Frank Black). Still going strong after reuniting in 2004, they continue their signature sound with their new album Head Carrier. Only their sixth...
der menschenfeind
The archetypal angry middle-aged male splutters to life in Molière’s Der Menschenfeind (The Misanthrope)Our current love affair with the instant gratification of insults cannot be blamed solely on an unfiltered social media culture. Misanthropy – hating humanity – has been a comic staple for centuries, most notably in the character Alceste, the self-righteous foil of Molière’s Le Misanthrope, and...
Twelfth Night
This comedy comes from Illyria to commemorate the Bard’s deathFeaturing a woman surviving a shipwreck and disguising herself as her twin brother – while all the main characters find their love (temporarily) unrequited, this classic comedy of errors is among the more popular plays by Shakespeare. This version was first performed at the Midsummer Scene Festival at Dubrovnik, the...
great gatsby
Dwight Rhoden revisits F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age shenanigans on stageMimicking the extravagant Roaring Twenties, The Great Gatsby Ballet is not a production for purists. Sparkling headbands, shiny gold confetti and lavish choreography create a distinct 1920s feel that is strongly reminiscent of Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film adaptation of the iconic American novel.However, the mastermind behind the Russian/Ukrainian show –...
vienna art week
Vienna Art Week explores the finer points of aesthetics under the theme Seeking BeautyVienna is in for an arts talkathon. From November 14-20, the city is holding its twelfth annual Art Week, “comparing Vienna with art centers such as Berlin, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi,” according to the curators. Sponsored by the Dorotheum and featuring a preview of the auction house’s...
color woodcut
How the Vienna Secession revived an archaic technique – in brilliant colorExploring a lesser-known chapter of the storied Secession, Vienna’s fin de siècle aesthetic reformers, the Albertina is presenting roughly 100 color woodcuts, including works by Koloman Moser, Carl Moll, and Emil Orlik. With their stylized motifs, prominent outlines and rich colors, they are high points in both craftsmanship and...
hubert scheibl
The prominent Austrian artist redecorates the Belvedere’s OrangerieCelebrated as one of Austria’s most prominent contemporary artists, Hubert Scheibl uses vast canvases to create his signature abstract landscapes, oscillating between impenetrable, mystifying and sensual. His abundance of shapes and multitude of dimensions draws the observer in, confronting the limits of the visible. Particularly notable is Scheibl’s affinity for soft lighting, suggesting...
grinding gears
Tragedy often brings people together, and with nothing left to lose, one is free to take a stand against oppression. At least that’s how it works in theoryAlone in Berlin, a new adaptation of Hans Fallada’s novel Every Man Dies Alone, puts that theory to the test, as well as the viewer’s patience.First published in 1947, the book is...
this human world
Raising awareness for human rights on the silver screenA film festival with a social conscience, the 9th edition of This Human World visualizes human rights in all its forms with about 100 features, documentaries and shorts. Highlights include Werner Herzog’s controversial musings in Lo and Behold (pictured), a documentary exploring the internet and how it affects our world and personal...
Paterson
Jim Jarmusch’s ode to the everyday is nostalgic, delightful and poeticAn unabashed celebration of the quiet life, Paterson is Jim Jarmusch’s latest shot at an ephemeral film about nothing – but deliciously so. Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in Paterson, N.J. who writes poetry in his spare time and shuns computers and cell phones.Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) is...
I, Daniel Blake
British director Ken Loach takes on the welfare bureaucracyAfter rumors of retiring, director and social activist Ken Loach, the master of kitchen sink realism, instead transfixed audiences by winning his second Palme d’Or at Cannes this year for I, Daniel Blake. With the wounds of the global recession still fresh, Loach explores Britain’s welfare state in stunning detail, a system...
style
The Alte Technik at Ottakringer Brauerei usually hosts raging parties, but for us it became a stage for five Viennese dancers to live out celebrations of life and death from around the worldStyling/Creative Direction Ali Rabbani // iamrabbani.comPhotos Stefan Gergely // gergely.cc ASSISTANT Alex HuberRETOUCH Steter Studio // steter.comSHOT AT THE OTTAKRINGERBRAUEREI // ALTE TECHNIKSee video at metropole.at/style   
Día de los Muertos
Thoughts from our expert on design, gadgets and joie de vivreFraming the concept of life and death in a fashion editorial took me on a journey around the world and back. From the deepest forests of Africa to the deserts of Australia, I was on a quest for the link that connects death, life and beauty.Unsurprisingly, life and death...
fesch'markt
The Fesch’Markt co-founders have given Austrian designers and artists a platform to hock their wares to the hungry hipster marketWhat gave you the idea to make a large event like Fesch’Markt?Katrin had travelled to New York City where she fell in love with the art and design markets.  When she returned, we came to the conclusion that Austria definitely...
my favorite things
Today it's a camera drone. Tomorrow it travels back in time and tries to kill Sarah Conner. -Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory (slightly adapted)You can’t buy happiness but you can buy shoes and that’s kind of the same thing.-Source Unknown 
Martinigansl at Gasthaus Wild
At Gasthaus Wild, the Austrian custom of roast goose for St. Martin’s is a veritable feastThe annual celebration of St. Martin’s Day (Nov 11) originated in Tours, France, and spread throughout the European Catholic world in the middle ages. It marks the end of the growing season and beginning of the harvest. Its eponymous saint was a baptized Roman...
Lingenhel
Lingenhel implores you to appreciate every single ingredient – resistance was futileMusic folklore tells us that jazz is all about the notes you don’t play – you have to appreciate the spaces in between. Lingenhel, a new deli-cum-restaurant in the 3rd district, feels like the culinary embodiment of this old adage. Its menu is simple and short, allowing it...
khm clubbing
Booming bass and flowing drinks aim to dust off the image of a venerable institutionSome 125 years after opening to the public, the Kunsthistorisches Museum (the museum of art history, or KHM for short) might be forgiven its slightly tired reputation. One half of Vienna’s twin museums (the Natural History Museum, or NHM, faces it across Maria-Theresien-Platz), its collection...
vineyard in the city
Vienna’s smallest working vineyard is in the heart of the cityWe all know the PR photo stunts: a portly man in a serious business suit performing the unlikely task of shovelling earth, “breaking the ground” for his corporation’s next contribution to the greater global good. Vienna can do this too, except that it’s not a studio shot.On a grey,...
European Handball Federation
Based in Vienna for 25 years, the European Handball Federation brings non-stop actionDid you know that Vienna is the headquarters of one of the most prestigious team sports in Europe? It’s a well-kept secret: The European Handball Federation (EHF) governs, organizes and promotes the Olympic sport from an innocuous building on Hoffingergasse in the 12th district. With six players...
Styria's Spa Region
As cold weather takes over, the thermal baths of Styria’s Spa Region beckon for weekends of peace and warmthVienna is often called a “Dorf” (a village) albeit a cosmopolitan one – a place where everyone knows everyone else and things move at a slower pace. But it’s still a city, and despite ample greenery in the Prater, Schönbrunn park,...
last word
You may say plenty of profound things in your life but posterity seems to put significant weight on the ones you say right before you die To celebrate our Life & Death issue we’ve compiled some of our favorite final pronouncements by a rogues gallery of European greats. May they rest in peace.“Mehr Licht.” (More light.)      “Der Geschmack des Todes ist auf...
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