A featured promotional video shows the Upper Austrian capital unadorned, without slides – and outrageously funny. But not everyone enjoys it.
Oliver Das Gupta
The taxi driver who scolds the camera, the graffiti “Auslender raus” (sic!), the old man who is angry at two women kissing and seeing their fingers, the woman sitting in a café with milk foam on the tip of her nose joking about “snow”. Several people comment on this: here it is “old fashioned” and “a bit racist”, and the picture could be “better”.
Scenes from a nearly three-minute video that the Tourist Board in Linz is now promoting the capital of Upper Austria. Breaking with the Australian tradition of terribly boring picture movies, showing perfect skin at sunrise and sunset in time-lapse, adorned with culture, wellness and of course relaxing food and drink.
The “Linz is Linz” video, on the other hand, is an unadorned selfie, and plays humorously with urban mansions and clichés. And there’s no schnitzel in it either. “Yes, are you allowed to sleep?” One asks in Austria as Emperor Ferdinand once did.
The mayor doesn’t like the movie
The advertisement for the city has long been circulating in social media, and the echo is divided between enthusiasm and disgust: some people seem to drop sausages from their mouths out of indignation, and the video is dubbed “malicious” and “shameful propaganda.” A similar picture in politics: The mayor of Linz, Klaus Luger, a Social Democrat, criticized the film as “absolutely unsuccessful”. Chancellor’s party ÖVP has so far preferred not to comment, but FPÖ has.
The city council of Linz, affiliated with the right-wing party, demanded that the campaign stop immediately. But even in the FPÖ there are more differentiated views. Even if I don’t like all the videos, I personally find the self-deprecating style of youth exciting,” says Manfred Heimbuchner, Deputy Prime Minister of Upper Austria. The Freedom and Democracy Party man calls criticism of the Social Democratic mayor a “bourgeois reaction”, after all, claiming that his party likes to support art projects “if only it comes from the left”.
However, the video is not “left”, but a little German. Because in charge of the project is Georg Steiner, president of the Tourism Association Linz: Niederbaer and the CSU City Council of Passau. “My target group is the curious,” Steiner says, noting that at the end of the clip, “The people of Linz welcomed visitors with open arms.” Steiner also says that Federal President Alexander van der Bellen once called Linz “modern Austria” – and the video shows this modern, independent city. The success proves him right: the movie was viewed nearly 230,000 times on YouTube on a Sunday afternoon alone. Even the German news agency dpa is now reporting on the video image. And all without schnitzel.