Book look: Daniel Traub & danger travelling

After several years in Beijing, a professional photographer has returned to his hometown for an intimate portrait. It is hard to remain optimistic watching the images kehrerDaniel Traub took in North Philadelphia. His 52 photographs show decline and depression – desolate buildings in deserted streets. Some of the photos are portraits of residents. Traub worked on many projects in China between 1998 and 2007 before moving back to the United States. In an English-language article featured in the book now out by Kehrer, the photographer writes about his experiences growing up in Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s when vast parts of the city were dominated by drug-related crime and violence. His new photographs give the impression that little has changed ever since.

North Philadelphia
By Daniel Traub
Published by Kehrer Verlag (www.kehrerverlag.com)

Chechnya, Afghanistan and South Sudan are anything but common tourist destinations. Nevertheless, an author has travelled there. Kolja Spöri tried to find out how life is tSAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAhere. His ambition was also to check whether travel warnings of foreign ministries and other institutions are credible. His project has, without any doubt, the potential to cause a stir. Critics might argue that Spöri is ridiculing the difficult personal circumstances of the impoverished regions’ inhabitants. Shattered by street crime, high murder rates and civil war, areas around the globe are not attractive at all for travellers. However, this constellation made these countries interesting for the author. In his new book “Ich war überall”, Spöri offers his personal view on visiting dangerous places and meeting the people who live there. Apart from regions considered unsafe, he also visited places with extraordinary weather conditions such as extremely low temperatures. His book does not just feature Spöri’s travel reports. “Ich war überall” also maps of his trips and general safety advices.

Ich war überall
By Kolja Spöri
Published by Plassen (www.plassen-buchverlage.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Lachner and Lions

A young Parisian has carried out an extraordinary labour experiment: working in 33 different professions in 33 countries all across Europe. Jan Lachner, who grew up in Frankfurt, SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAGermany, has shown some real European spirit, as his debut as a writer shows. “33 Länder. 33 Wochen. 33 Jobs” does not just tell from his experiences working in rather unusual jobs. The book – which includes several photographs – also features portraits of people from all over the continent, considering positive and negative aspects of their professions and personal situations. Lachner worked in Austria, Iceland, Slovakia and 30 other countries. He tried himself at fishing and marketing. However, he also took on jobs in the European Parliament and in a football stadium.

33 Länder. 33 Wochen. 33 Jobs
By Jan Lachner and Philip Alsen
Published by Riva (www.rivaverlag.de)

The best photographs and interviews with legendary players are the essential ingredients of a new book about the Football World Cup. “Mythos Fußball-WM. Von 1930 bis heute” SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAby sports writer Bernard Lions features an introduction by UEFA boss Michel Platini and exclusive interviews with Enzo Scifo, Dino Zoff, Alain Giresse and 17 other celebrated footballers. These conversations offer remarkable insights years or decades after decisive matches. Furthermore, this 240-page Delius Klasing publication features large action photographs and special sections focusing on fun facts and previously neglected statistics such as the amount of a fine or unusual attendance figures. This mixture results in a high-quality book on the history of the most important soccer tournament. “Mythos Fußball-WM. Von 1930 bis heute” is just another fine sports-themed release by Delius Klasing. The Bielefeld-based publishing house previously presented acclaimed books about Formula One star Jochen Rindt (“Jochen Rindt. Der erste Popstar der Formel 1”), former VfL Bochum coach Peter Neururer (“Peter Neururer. Aus dem Leben eines Bundesligatrainers”) and funny moments in the history of football (“Die 99 skurrilsten Momente des Fußballs”)

Mythos Fußball-WM. Von 1930 bis heute
By Bernard Lions
Published by Delius Klasing (www.delius-klasing.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Austrian & French

Austrian dialects are infamously colourful and rich in variety. Now a very special slang dictionary has been released. Peter Ahorner’s controversial book features SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAonly swearwords. In his introduction, the author warns from being offended by some of the terms he chose for his collection. Such a book would not be possible without ignorant attitudes based on prejudices. In his introduction, Ahorner (“Mehr als gern. Worte der Liebe”) underlines the importance of voice, volume and facial expression when people are insulting each other. The legacy of “Handbuch der österreichischen Schimpfwörter”, which lists Austrian swearwords in alphabetical order from “Abzwickter” to “Zwirnscheißer”, should not be underestimated as younger generations are increasingly unaware of many old-fashioned dialect terms – including offensive expressions.

Handbuch der österreichischen Schimpfwörter
By Peter Ahorner
Published by Ueberreuter (www.ueberreuter.at)

Information, entertainment and substantial improvement remain essential for the Langenscheidt team as their language calendar edition turns 20. Launched as a low-key project in 1995, SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAthe prestigious publishing house’s calendar series has developed into one of its top products. Fabienne Schreitmüller has once more been in charge of the French edition. Once more, she presents a well-composed mixture of grammar exercises and facts regarding life in France. Recipes and different multiple choice tasks are also included. The “Langenscheidt Sprachkalender 2015 Französisch” offers the chance to improve one’s knowledge and skills by spending just five minutes each day – a success story set to continue!

Langenscheidt Sprachkalender 2015 Französisch
By Fabienne Schreitmüller
Published by Langenscheidt (www.langenscheidt.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Songwriter sensation strikes again

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAOne of Europe’s finest pop-rock entertainers has released a new album.

Around two years after his acclaimed studio record “Per Fortuna Dormo Poco”, Tommaso di Giulio presents “L’Ora Solare”. Once again, the Rome-based singer demonstrates his outstanding song-writing. This skill and the album’s excellent production are the essential connection making di Giulio’s new record an absolute highlight of this spring. Having focused on melodic pop on his 2013 album, “L’Ora Solare” – now out by Leave Music – features a wider range of genres.

Hard rock elements, funny elements (as he sings about Black Sabbath, Lara Croft and Haddaway’s “What is Love”) and ‘Mozartesque’ parts might surprise some listeners. However, the partnership of gentle guitars and the piano remains the most convincing element of the young artist’s music. Especially his mid-tempo songs and ballads (“Spesso e volentieri”) are outstanding.

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::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Salomon and sports

A Viennese writer has created a very special guide, taking visitors of his hometown away from the well-trodden paths. Wolfgang Salomon – who made a name for himself SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAwith his Venice and Trieste guides – has also written about Vienna. “Wien abseits der Pfade, Band 1” portrays extraordinary inhabitants as well as cultural institutions which may not be mentioned in the mainstream tourist guides. Salomon tells from Fiaker horse carriages’ ways from the stables on the outskirts to the city centre. He reveals secrets of the city’s biggest public swimming pool and its cemeteries.

Wien abseits der Pfade, Band 1
By Wolfgang Salomon
Published by Braumüller (www.braumueller.at)

A new type of sports encyclopaedia has been released as two German journalists decided to take a fresh approach on the comprehensive subject. Jürgen Schmieder (“Du sollst nicht SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAlügen!”) and Johannes Aumüller partnered up to create a broad overview on more than 100 sports. They did not just concentrate on the different sports’ biggest stars and important statistics. Schmieder and Aumüller also researched significant films, songs and computer games. This strategy turns their new publication into a highly entertaining book. The Süddeutsche Zeitung writers explain sports from American Football to wrestling. They offer lots of information and rankings concerning tennis and skiing, but also inform about cricket, curling and canoeing.

Sport. Das Buch
By Jürgen Schmieder and Johannes Aumüller
Published by C. Bertelsmann (www.cbertelsmann.de)

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Pop art perfection

An Austrian hotspot for contemporary art is presenting a comprehensive Pop Art collection.SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

“Ludwig goes Pop” features decisive works of art of the legendary pop art movement. On four floors, screen printings by Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg’s famous large objects are on display at the Viennese Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK). Other renowned artists whose oeuvre has been considered are Mel Ramos and Roy Lichtenstein. Susanne Neuburger curated the exhibit. All objects on display are part of the superb Ludwig Collection. After having been presented in various museums across Europe, these pop art masterpieces are finally on display at one venue.

Warhol’s iconic Mick Jagger and Marilyn Monroe portraits are certainly highlights of the exhibition which is currently drawing the crowds at the Museumsquartier gallery. Apart from the best-known artists and creations, the wide spectrum of the exhibit means that the works by many more important artists of the genre – which emerged in the 1950s to get hyped in the 1960s – are on display. Several Jasper Johns paintings are featured as well. Non-pop art paintings by Johns are currently on display at the Viennese Belvedere gallery.

“Ludwig goes Pop” follows remarkable exhibits at the MUMOK (www.mumok.at) such as “Wo ist mein Achter?” (Where is my Eight?) featuring significant works representing the oeuvre of Franz West. The Austrian artist passed away in 2012. Special exhibitions focusing on Albert Oehlen and Claes Oldenburg drew the crowds as well.

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas