No “siding east” in Oschatz

After Königstein and Nebelschütz, we visited Oschatz on 09 July 2022. Once again, the topic was “Fractures and Bridges of Industrial Culture in Saxony”. Oschatz was hit hard by the transformation after the collapse of the GDR economy. Many people emigrated as a result. But there are also new things and people who are helping to shape and develop Oschatz today.

The focus was on the protagonist Günther Hunger, who runs Germany’s first railway postcard museum in Oschatz’s Südbahnhof. Günther Hunger, formerly a journalist and photographer, knows seemingly endless anecdotes, which he knows how to tell in an entertaining way. This postcard museum is like a little goldmine when it comes to pictures, zeitgeist and stories about the railway. During the dialogue walk, Hunger also repeatedly brought in personal references, for example from his work in the Cultural Association of the GDR or from the attempts to establish photo galleries in Oschatz in the 1990s.

The dialogue walk under the slightly provocative name “Siding East (?)” led from the Railway Postcard Museum first to the neighbouring O-Park, where we visited the installation “O-treasure, where do you come from?” by Bianca Seidel, which was created during the actions of “Saxony in Dialogue” in October 2020. Then we went through the city centre of Oschatz to the E-Werk Oschatz, the city’s former electricity plant, where the socio-cultural centre has also found a post-industrial use. Staff member Janett Rohnstock provided insights into the history of its origins as a concert and party location and its current broad use as a contact and meeting space for children, young people and adults of all ages and backgrounds.

We then welcomed the guests to the premiere of the film “Günther” by Susanne Kontny from Leipzig, who had met and filmed Mr Hunger in his museum in the weeks before. With documentary precision and artistic style, the young filmmaker has created a portrait that provides personal insights and yet maintains an objective distance. Afterwards, the film stimulated discussion among the audience, sometimes controversial, but always objective. The film covered a wide range of topics, from the experiences of the upheavals in 1989/90 to today’s challenges for Oschatz’s urban society to uncertainties and questions about the future. Topics such as social change, orientation towards the common good and gender roles came up, but also loneliness, a passion for collecting and what kind of dress code is needed to get a loan from the local savings bank.

Moderator Marcus Oertel from Kultur Aktiv thanked all those present for the open exchange. Günther Hunger remarked how important it was for him to have the opportunity to tell his story. There need to be more opportunities for that! The discussion clearly showed that Oschatz is far from a “siding East” as long as people discuss so passionately and committedly for their home town!

A big thank you goes again to Günther Hunger and the Railway Postcard Museum, to Susanne Kontny for the inspiring film, to Dörte Grimm and Michael Merkel from the jury for their presence and contributions to the discussion, as well as to our partners from E-Werk Oschatz for their support on site.

Photos: Andreas Görl (https://pixxelgewitter.de/)

Kunst im Dialog

“Kunst im Dialog” aims to create space for encounters and an exchange of views at eye level that can counter prevailing conflicts and protect and strengthen the social context. People are to be brought into conversation and the rural perspective given a voice.

To this end, biographical short films and dialogue walks with local citizens will take place in three rural communities – Königstein, Nebelschütz and Oschatz.

Period
07.2021 – 12.2021

Project coordination
Marcus Oertel (Projektleitung)

projekt partner
Werkstatt 26
E-Werk Oschatz
Steinleicht e.V.

Gefördert durch