defiant

Special exhibition at the Haus der Geschichte (18.2.2023 – 21.1.2024)

Preview: Defiant Country

Special exhibition Haus der Geschichte

Strike, Protest, Self-Will

18. February 2023 – 21. January 2024

A poster issued in the revolutionary year of 1848 read: “As the storm breaks loose, the farmer is asleep.” Since then, it has been claimed that peasants have no interest in political or social change. This notion is often attributed to the rural area as a whole, and it suggests that social movements only ever erupt in big cities.

The present exhibition proves this notion wrong. Protests in rural areas took many different forms: some were silent and subtle, for example when domestic servants left their workplace without a word, or loud and violent, when workers at a tobacco factory protested against the dismissal of a colleague. They could be spontaneous, like the Mostviertel peasants’ revolt against the requisition of foodstuffs after the First World War, or prolonged, like a general strike in Neunkirchen in 1896. Even environmental rallies, which are commonly associated with the urban middle class, are actually often sparked in regions affected by construction projects.

 

The exhibition is curated by the Haus der Geschichte team together with Jessica Richter from the Institute for Rural History and the writer Martin Prinz. Lenz Mosbacher illustrates the historical events as a draughtsman and lyricist.

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