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2 April 2021

Vienna Insight Spring 2021: Street art, symbols and posters

Since yesterday 1st April, Vienna is in hard lockdown mode again. Gastronomy or hotels haven't even opened during the last less tightened lockdown, and museums or stores have again closed, now until 11th April. The city's shopping streets appear strangely silent while the recreation areas are filled with walkers, runners, cyclists,... such as the Viennese Prater, a former hunting ground, where even the tracks through the forest can become narrow.

Dogs have been a problem in the city forest for around ten years. The pandemic with its restrictions to leave the house only for going to work, to the supermarket, or for recreation and social distancing has let the amount of dogs respectively dog owners grow. The Prater forest was once the natural living space of various bird species, red deer or hares. Today, the former richness and variety of the fauna appears to be partly replaced by dogs running without leash and muzzle.
Image right: The posters on view on this page belong to a new measure to make people aware of their responsibility to protect nature. The upper one reminds dog owners to take their animals on the leash.

Graffiti appears and disappears in the streets of Vienna. Some artworks are commissioned by the city or companies, others are the expression of protest like the symbol for anarchy, the circle-A which references with A the word Anarchy and with the circle O Order a slogan by 19th century French philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon such as explained at the biographical entry at Wikipedia where a source from the early 1990s is cited concerning the circled-A as most common urban graffiti.
Image below: In 2021, the circle-A shown here on this page was seen prominently placed on a traffic route of cyclists and walkers.

Image right: Another eye-catching street message seen these days is 'Hotline Vienna'. The writing in fat letters is dramatically painted in blood-dripping red. But the real drama at the scene happens at the entry to the staircase which is blocked with a locked chain which makes no sense in two respects as it can be overstepped easily and there isn't any need in spring days for protecting people from slipping over snowy-icy stairs such as stated at the board.

Image below: Spring arrived these days in Vienna! The temperatures are comfortably warm and the sun shines. People from old to young are on their feet. At the entertainment park of the Prater where normally masses of tourists use the offer of carousels or roller coasters, mainly Viennese citizens re-explore their city and might be surprised by figures like the one on view on this page sitting in a deckchair. The male figure with round belly wears an outfit showing citations of the Austrian Tracht with edelweiss on the suspenders in combination with red-white-red knee-high socks, short trousers and nailed shoes. The big-belly man appears like a caricature of Austrians of the country's Western federal states - which are by the way currently the happy ones as they are in lockdown light mode.

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