GRAZ TWO THOUSAND THREE - Cultural Capital of Europe


Television and Radio Reporting on Graz 2003

The year 2003 as Cultural Capital has turned the city of Graz into a brand that stands for culture and the art of living, for new and fresh art and top quality. In this context, the audiovisual media played a very important role: TV teams from all over the world sent their Graz pictures around the globe and showed the Cultural Capital at its best. But the project of Graz 2003 - Cultural Capital of Europe was also strongly present on the radio, which is also very good news.

In the context of international TV reporting, the 03 media partner 3sat played a significant part: in addition to regular current reports, "3sat Kulturzeit" ("Culture time") focused on Graz 2003 in September and broadcasted live - not from Mainz but from the newly inaugurated Kunsthaus in Graz. Moreover, at the beginning of the year of the Cultural Capital, 3sat and the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF offered their audiences a TV gala night in the Graz Helmut List Hall. The world premiere of Henning Mankell’s "Butterfly Blues" was recorded by 3sat; in October 2003, 3sat showed its documentary "Die Insel in der Mur. Vito Acconci und die Plaza für das neue Millennium" ("The Island in the Mur. Vito Acconci and the plaza for the new millennium"); in December there was a documentary on the new Kunsthaus called "The friendly alien"; the Schilhan film "Harnoncourt probt Offenbach" ("Harnoncourt rehearses Offenbach") paid tribute to the styriarte 2003 and in the theatre realm, the 3sat theatre magazine "Foyer" dedicated one of its programmes to the productions of Graz 2003. In December 2003, 3sat presented the balance of Graz 2003 - Cultural Capital of Europe under the name of "Graz kommt an" ("Graz pleases").

On the national level, the 03 media partnership with the ORF assumed an outstanding role: Martin Traxl presented "Treffpunkt Kultur" twice live in Graz, the first time at the launching of the Cultural Capital and the second time at the opening of the Kunsthaus. Felix Breisach shot a film about Graz 2003 for the break of the New Year’s concert 2003 with Nikolaus Harnoncourt that was broadcasted worldwide. And there was an ORF Sommer-Kulturgespräch ("Summer culture talk") with Wolfgang Lorenz and Graz artists on the Island in the Mur. From the multitude of other ORF programmes about the Cultural Capital’s topics and projects - in the "Zeit im Bild" news, "Treffpunkt Kultur" and the regional news "Steiermark heute" - we would like to point to the two "Österreich Bild" news programmes on the opening and the closing of the Cultural Capital, Regina Strassegeger’s Inge-Morath-Portrait that was produced for Graz 2003, and numerous documentaries that also concentrated on single projects such as the exhibition "Phantom of Lust", the "Homeless Street Soccer World Cup", the "Mountain of Memories" and Gert Jonke’s Chorphantasie.

However, many other internationally renowned TV channels also showed in-depth reports and documentaries on the Cultural Capital: The Hungarian Duna TV devoted an entire TV evening of five hours to Graz 2003, Arte presented two detailed "Metropolis" programmes about Graz 2003 beside regular coverage, while ALPHA Österreich produced documentaries on the projects "senseless", the "Mountain of Memories" and "Phantom of Lust". NHK came from Japan to film the opening of the Cultural Capital and to interview Vito Acconci about the Island in the Mur. On the occasion of the "Homeless Street Soccer World Cup", more than 20 TV stations travelled to Graz, including the US sports channel ABC ESPN, which reported continuously from the street soccer courts in the centre of Graz in August.

3 sat (D), Alpha Österreich (A), ARD (D), Arte (F), Bayern Alpha (D), DRS (CH), Duna TV (H), DW World (D), Entv-Leoben (A), Euronews (F), HTV (HR), Greek TV, HTV (GB), MDR (D), MTV2 (H), NHK (JP), NDR (D), Phoenix (D), ORF (A), RAI (I), RA Maribor (SI), RA Slovenija 1 (SI), RTV Maribor (SI), RTV Slovenija (SI), Steiermark 1 (A), SVT 1/2 (S), TV Petersburg (RU), SF1/2 (CH), TSI 1 (CH), ZDF (D), RTL (D), CNN (USA), BBC (GB), Saarländischer Rundfunk (D), CANALE 5 (I), WDR (D), Radio Bremen (D), ATV (A), Telemadrid (E), NET (GR), Deutsche Welle TV (D), Tele+ (I), TV 4 Göteborg (S), HBO (USA), ABC ESPN (USA), Skysport (I), CNN Türkei (TR)

The media co-operation was also high on the agenda for the radio. In particular the well-known ORF quality radio channel Ö1 was fully involved: The ORF started the all-year Ö1 programme "gehört.gewusst", a culture quiz that was broadcasted live from the 03 bar every Sunday. Furthermore, Ö1 always recommended events in the Cultural Capital in its weekly club programme "Schon gehört?".

Apart from the regular coverage by different Austrian channels, there were a number of in-depth reports by international radio channels: In May 2003, the Berlin RBB was on-air for 8 hours and reported live from Graz, BBC Merseyside in December for four hours. In October DeutschlandRadio Berlin visited Graz and transmitted three hours live and one hour in June. The Swedish P1 "Kulturnytt" covered the opening and presented Graz for several minutes a day while Radio 1 (NL) offered specific programmes focusing on the Cultural Capital in February, March and September. Several hours’ contributions were also made by the Hungarian public radio, the Swiss DRS 1 and the National Public Radio (USA).