Der dritte Raum is an artistic concept founded in the town of Graz in 2014, aiming at the enhancement of the synthesis between the capital of Styria and region of Southeastern Europe. The main idea behind this project is through a form of visual expression - documentaries - to reflect on cultural and socio-political issues, bringing them in that way closer to the audience.
Why der dritte Raum?
The term is borrowed from Homi K. Bhabha, a cultural theorist, who discussed the concept of "third space" as an imaginary intermediate in which hierarchies and dichotomies between cultures are reduced and constantly renegotiated.
Having a long tradition of being a student city, Graz has become a popular site for many students around the world, attracting a significant number of citizens from the former Yugoslavia. In this way, the city represents a sort of microcosm, or as some connoisseurs of the Balkans would say a “Yugosphere“ for the students coming from this region. There are cultural, musical, and artistical associations in which young people from the Balkans work together; a growing interdisciplinary academic centre focusing on wide-ranging issues in the Southeastern Europe; creative architects successful in changing the urban environment in Austria and abroad. Graz is becoming thus a place in which a vibrant cooperation among the citizens from the Balkans exists, providing them with a possibility of working, studying and living together. There is, unfortunately, after the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia, no city in the Balkans that can provide this kind of dynamic between the people coming from this region. This is why we see the city of Graz as an alternative, a third space. Hence, the idea of naming our concept as – Der dritte Raum.
Projects and objectives
The first project in this context is a documentary on the Nobel-prize winner Ivo Andrić, who was also a student in Graz, where he received his doctoral degree. He also entered the Yugoslav diplomatic service in the capital of Styria. And just as Graz was sort of starting point for Andrić in his professional life, this documentary will thematically start from Graz as well. Simultaneously, by working on this documentary, we are preparing the ground for another project, which will reflect the relationship between the capital of Styria and students coming from Southeastern Europe. In addition to this, one of the main ideas behind our documentaries is to serve as an educational tool for researchers, students and universities.