Episode 2: Your bed in Vienna





In September 2015 hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war in Syria and its neighboring countries ended up in Austria, most on their way to countries further north or west. In October hundreds of thousands of people continue to flee, by foot, car, bus, and train. In United States media they are described as waves, masses, a crisis. What makes a crisis? Over the month of September a large volunteer effort collected and organized themselves at Wien Hauptbahnhof, one of two central train stations in Vienna. People set up cooking stations, child care stations, prayer and medical stations, all within the train station. Refugees slept in the train station, outside the train station, and in the extra rooms of the apartments of Vienna residents who opened up their homes. Reconnaissance, Episode 2: Your bed in Vienna describes the scene at and around Wien Hauptbahnhof in September.

yr bed in vienna


Online resources:

Refugee Phrasebook: A multilingual tool that provides basic useful vocabulary related to immediate needs, including medical and legal. Coordinated by a Berlin-based support group.

Train of Hope: Independent, self-organized group of volunteers coordinating supplies, medical, transport, and bureaucratic support for refugees at Haputbahnhof Wien (Vienna Central Train Station). @HBF_Vie

Schienenersatzverkehr für Flüchtende «Escape Aid for Refugees»: Information about providing safe convoy to refugees through Europe.

2. Internationale Schlepper- & Schleusertagung «Second International & Smuggling Conference», Munich, October 2015

‎اعتصام غراتس «Flüchtlinge Graz» «Refugees Graz»: Self-organized group of refugees from Syria and Iraq waiting or seeking asylum in Graz, Austria.

Asylkoordination Österreich «Asylum Coordination Austri: Organization advocating for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Austria since 1991. A list of member organizations and related NGOs can be found on their website here.



Your bed in Vienna was produced by Sarah Mendelsohn and Fred Schmidt-Arenales. It was released on 10.30.2015. The episode features excerpted interviews with activists, refugees, volunteers, and security guards in Vienna. It also features Yammou, a Laz work song from the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey: Meryem Aboulouafa: voice; Laura Unger: voice, guitar, violin; Aziz Boumediene: clarinet; Abdellah Hassak: production. Courtesy of LM (Meryem Aboulouafa and Laura Unger). Thanks to David, Hussein, Joachim, Laura, and Nuradin for talking to us, and to Eva Engelbert for helping us plan the episode.


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