Welcome to the audio guide for the exhibition New Ages: Austria since 1918. This audio guide takes you through a total of 12 stations that explore the relation between nature and society during that time.
The museum’s education team has created this audio guide for you. My name is Dave Dempsey. My name is Julie McCarthy. Our voices will accompany you on your journey through this exhibition.
That map is the first station. The grey cards in front of it can be taken out. They contain stories from around the world that have a link to Austria. There's even a story from outer space. At the top left corner of the World Map, you see the year 1991.
This is the year Franz Viehböck travelled to outer space—as the first and only Austrian to date. When asked what changed for him when he saw the blue planet from outside, he said,
“I became an environmentalist. When we look at a two-dimensional map of the world, we mainly see land. But from up there you begin to realize how vast the oceans are. They make up two-thirds of our planet. I realized how vulnerable the Earth was when I saw our planet in all its splendour. We saw the atmosphere, which is actually quite thin, like the peel of an apple. You realize how fragile the Earth's crust really is. I saw polluted rivers flow into the pristine ocean. You could see the flames of the ancient forests that were on fire.”
Humans have thrived on planet Earth for over four million years. And have made an impact on the environment ever since. Never before, however, have the changes been as radical as in the twentieth and, now, in the twenty-first centuries.
This audio guide deals with the impact of humans on nature and the environment—and how changes in nature, in turn, affect humans. It also deals with ideas of nature and how it has been used for ideological and political means over time. At the end, we look at environmental movements and the developments in the twentieth century to the present.
But first, let us go back in time, to the nineteenth and early twentieth century.