April 29, 2021

Yes, I want to talk to you about the project, which took part here in Graz in Austria. And I had the possibility to participate in this project. It’s called… Yes, so this is one photo. Here you can see, there’s a very old clock tower and underneath you can see a shelter. This is a wooden box. And here you see one person standing. And from this box, you have a wonderful view of the city. So you see all the city as the whole city of Graz underneath you and this hill is in the centre of my town. And early morning and evening at sunrise and sunset, from the 1st of January until the 31st of December 2020 one of the participants stood in the shelter and held watch over the city for an hour. As you can only participate once, altogether 732 people took part in the vigil as watchers so making a collective chain throughout the year. And after this watch, this one hour, you go back to the clock, and on the top of the clock near the room and there you write in the book about the experience, and about your impressions and thoughts.

I had my watch at sunrise so when I walked up the hill, it was still dark and everything was quiet, all the city, the city was still sleeping. I met the person, this is kind of guide who informed me about the procedure, and I had also to leave my mobile and my watch and all my belongings with the guide. And then I was taken to the shelter. On both sides of the shelter, there’s a big glass window. So you could look either side. And I had the whole hour, had nothing to do but just to watch what was going on down in the city. For me it was a really new experience because I’d never spent so much time at a similar spot, and I had no distractions. And I was completely alone, everything was quiet, I only had my ideas and my thoughts. And when I heard a knock at the door, I was very surprised to see my guide who told me that my time in the shelter was already over. After this watch, we climbed up this clock tower to the top and there was a room, it used to be the room for the guard of the tower.

In the past this clock tower had important functions in the dark in the town. It not only told the people, the citizen of the town the time but also informed them when there was a fire in the town. So many guards had lived and done their work in this clock tower since the 16th century. And so for me it was such an experience to be in this room which is normally completely closed for the public. And I could sit down and write in the book what…about my experiences. So I really was very inspired by this moment.

I…there was a possibility to be a guide, so I had the chance to accompany other people or other participants who wanted to do the watch. And so I made…I had the chance to meet many people of different ages and I felt completely… I felt deeply connected to them because in a way we shared the common, a common experience. We all love our city, and we all want the best for our city. And I think in our conversations we had a very, not a superficial level, but a very deep, a deep understanding. And I think normally you never have with strangers, such a deep connection. And I think every person who spends an hour in this shelter is never the same person afterwards. So I got this impression and the feelings. And I was very thankful that I could participate in this project, yes, which took place last year. So this was my experience. Thank you so much for listening to me.

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