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Global Space Malaysia: Palm Oil Production - Curse and Blessing


Date / Venue: Thu, 11 January, 2018, 7:00 pm; AAI, Clubraum (ground floor)
Speaker: Aryunni Abu Bakr (Malaysia/Salzburg)

Palm oil has hit the headlines. To meet growing demand, large areas of valuable rainforest are cleared, resulting in huge monocultures using insecticides and fungicides. The industrial extraction of palm oil is also associated with environmental pollution. On the other hand, palm oil replaces petroleum-based products as a renewable biomass in many applications and provides many jobs in developing countries as it is much more labor-intensive than the oil and gas industry. Aryunni Abu Bakar provides a differentiated picture of the second-largest industry in Malaysia.

Presentation in English. EN-DE translation during the debate.

Dancing at the weekend


Instructor: DJ Jhonny (Latino Mio)

Date/venue: Fri, 20 October, 24 November 2017 and 19 January 2018, AAI, Studyroom (2nd Floor)

Contribution: 20 Euro /  15 Euro Students or SN Card holders

Latino Mio takes you deep into the world of Cuban Salsa, Kizomba, and Bachata! Dance with swing and hot rhythms on a relaxed weekend. During the intensive dance workshop you will learn the basic step combinations and individual figures. No previous experience or dance partner is required and after the workshop, it is possible to take part in one of the regular Salsa courses that Latino Mio offers.

A joint event by: AAI Salzburg, Latino Mio

Glorified goddesses - oppressed women?


Worshipped as goddesses – but oppressed as women?

On Thursday November 30th 2017 an event took place in the Clubroom of the collegiate church, which addressed an important topic. Many women and girls in India are still systematically oppressed and forced to follow their husband’s or their father´s requests. There has been a lot of media attention world wide, but not much has changed yet. An interesting controversy is the fact that there a goddesses that are being worshipped but at the same time women are oppressed - how can that be possible?

This panel discussion consisted of Sumeeta Hasenbichler and Nayana Bhat from India as well as Christian Hackbarth-Johnson from the University of Salzburg and was led by an associate of the AAI.
Why goddesses in Hinduism are mightier than the gods on the one side and on the other side Indian women have to face oppression and violence and are less valued than men? Christian Hackbarth-Johnson, a researcher in intercultural studies also specialised in Hinduism, explained the concept of this religion. In fact, Hinduism can be seen as Monotheism. The different gods and goddesses are mere symbols and representations of different qualities and should not be confused with a person itself.

By contrast Nayana Bhat, a journalist and dancer from South India living in Austria, states that the female oppression lies in the fear of men to lose their social position. Women as bearer of new life seem to be a threat for men. This is also expressed in Hinduism, where goddesses are always more powerful than their male counterparts.

Sumeeta Hasenbichler and Nayana Bhat shared their personal experience about growing up in India as a female. One common experience was the fact that women would never go out in the dark in big cities like New-Delhi, because it’s too dangerous. In addition, a woman never smiles in public, because that could be interpreted wrong and a man could think this is a signal of interest or an invitation.

Christian Hackbarth-Johnson spoke about the important role of Hinduism in the Indian society and its influence on the status of women. In the course of the conversation it was clear that since globalisation has reached India in the last decades, a lot has changed especially for women belonging to the middle and upper class. They are more likely to have good education and to live independently from men.  
The visitors asked questions as well and the panel discussion developed into an interesting exchange.

Further input was given by watching a short movie about the “Gulabi Gang”. The “Pink Gang” is a movement with about 150.000 followers. They try to make a change regarding the handling of women. When all words fail, they are not afraid to use a bamboo truncheon, in order to gain more respect.

Later in the evening everyone was invited to join the delicious Indian food and to have a chat.    

Global Space Mexico


On November 16th, Mario Téllez Girón Carmona, a political science student from Mexico, gave a talk entitled "The Positive Power of Social Media" at the AAI, through which he explained the concept of "Social movement" and presented the main social movements in Mexico.

The term "social movement" refers to a group of individuals who share an identity (women, ecologists, peasants, students, working class, etc.) and the same problems;  and who get united and organized to fight for social change. These groups emerge in response to social crises and the injustices that are committed against these groups.

In addition to this, the mass media always gives greater importance to the governmental point of view when covering the conflicts in which social movements are involved. In this context, the Internet and social networks have the potential to transmit the point of view of these movements to a large number of people and to make their problems and work visible on a national and international level.

The Internet and social networks increase the speed, reach and impact of the communication of these groups. Furthermore, they improve their mobilization efforts, offer a space for discussion where citizens can participate and thereby influence public opinion and provoke the changes they seek. Through the use of the Internet and social networks, these movements expand their knowledge of the struggles in other countries and network with other movements to become more effective. Sometimes social networks even have the effect of protecting the lives of social leaders when they are threatened by paramilitary groups.

Mexico has similar problems to the rest of Latin America and there are social movements in every country fighting against these problems. Two of the fundamental characteristics of Latin American social movements today are that they work independently of political parties and NGOs and that they even start creating their own political parties. A good example of this is the Workers' Party of Brazil (Partido dos Trabalhadores), which emerged from a union. And in Mexico, the EZLN (the Zapatista Army for National Liberation) has chosen a native woman as a candidate for the presidential elections in Mexico for 2018.


Hier are 3 videos to get to know some of the biggest social movements in Latin America:


Mexico: EZLN – The Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Chile: Students Movement

Argentina: Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo

Review of the 5th Salzburg Forum on Development Cooperation


The ”Salzburg Forum” on the 9th of November 2017 provided an opportunity to exchange ideas, to connect and to inform everyone who is interested or involved in third world aid policy. The main focus this time was on the development cooperation in the federal state of Salzburg. Austrian politicians, such as LAbg. Cyriak Schweighofer and LAbg. Gabriele Fürhapter discussed the topic in a panel discussion. This also included the audience and invited everyone to ask questions as well as to talk about their personal experience and concerns regarding third world aid policy.

The audience was composed of representatives of developing-political associations, organisations and initiatives plus interested individuals. Approximately 60 guests showed up and filled the room completely. An excited discussion developed around the issue and the representatives clarified the relevance of their individual projects. Furthermore they also wanted to get meaningful answers from the Politicians. Apart from this it became increasingly apparent that the current situation is not satisfactory, as the financial support of the government is way too little to make a change.

Afterwards the participants were invited to continue to discuss and talk about certain topics in a framework of “Topic tables”. Each table was intended for one topic, namely: “Education projects”, “Work within the country”, “Rural development /infrastructure / renewable energy” and “promotion of women”.

As a thematically linked conclusion the drum group Agidigbo invited everyone to listen to their sounds as they enjoyed some culinary delights.


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