Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes Fotografie
Johanna Auberger (20, Linz, Austria), first-year student of European Studies, after taking a year out to participate in a Worldwide Opportunities for Organic Farming (WWOOF) project
Loves: skiing, snowboarding, outdoor pursuits
“I had the pleasure of working for three months on a skiing station in Austria, which meant I could go skiing everyday. That was the perfect life for me! I love being outside, in nature; the summer is good for hiking, especially in the Alps. The landscape is so fascinating there! It's extremely beautiful and diverse. You can see all the lakes, the rivers and the mountains. It gives you a feeling of freedom and solitude that one can't experience in a stressful city.”
Participating in the Worldwide Opportunities for Organic Farming – or WWOOFing, as she calls it – is also a great way to be out in nature. “You work outside every day and you get so much responsibility; the farmers place so much trust in you. You learn about the habitat and how to grow things from nature.”
Hates: social attitudes in Austria, racism, right-wing media
“In Austria we have a very complicated history with National Socialism and there is a culture of blame within Austrian society. If you compare the election votes at least half of the population is extremely right-wing. And you can say and do a lot of controversial things. For example, it’s okay to call someone 'nigger'; a lot of people do. I was walking with a black friend of mine one time and it happened several times that people would say out loud 'there’s a nigger'. So it’s evident that the majority of people have no problem with that kind of discrimination.
“Also, we have this one big newspaper, the Kronen Zeitung, which everyone reads. It’s a really right-wing newspaper and it's horrible to read because it promotes these kinds of social values. The editorial section is shocking. It blames people from other countries for all the ills of the world.”