In post-Corona time, Europe needs a new economic stimulus plan. One that not only helps to improve the economic situation as such, but one which looks forward into the future of ecologic responsability and european integration.
METROPA is an art and peace project that shows Europe as an entity on multiple layers; it anticipates the idea of a paneuropean metro network system that interconnects all its citizens and visitors, and turns them into admirers.
METROPA operates in a future where all ecological, economical, technical and political questions are answered and transformed into a viable comprehension of what could be the United States of Europe sometimes.
METROPA has become a junction of all these topics like mobility, climate change awareness, european integration and migration. Its clear and simple imagery speaks to the people like a current map of any subway in any possible city in Europe. It makes people believe that it is already true. And the more people see it, the bigger the pressure grows on the people in charge – the EU, the companies, the heads of governments.
The idea of a coherent pan-European railway network is obvious, and the already existing one is comprehensive and proven. But its operational system on the basis of nationally organized state railways makes it impossible to perceive it as a unity – thus, it is reduced in its effect.
METROPA is a vision of Europe as it could be in a few decades, broken down to an everyday graphic that shows Europe as a city, as a metropolis: usable for everyone, extensive and universal. And though we all know that it probably won’t look like this and that it will take some decades or more, METROPA is designed as a vision and as a target of our efforts.
METROPA is a vehicle that focuses on mobility as a fundamental human right to carry the complex idea of the European unification process out of the meeting rooms and statutes of the EU bureaucracy into the centre of pan-European society. That is because mind-traveling is the best way to open up the importance of Europe to people.
What Europe needs most is a common myth. A narrative that unites all of us and whose benefits are clear to all. METROPA is a glimpse into the everyday life of the future. Bringing this everyday picture home to all the Europeans, explaining it, discussing it, will get us the story which is necessary to anchor the European idea in the consciousness and subconscious.
Thus, METROPA is a contribution to overcome the current crisis and to make Europe as we all want it: an open, strong continent that preserves its achievements and does not shy away from innovation. A continent in fruitful competition to other global metropolitan areas, inspiration and fascination for the visitors - and pride of its inhabitants.
Today as we're facing the threat of an unknown virus with all its implications, such as the destruction of our economies and growing nationalism, we need a new "Marshall Plan" (U. v.d. Leyen, president of the EU-Commission on April, 5th 2020).
We are working on metropa for 10 years now. We took slow and small steps, historically walking over Financial Crisis, Arab Spring, the War in Syria, Refugee Crisis, the rise of right wing populism. We printed posters and postcards as giveaway presents, then switched to offline-sale in two or three shops in Vienna. Still giving it to «multiplicators», politicians, culture officials, etc.
Things rapidly changed in 2019 with a book and some tweets by Ulrike Guérot: METROPA reached a growing crowd of people, sharing it, liking it, and discussing it.
See here what happened then:
An article in the german good-newspaper newslichter:
"Die Welt braucht gerade jetzt kühne Visionen, wenn unsere Welt besser werden soll. Beim Stichwort Mobilität ist das Projekt Metropa – ein europaweites Schnellbahn-Streckennetz – so eines."
At the end of the month, the next italian magazine published something about metropa – no, metropa itself: as a centrefold for the Kids Mag Internazionale KIDS!
We love the fact that Italy is so much in favor of metropa. It has been struck heavily by COVID-19, but left alone by the European Union, though one of its founding members. Italy is and always was very aware of the european idea. We should stand with our neighbours – we'll certainly need their help once.
Mid April, metropa finally made it to instagram. Another platform to connect with people – far below our own age.
March, 13th – the day when supermarkets ran out of toilet paper:
The Berlin based multilingual online newspaper Berlin89 published the following article by Salvatore Trapani:
We couldn't believe when we saw our picture on the "Großformat"-page of the renowned Sueddeutsche Zeitung on March, 7th in the morning.
here is Gerhard Matzig's text in English (abridged).
Through an unknown linkedIn-post, metropa arrived on numerous social-media pages and went viral:
3500 views, hundreds of comments.
Vienna's vice-mayor Birgit Hebein posted on facebook on Dec, 12:
4000 views, 950 likes, 360 shares, 160 comments
some days later, another friend sent us a PM saying that metropa «is now reddit-famous»:
1000 comments, 11k views, millions of ideas.
On twitter, metropa has already been widely discussed through Ulrike Guérots post since October 16th, 2018.
In Summer 2019, she also asked us to use the metropa-picture for her new book, "What is the Nation?" ("Was ist die Nation?, Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, 2019).