Submarine Frieda

Griesplatz 6
8020 Graz  ♿
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Tue–Sun 11:00–19:00
Free admission thanks to AK Steiermark

Historically, Gries was the lowest part of Graz, which made it prone to flooding and a place where the lower classes and migrants lived—rejected, neglected, and ignored by high society. This went on through different periods of history and, to some extent, continues until today.

We imagine Gries under layers of waters of the past. At its heart lies the time capsule of Submarine Frieda, a former supermarket hiding the structure of a former dance hall. From this submarine, deeply submersed in greenish water, one can observe the buzz of this very lively and exceptional part of town, almost a city in itself.

But who is Frieda? An accidental, fictitious heroine. She was created when members of a pacifist organization active between World Wars I and II altered a photograph of a 1925 demonstration, changing the word “Friede” (peace) to “Frieda” out of fear of persecution by the Nazis. This is reminiscent of how crypto-protest and absurdism function as survival strategies in today’s dictatorships. Frieda stands for all the anonymous heroes and heroines of the past who swam through the maelstrom of oppression.