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The Austrian Ambassador talks about teaching at local universities and the exhibition of his paintings in Astana

Willy Kempel

city — Astana, Austrian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, artist


The Austrian Ambassador talks about teaching at local universities and the exhibition of his paintings in Astana

Ambassador of Austria to Kazakhstan

About me

I am the Austrian Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. I have been living in Astana for three and a half years. During this time, I have seen a lot and worked to contribute to the development of relations between our countries.

I'm also an artist and a poet. I started writing poetry when I was 8 years old, performing on stage at 14, and drawing at 20. It may seem that diplomacy and creativity are incompatible things, but in fact it's all about the positive energy of people that I encounter. Being an Ambassador and an artist are two sides of the same coin. My colleague, the Ambassador of Japan, plays the trumpet. The other day, in Honor of the National Day of Japan, he played the anthems of Japan and Kazakhstan. My other colleague from Sweden is an opera singer. We should not be shy about showing our individuality through art.

About the activity

I have dreamed of becoming a diplomat since I was 10 years old. I studied at the school, which was located next to the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. I decided that one day I would find myself outside these walls, and I did it. Graduated from this academy at the age of 21, and received an MBA degree at the age of 23. At 24, I already started working in the Ministry.

Astana art

Today I teach at the university myself. I have been lecturing on European integration since the time of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, teaching classes on the formation of diplomacy in Ancient Greece and how it developed in the European Union until today. I'm talking about everything through the prism of history.

I also teach poetry in English and German. I tell students about how poetry can be used in different forms, and that poetry is a modern language that can be used for political messages, for advertising or public relations.

I worked at the United Nations, in the environment program. I talk about protecting the environment through art. For me, creativity is a way to teach people something. My works are abstract, the main theme is energy. In Kazakhstan, I made a series of works with women's braids — it is a symbol of female power, protection of women's rights.

Foreign ambassadors to Kazakhstan

This spring, the HAS SANAT gallery will host the opening of my exhibition. It will last until April 24th. The gallery will feature 32 paintings together with an artist from Tunisia. Everyone will be able to view and purchase my works. We have made prices affordable, since the main goal is not to earn money, but to share positive energy through paintings. Also, my paintings don't have names. If someone is interested in buying, I can discuss it with the buyer.

About Central Asia

I have traveled a lot in Kazakhstan. He visited almost all major cities from Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey in the East to Uralsk in the West. During my travels, I saw the beauty of the country and its endless steppes. Coincidentally, the name of my exhibition is Infinity. For me, this word has three meanings. First, if you go on a trip to Kazakhstan, you will feel what infinity is. I feel it even when I go to Borovoye. The second meaning is human thinking, the soul. A person can do a lot if he wants to. The third value is energy, it has no end point, faith in positive energy is also infinity.

artists from Astana

The people of Central Asia radiate the energy of hospitality, which is why many of my works are full of yellow, orange and red colors — these colors are associated with warmth. It is also felt that people have a lot of energy because they want to move their country forward.

About working in Central Asia

Recently, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria met with our President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Vienna, where we discussed cooperation between universities.

There is an Austrian library in one of the Almaty universities. We also cooperate with Al-Farabi University on the topic of the environment, and the Kazakh-German University has a program on tourism. In Astana, at Maksut Narikbayev University, we are making plans to work in different directions, especially in the field of tourism and foreign languages. There are plans to start discussing cooperation with the Eurasian National University.

how to work as an ambassador

There are programs in Austria that provide scholarships to foreign applicants, and there are also summer schools where you can come to study German.

My main area of cooperation with Central Asia is logistics, as about 400 Austrian companies cooperate with Kazakhstan. We also work to support the environment. In April, Kazakhstan will become a business platform where I will speak on the topic of agriculture, water and forests. These are the main themes of the year not only in Kazakhstan, but also in Europe. We must work together, not only to change our behavior in the use of natural resources, but also to create a plan for the future, how to properly use these resources.

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