Schwimmverein Donaukanal

Ana Mumladze, Fabian Ritzi, Amelie Schlemmer, Amanda Sperger

FAQ 1: You want to swim in Donaukanal, not Donau? ~ YES

FAQ 2: But the water, is it even clean enough? ~ YES

FAQ 3: The water’s current, safe to jump in? ~ YES

FAQ 4: And is it allowed to swim? ~ YES

FAQ 5: This should be an everyday thing to do? ~ YES

FAQ 6: Swimming in the middle of the city? ~ YES

A jump into the Donaukanal, Vienna © Thomas Meyer

Schwimmverein Donaukanal promotes and shares the activity of swimming in the Donaukanal. Looking back to a long history of swimming in the Kanal we re-activate this activity through our practice of urban swimming.

By documenting these swimming experiences and visualizing them through an online and in-situ mapping of the area as well as archiving historical data and interviews with passionate swimmers we open up the conversation on the social and political dimensions of swimming and bathing culture in Vienna. We explore the history of oppression of the individual body, the development of hygiene norms, available infrastructures and we share the experiences of various social groups who enjoyed swimming in the Kanal over the years. 

The team: Amelie Schlemmer, Ana Mumladze, Amanda Sperger, Fabian Ritzi
© Sebastian Kraner

Schwimmverein Donaukanal HQ at Kunsthaus Hundertwasser during summer 2020
© Thomas Meyer 

The Schwimmverein Donaukanal is a fluid-structure that aims to weave a social fabric around the practice of urban bathing and hopes to encourage citizens to practice their right to swim in the city – an opportunity of recreation in the growing city of Vienna under conditions of global warming. The safety of swimming in the grey area of city regulations deeply relies on self-responsible individuals. Only when we citizens learn to read the Kanal through our senses and embodied experiences the joy of open water swimming in an urban environment unfolds.


June 2020-Ongoing
Ana Mumladze
Fabian Ritzi
Amelie Schlemmer
Amanda Sperger