Photo by Samuel Clara on Unsplash

Facts about autonomy

This 10-minute video describes South Tyrol’s long journey from a threatened minority region to an autonomous province characterised by strong self-government and seen as a worldwide model for minority protection. The video pays particular attention to explaining the individual mechanisms that make it possible for the three language groups to live peacefully together. It is available in six languages (German, Italian, English, Arabic, Mandarin and Russian) with subtitles on our YouTube channel “Autonomy Experience”.


Autonomy and the protection of minorities are omnipresent in the everyday life of South Tyroleans. However, people living in South Tyrol often do not consciously perceive the significance that South Tyrol’s autonomy and the protection of minorities hold for each individual and for society as a whole. “Understanding Autonomy”, a multilingual podcast series available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other popular podcast platforms, pursues precisely this goal: to learn to understand autonomy. Experts who deal with the topic of autonomy in different fields provide insights into specific issues of South Tyrolean autonomy.

The Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano and the Center for Autonomy Experience of Eurac Research have planned a total of ten episodes on various topics. “The first episode is about the basic question of what autonomy actually is,” explains the head of the Center for Autonomy Experience, Marc Röggla. “In the further course, the historical background or the legal basis of South Tyrol autonomy will be examined. The role of autonomy for South Tyrol’s youth and language groups will also be in focus.”

The podcaster of “Understanding Autonomy” is the journalist Anita Rossi. Nadia Rungger takes on this role in the Ladin episode. The podcast was produced in the studio of Radio Grüne Welle.

Autonomy Experience, together with the Vereinigte Bühnen Bozen and the Institute for Contemporary History of the University of Innsbruck, has created the podcast “Option. Stimmen der Erinnerung. Le Opzioni in Alto Adige Südtirol.”

Option means having a choice. Having options in life is usually perceived positively. For South Tyrol, however “the Option” is one of the darkest chapters in history. The population was faced with an almost impossible decision: to “stay” and thus to choose their place of residence and home – however, with the prospect of giving up the German-speaking identity or “opting” for the German Empire in order to preserve the mother tongue and traditions, but losing South Tyrol as home.

In the podcast, South Tyrolean contemporary witnesses give insights into their emotional world and tell first-hand about their memories. “The Option” is also illustrated by selected experts in the podcast.

The podcast is in German and Italian.