On Colonial Continuity: Art and Migration in the New EUrope
Ljubomir Bratić, philosopher and writer from Vienna and Ivana Marjanović, curator and theorist from Vienna, discussed the history of Austrian migration and possibilities for artistic intervention in the new EUrope. Introduction and moderation
by Ana Hoffner.
The discourse of European unification, constantly present in all contemporary socio-political, economic and cultural fields, is inextricably connected to the history of European colonialism and expansion. Austria plays an important role in the present process of transition and integration of Eastern Europe into a unified EUrope. Even if Austria is not defined as a colonial power in the hegemonic version of history, Austria’s connection to eastern European states bears signs of colonial domination going back to the Habsburg monarchy. It is evident that colonialism is not a closed historical epoch but rather a form of domination encountered in the present as well. Contemporary Austrian racism, the basis for policies hostile to migrants that result in deportation and illegality, derives its tradition from the history of European colonialism. Without this tradition, racist practices (which are widely supported by the Austrian population) would not be possible today. For this reason it is necessary to investigate the continuity of colonial modes of operation, not in order to formulate an essential declaration on Austria’s past, but to facilitate action in the present.
Ana HOFFNER (*1980 in Yugoslavia) is an artist, theorist, performer and mentor based in Vienna. Hoffner studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and works in the fields of queer and migrant/postcolonial politics. Her projects include exhibitions, performances, lectures and publications in Austria and abroad.
Ivana MARJANOVIĆ is co-founder of the Galerie Kontekst in Belgrade and, in 2010, was working on her PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
Ljubomir BRATIĆ is a philosopher and independent writer. His book Politischer Antirassismus: Selbstorganisation, Historisierung als Strategie und diskursive Intervention (en.: Political Antiracism: Self-Organization, Historicization as a Strategy and Discursive Intervention) was published in 2010 by Löcker Verlag. Ljubomir Bratić lives in Vienna.
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