Farida Heuck

Linguistic Policy as a Technique of Governance

The project Linguistic Policy as a Technique of Governance aimed to develop multilingual utopias that promote the equal treatment of migrant and refugee languages and cultures. The current autonomous status of South Tyrol, where the German-speaking minority in Italy has been protected, served as the model.

“Alongside the agreement over autonomy, the German-speaking population of South Tyrol has benefited most from the drive toward European integration”, Farida Heuck writes. “Austria’s admission into the EU was crucial for the improvement of the basic political conditions in South Tyrol and the Schengen Agreement subsequently caused the dividing aspects of national borders to move into the background for South Tyroleans. This new border regime has, however, made others into minorities and represents the foundation of a racist separation of migrants and refugees. The dogma of European integration policy plays a decisive role in this, as do the compulsory integration courses in which only the respective national languages and cultures count. The residency of many non-EU citizens depends on examination results from these integration courses. Anyone who resists this system or simply fails the finicky reviews is faced with sanctions or, in the worst case, expulsion. This practice is in extreme conflict with the linguistic policy of the United Nations, whose goal is to support multilingualism, since it boosts the personal development of individuals, improves professional mobility and promotes the ability to compete and understand other cultures. Still, whatever multilingualism is seen as enriching it cannot be separated from (post-)colonial experiences or from migrant movements in relation to concepts of the formation of nations and regulation of national languages.”

At Büchsenhausen, Farida Heuck developed a staged discussion on multilingualism in Austria in a public space. It was held in May 2011 on Maria-Theresien-Straße in Innsbruck and formed the basis of her contribution to the group exhibition Getting Ahead: Art Language Cinema Migration.

In the 2011 summer semester, Farida Heuck presented her work and working methods in the Film and Culture Theories in Artistic Practice seminar at the Institute of Languages and Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Innsbruck, which took place under the direction of Dunja Brötz.

Farida HEUCK is a visual artist based in Berlin. Her work repeatedly confronts the area of tension between art and politics. She conceives of her multimedia site- and context-specific installations as an interface between the conditions and the media representation of migration. Central questions concern the inscribing of identity in everyday life, its stereotyping and the resulting criteria of inclusion and exclusion.