Since 2017, Austria is governed by a right-wing coalition that is – among others – deeply homophobic. The junior coalition partner, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), has been opposing same-sex marriage and LGBTIQ* rights for years. Now in power, they have been cutting funding for LGBTIQ* (and feminist) organizations and even tried to revoke a supreme court verdict legalizing same-sex marriage.
It appears that since the Austrian society has been drifting increasingly to the right, seemingly arbitrary images, posters, text, stickers and paintings addressing a. o. issues of inequality, nationalism or racism take up public space at the same time. Not few of them are connected to queer-political issues and address subjects such as queer visibility, LGBTIQ* rights, gender equality and homophobia. Against this background, this project looks at ‘unconventional’ queer-political participation in Austria and contributes to the field of political participation research as well as empirical queer studies. It analyses technique, visual imagery and context of queer-political graffiti documented in 2017/ 2018 in Vienna.
Graffiti has been a form of political participation for decades, if not for centuries (Olteanu 2013). Moreover, it has been a vital part of the LG(BTIQ*) movement and LGBTIQ* citizens have used it to (re)claim public space. However, there are only few studies that examine graffiti as a mean of political participation and even fewer focusing on LGBTIQ*/ queer politics. This project tries to fill this gap.
Project Team: Edma Ajanovic and Michael Hunklinger