Awarded Grantees

2022 Grantees:

Grantee: Spearneac-Wolfer Paul

Project title: Questioning the local: Creating a counter-archive of migrant experience in the Viennese agricultural industry

Project Medium: Dialogical Photography / Multimedial Exhibition 

Description: In the Simmeringer Haide, Vienna, around thirty traditional-familial businesses conduct year-long greenhouse-based production, rendering the site a major producer of local and organic vegetables for Austria. Yet, from a labor union perspective, this confined greenhouse complex is a troubled rather than idyllic place of local food production, as workers live isolated near greenhouses that count as private property, and official inspections are seldom. So far, my research indicates an estimated number of 250 – 300 employed workers, solely from Romania, and the prevalence of malpractices of several forms (housing conditions, wages).

The following visual project aims to counter the invisibilization of Romanians in the agricultural industry. Through dialogic collaboration with workers, I want to develop audio-visual registers which trace their physical movements and surroundings, motivations, and biographies, in which the Simmeringer Haide is often only one period within a life-long endeavor of transnational laboring. Eventually, the project aims to create a multimodal “counter-archive” of migrant labor history as intrinsic to the otherwise cherished agricultural industry in Vienna.

Grantee: Thomas Isabel

Project title: Those Complex Blues: Music and the Heritage of Anti-Establishmentism

Project Medium: Documentary film, public conversation and pop-up exhibition

Description: A short documentary film highlighting the similarities and contradictions between industrial heritage and popular music heritage in the post-industrial region of the South Wales Valleys UK. While the culture of the area is typically associated with brass bands and male voice choirs, the reality shows a strong history of rock and blues music. In the pub gigs music scene, bands perform covers of pop, rock and blues ‘classics’ from the area alongside songs from elsewhere, especially the US, and often with lyrics conveying anti-establishment messages. By doing so, they become part of the local cultural history of this particular political and social attitude, which may itself be a form of Welsh working-class heritage. I intend to use the audiovisual medium to engage with communities and open up critical discussion on what heritage might mean for different people in a modern, globalized Wales. Additionally, I plan to create a community-centric event in South Wales (likely Pontypridd) which involves the dissemination of my research on industrial heritage and popular music heritage in the post-industrial region of the South Wales Valleys UK. This will involve a pop-up exhibition, screening of my documentary film, public discussion and musical performance. I intend to use the audiovisual medium to engage with communities and open up critical discussion on what heritage might mean for different people in a modern, globalized Wales.

Grantee: Toncu Maria

Project title: Dacia. Some visual narratives for negotiating the collective memory of communist cars

Project Medium: A temporary public exhibition

Description: A temporary public exhibition in Vienna that includes documentary photography, archival photographs, and objects of material culture from communism. This visual and public anthropology exercise employs the audience in the collective remembrance of socialist cars. The audience would be able to recall the cars and participate in the negotiation of their memory. Portraits of car aficionados in nowadays Romania and the object of their affection would be exhibited along with archival photographs, engaging the audience in an exercise of dissipating temporalities, accessing personal histories, and figuring out the car’s economy of affect.

2021 Grantees:

Grantee: Basler Derek 

Project title: The Architectural Layering of History Among the Urban Decay in a Provincial City in Northern Albania

Project Medium: An interactive website utilizing photography/film/audio

Description: Having lived in the northern Albanian city of Shkodër for the past two months conducting research for my master’s thesis, I have found it striking both the quantity and historical diversity of the abandoned and structurally deteriorating buildings throughout the city. As my preliminary ethnographic research has shown, these various structures point to the paradigmatic shifts that have occurred throughout Albania, beginning with national independence in 1912, to the rise of the totalitarian communist regime after the Second World War, into the turbulent democratic transformation of the 1990s. I propose, through an interactive website that combines photography, film, audio, and text, to examine how this abandoned and deteriorating architecture expresses both the literal and figurative fragmenting of history, to draw from Benjamin, and connects to the reckoning of a traumatic past that is continually taking place in contemporary Albania.

Grantee: Raehme Sophie

Project title: MitOhneTakt/WithOrWithoutBeat Part II - CoronaBeats 2020: Transformations, Revelations and Resetting

Project Medium: Documentary Film - audiovisual Smartphone contributions

Description: The transnational documentary film project "MitOhneTakt" (MOT) (WithOrWithoutBeat) consists of 2 parts and focuses on the pandemic and how it changed people's life. The project explores what unites and divides generations in times of the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020. In doing so, the films explore existential crises, challenges, and potentials for transformation and growth that are being negotiated differently by individuals worldwide due to the health crisis. The second part focuses on the changes in rhythm and beat in everyday life of nurses, a chemist, students, and parents around the world in different countries such as Vietnam, Colombia, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Ireland, China, and Ruanda. Moreover, it centers on the positive parts or possibilities of the pandemic for personal transformations. Covering these themes topics such as friendship, closeness and distance, the inability to move freely, and suicide and temporary employment are displayed.

Grantee: Trudelle Tiphaine 

Project title: Pieds-noirs: From Perpetrators to Victims

Project Medium: Documentary film

Description: A short interview-driven documentary related to my thesis ethnographic fieldwork. The project will focus on the former French-Algerian community who left Algeria after the Algerian War. Members of this community are commonly called “pieds-noirs” (“black-feet”). 90% of the settler colonial population was in fact forcefully repatriated to metropolitan France after the war, and the vast majority suffered an intense culture shock, becoming strangers in their own land. I therefore would like to investigate this further, especially as there seems to be a strong intergenerational trauma. Pieds-noirs now mainly live across France, but the majority settled in the Paris area and in the South of France. I am therefore planning on conducting fieldwork there. To enrich my research, I am also in touch with scholars who worked on the Algerian War of Independence and its aftermath.