This transdisciplinary migration research project aims to identify and critically analyse migration movements within, from and to Southeast Europe in their historical contingency, complexity and interconnectedness. Departure points may be contemporary social issues as well as historical phenomena uninvestigated to date. The increased application of approaches based in historical anthropology to migration research not only contributes to expand our understanding of historical developments in the region but also creates new opportunities to introduce Southeast Europe into transregional contexts and overcome fixation on the nation-state. In this connection, Vienna not only represents an ideal research base but also a research field, since historical and current migration flows from the region have been directed towards or through Vienna and numerous people from the Balkan region have settled there.
The study of visual culture based in historical anthropology focuses on historical and contemporary images from and of the region, and the examination of the conditions of image production, its use (as a medium of communication), reception and perception. As a subject of research, the ‘image’ comprises analogue as well as virtual images, and also encompasses images as concepts (e.g. stereotypes and prejudice). Moreover, the transdisciplinary study of visual culture includes the question of how the production and use of images of various design impacts on the human being, his or her behaviour and culture. Special attention is given to visual material from private collections, which allows insight into everyday life worlds.