„der Türckische Säbel ist vor der Thür…“ (Abraham a Sancta Clara)*

A reasessment of images representing the Turks in Vienna

In Cooperation with the Social Anthropology Research Unit of the ÖAW

The research-project „der Türckische Säbel ist vor der Thür…“ A reasessment of images representing the Turks in Vienna“ is concerned with monuments and artefacts, dispersed in the public space, belonging to or commenting and reminding the time of the turkish siege of Vienna. The aim of the project is neither an interpretation of the monuments in connection with stereotyping or negative demarcations, as intended in other researches into the same monuments, nor in the sense of the exact counterpart of the first possibility, an idealising appropriation: the project aims to facilitate a reflexive use of this specific kind of „cultural heritage“. In consequence, the analysis will be concerned with:

  • the respective historical context of the origin,
  • the motives leading to the disappearance or abolition of a monument, and
  • especially the layers of time when single monuments were reinterpreted or charged with changed meaning.

Thus, multiple layers of historical developments and meanings linked with it up to the present time have to be uncovered and made accessible for a reflexive examination. Resulting from that, instances of demarcation connected with the construction of identities are exposed. Thus, monuments and artefacts about the time of the turkish siege of Vienna are rendered symbolic for the operations of our mind. The results of the researches conducted during the project will be made accessible in an interactive map of Vienna in the internet.