VIENA CHILENA. The history of Chilean migration history to Vienna since the military coup of 1973

This project has taken an innovative participative approach to representing migration history with and for, instead of about, its protagonists. 50 years after the military coup in Chile and the wave of flight it had triggered, this project is dedicated to the migration experience of all Viennese with a Chilean background. The Chilean diaspora since 1973–in Austria, between 1500 and 2000 Chileans found asylum–was the beginning of political refugee movements in the context of the Cold War and cleared the way for victims of political persecution from other Latin American countries. This project tracks this experience of arrival and life in Austria, and particularly Vienna, through biographical interviews and documents; compares it with the experience of cohorts of migrants who arrived later and without a dimension of exile; and creates a space for it within Vienna's larger topography of remembrance.

The project is thus situated at the intersection of post-migrant urban anthropology and memory research. It was realized in cooperation with representatives of Vienna's Chilean community and aims, with its participative approach, to provide specific means for collective articulation and empowering self-representation – an enlargeable community archive for the collection of biographical narration and private photos and documents, as well as a virtual exhibition that conveys the key findings of the project:

Thus, the Chilean experience becomes visible as a part of the post-migrant memory culture of Austria and Vienna.

The participative concept, which has defined the project systematically throughout all its phases (design, collection, research, dissemination/education), is a central innovation of this endeavor. Even beyond autonomous knowledge production and its societal impact, the project can thus be seen as a pilot study to develop a methodological tool kit for the self-governed examination and representation of other post-migrant communities – an empowering process that is directed within and without the community.

Concept and direction: Berthold Molden
Oral History: Rayen Cornejo Torres
Data collection: Rayen Cornejo Torres, Gabriela Jorquera, Andrés Peña, Miguel Peña, Marcela Torres
Community work: Gabriela Jorquera, Andrés Peña, Miguel Peña, Marcela Torres
Virtual exhibition: Marika Schmiedt
Archive and website: Dominik Hruza