April 14, 6 pm
Film screening and panel discussion

Representing Saualm

The film «Representing Saualm» was produced by students in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Klagenfurt as part of their coursework, in collaboration with filmmaker Robert Schabus and artist Zeigam Azizov. The Saualm case achieved unfortunate notoriety as an example of the extremes to which Austrian asylum policies can lead. A group of asylum seekers were made to look like criminals by state politicians, and in some cases by the media, and were banished to an abandoned orphanage on the remote Saualm mountain pasture. This incident is symptomatic of the random acts brought forth by an increasingly cavalier attitude toward human rights and international conventions for the protection of refugees. The fact that here a very small group of people became the central object of a populist politics of exclusion over a long period of time seems virtually paradigmatic for a political and media discourse in Austria that constructs pseudo-problems in an effort to distract attention from serious social challenges by focusing on simple «us against them» antagonisms. … >>