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Team at the Europaplatz in Vienna: Univ.-Doz. Dr.in Heidemarie Uhl (project director) Dr. Vrääth Öhner Univ.-Prof. DDr. Oliver Rathkolb Dr.in Katharina Wegan Mag.a Gertraud Diendorfer (project coordination)

Project ICONCLASH. Collective Icons and Democratic Governance in Europe.
In the framework of the research program >node< (New Orientations for Democracy in Europe) of the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (bm:bwk)

Project Description
Images or rather their aggregation into icons, are of high importance by creating patterns of cultural realization, collective perceptions concerning political and social reality as well as their principles of order and structures of power. Perceptions of coherence and "difference", or "otherness", are often much more influenced by media produced visual representations than by texts and contents. Thereby the implied norms and values dominate actions and influence the political day-to-day life.

Questions like democratic governance and transnational identity in Europe were the focus of the project: Europe as a contested space becomes more and more negotiated via worlds of publicly communicated images in the information and media society.

The aggregation of the publicly communicated images to become icons was analysed in a vertical approach from the Maastricht-process in the middle of the 1980s, until the very present. The focus was placed on the hidden structures of power (especially with regard to possibilities of political participation) and political and social (gender-) orders as well as on the construction of broad reception of perceptions of Europe, her central value horizons and the (non-european) "other", which is created by distance against the foreigner.

The aim of the project was to analyse and decode the value and norm systems which are negotiated in the European icons by using the theoretical concept of the iconic turn and to explore (subcutaneous) counter narratives to the official political orientations of democratic governance and active citizenship in Europe as well as to strengthen the "media competence" (Claus Leggewie) as a precondition of participation in a civil society.

Executing organisation: Democracy Centre

Dr.in Heidemarie Uhl (project director) heidemarie.uhl@oeaw.ac.at
Mag.a Gertraud Diendorfer (project coordination) diendorfer@demokratiezentrum.org
Dr. Vrääth Öhner
Univ.-Prof. DDr. Oliver Rathkolb oliver.rathkolb@univie.ac.at
Dr.in Katharina Wegan
Mag.a Petra Dorfstätter dorfstaetter@demokratiezentrum.org

Cooperation Partners
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Moritz Csaky (Austrian Academy of Science / Commission for Culture Studies and History of Theatre)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie (Centre for Media and Interactivity, Justus Liebig University Giessen)
Dr. Valerie Robert (Universite Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, Forschungsgruppe EA 182 "Societes et cultures des pays de langue allemande aux 19e, 20e et 21e siecles" / DESS de formation a la pratique du journalisme europeen, mention journalisme franco-allemand")

Dr. Fabrice Larat (Department of Political Science, University of Mannheim)
Dr. Dr. Eva Kovacs (Teleki-Laszlo-Foundation, Budapest)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Niedermueller (Department of European Ethnology / Humboldt University Berlin)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sieglinde Katharina Rosenberger (Institute for Political Science, University of Vienna)

A product of the project is the Picture Atlas EUrope.

© Demokratiezentrum Wien

Picture Atlas EUrope

Images of Europe

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