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Contribution to Collected Edition

Disrupting visual legacies of the ‘eternal enemy’


Kirbis,  Annika
Research Group Empires of Memory, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Kirbis, A. (2020). Disrupting visual legacies of the ‘eternal enemy’. In J. F. Walton, G. Carabelli, M. Jovanović, & A. Kirbis (Eds.), Sharpening the haze: visual essays on imperial history and memory (pp. 59-72). London: Ubiquity Press. doi:10.5334/bcd.b.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-0C18-3
This essay interrogates the visual legacy of the Other as a constitutive figure of empire by contextualising how “metanarratives of exclusionism” continue to operate in the nation-state today. Tracing the persistence and nurturing of the enemy image of the “Turk” in reference to the Ottoman Siege of Vienna, the author explores how certain visual markers still easily trigger and mobilise support for contemporary xenophobic agendas in Austria today. However, the multiplicity of lived realities among Vienna's citizens increasingly disturbs and inverts such exclusive imaginaries of belonging. Critically revisiting Vienna's remembrance of the Siege is key to turn interventions for inclusive memory narratives sustainable.