Initiative Minderheiten Tirol
The association is a non-profit and non-governmental organization, established in 1991, with offices in Vienna and Innsbruck. The Initiative develops and realizes socio-political and cultural projects and acts as a platform, network and mediator for Austrian minorities. It is active in the cultural transfer and dialogue between minorities and majorities – always aiming at better social coexistence.
The special focus of the Initiative can be seen as its unique feature in a region where other associations in the field of migration and interculturality specialize in consultancy and educational matters. The Initiative understands culture as „forms of cultural expressions” and therefore follows a wider and more sophisticated definition, which allows for the presentation of modern cultural work alongside folklore – which then again is reflected critically in the whole process.
The notion of „minority“ that is used by the Initiative is to be understood in a wider sense and is defined not by quantity, but by forms of exclusion from social participation. Thus, the notion of minority include not only traditional Tyrolean groups like the Yenish people, people who migrated or fled, but also women*, homeless people and people of differing sexual orientations.
The Initiative’s work enables representatives and members of minorities to contribute to the societal and cultural processes and to sensitize the public for the enrichment and positive effects that social diversity brings to society. Long-term this should help to encourage contact between different social groups, to raise awareness for existing injustices in our society and eventually to resolve dichotomies conveyed in the media. Within our work, we pursue a crossminority approach and support the collective political action of members of both minority and majority groups in so-called „minority alliances“. This joining of forces aims to draw attention to different, and sometimes interacting, forms of discrimination in order to work together against oppressive structures, such as sexism, racism, homo- and transphobia, ableism, antiziganism, anti-semitism etc.