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Will you marry me? Marriages of convenience in times of crises. The Nazi era and nowadays.

Event Label
Organisational Units
Fine Arts
Location Venue (1)
Studio Building
Location Address (1)
Lehárgasse 8
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1060 Vienna
Location Room (1)
1. floor, studio south

Lecture by Henrie Dennis and Prof. Dr. Irene Messinger, FH Campus Wien, social work. Organized by the Post-Conceptual Art Studio and Prof. Marina Grzinic at the Institute of Fine Arts. Open to the general public.

Marriages of convenience (MOC) during the Nazi regime allowed persecuted women to flee from the Third Reich to a country of exile, to ensure their stay there or to prevent deportation, by marrying a foreign national for papers only. Irene Messinger traced and analyzed 100 cases of women who tried to save their life that way. Their stories underline the importance of pre-existing networks, be it family members or politically like-minded people as an active part in escaping from the Nazi regime (Irene Messinger).

In reference to nowadays, why are there doubles standards? Who profits from these standards? Who sustains these standards? Whose safety is justified and prioritized? Who deserves to marry to save a life and who deserves to be married to be saved?

Henrie Dennis is art curator and activist who advocates for the visibility, lives, and realities of queer Africans.

Irene Messinger is a political scientist whose award-winning PhD thesis and book deals with MOC in the Austrian Alien Law (2012) from an intersectional perspective. 2013-2016 she was focusing on MOC during the Nazi period. In 2017 she published the commented memoirs of Anita Bild, a persecuted Viennese dancer who continued her career in the UK due to a MOC in 1939. Her research agenda focuses on Migration Policies and Migration Research, as well as Biographies, Gender and Social Justice. She teaches at the University of Vienna and at the University of Applied Sciences, Department for Social Work.

Event supported by Afro Rainbow Austria.