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Critiques of Power in the Arts

We were guests at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

From April 25 to 27, 2024, an international congress on the topic of "Critiques of Power in the Arts" took place at the mdw - the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. This event was initiated by the mdw's Gender Equality Office in collaboration with numerous other organizations. Topics included power structures and social inequalities in music and the performing arts, violence and hierarchies in music education as well as global asymmetries and criticism of decolonization.

The events ranged from classic discussions and inputs to performances and dancefloor spaces. As an association, we were asked to provide input on how to deal with sexualized violence in the music industry. This took place as part of the panel on "Tricky Moments", a web tool developed at the mdw to facilitate discrimination-sensitive teaching at universities. The panel consisted of Axel Petri-Preis, professor at the mdw and involved in the development of tricky moments, Sabine Reiter, managing director of mica - music austria, and Conni Ettinger from Sisters of Music, a non-profit network for women in the Austrian music industry. The event was moderated by Ulli Mayer, who works in the mdw's Equal Opportunities Office.

"Tricky Moments" is a tool designed to identify "tricky" situations that reveal structural inequalities, power imbalances and abuses in teaching practice as well as in other musical spaces and cultural institutions. These situations may reflect sexist, racist or otherwise discriminatory behavior. The tool is intended for students at universities, even if they have a bad feeling about a situation but cannot name exactly what is problematic about it. "Tricky Moments" is designed to help identify and address such situations.

It was an extremely exciting discussion with lots of new food for thought and ideas, different perspectives and lots of interesting people, and it was great to contribute our views. We've also become big fans of Tricky Moments - a tool that should be available at all universities. We would like to thank the mdw Vienna for the invitation and look forward to working with them again!



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April 26, 2024



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