Article 7 – Our Right!
Many people believe that an archive – and a state one at that – houses only the history of the winners. Article 7 – Our Right! shows that in archives, it is also possible to track down the stories of nearly forgotten battles. The documentary film by Thomas Korschil and Eva Simmler comprises, for the most part, archive material from the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF. The material documents the decade-long struggle by the Slovenes in Carinthia to implement Article 7 of the Austrian State Treaty, which provides for the equality of ethnic minorities. The film concentrates mainly on the conflict surrounding the installation of bilingual place-name signs, a conflict running throughout nearly the entire history of the Second Republic. The Carinthian provincial government's most recent defiance of the constitutional court's rulings are thus part of a long tradition of deliberate defiance of the legal basis through Austrian governments of their own State. This tradition of organized breach of law is proven through amazing documents, which reach back to the 1970s and document not only the concerted sabotage of the installation of bilingual town signs by parts of the German-speaking Carinthian population, but also a broadly based relationship to the national socialist past that is hard to distinguish from unbroken affirmation.
Article 7 – Our Right! shows not only recordings of riot-like uproars against the implementation of constitutional rights, which have practically disappeared from public awareness, but at a more general level it makes clear how an archive, in the same way that it organizes remembering, can organize forgetting.
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt
Awareness comes from being aware. Insights extend the body of human knowledge, they are stored in the memory banks of the brain, and are therefore a representation or model of reality. The word ‘remembrance’ contains the inner awareness, the entering into consciousness, the recalling of otherwise forgotten knowledge. Thomas Korschil and Eva Simmler work with both memory and awareness in their precise review of the situation of the Slovenian minority in Austria. They recall, in numerous tense interviews with activists from the seventies and eighties, the conflicts which occurred around the justified attempts to remove social inequalities.