Exhibition documents 50 years of guest workers

A new exhibition called ‘Avusturya! Österreich!’ documents 50 years of Turkish guest workers in Austria.

Exhibition documents 50 years of guest workers
One of the personal photos on display. Photo: Volkskundemuseum

The show includes private photos and is on display at the Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art (Volkskundemuseum) in Vienna’s Josefstadt district.

Turkish people were recruited to Austria as Gastarbeiter (guest workers) for the construction and export industries following an agreement with the Turkish government in 1964. They began to arrive in Austria by bus and train shortly after.

The exhibition will focus on the experiences of these first generation Turks and provide a glimpse into their lives and emotions at the time.

Since 2012 the Verein Jukus – a group for Turkish and Kurdish first generation migrants – has done more than 30 interviews all over Austria with the original Gastarbeiter, and extracts from these will be presented in the exhibition. Interviewees have also contributed their personal photos to the show.

The exhibition runs from September 3rd to 28th, and a film about Gastarbeiter will be screened on September 29th at the Volkskundemuseum. Two Gastarbeiter city tours will take place on September 4th and 26th.

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