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Austrian Colonial History
Mireille Ngosso 


Please note that this podcast is available in German.

The myth still exists that Austria had nothing to do with colonialism, since the country did not have any colonies of its own in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, especially at the end of the 19th century, Austria was very much involved in the exploitation of other countries through its colonial societies and colonial trade relations. For example, the Habsburgs undertook expeditions to Africa on the side of England in order to expand their territorial ambitions. That the Habsburg monarchy did not rise to a major colonial power seems, on closer examination of Austrian aspirations, to have been little more than the result of unfavorable coincidences at the time.

In her lecture, Mireille Ngosso makes clear that a serious reappraisal of Austria’s colonial history must be undertaken in order to properly depict the past and present. She talks about how Austria was directly and indirectly involved in colonialism and what effects and racisms this history brought with it. At the same time, she also outlines the history of the African diaspora in Austria and addresses possible future perspectives of the communities. Mireille Ngosso directs her gaze to current debates and movements that advocate for the end of discrimination and exclusion of black people in Austria.


Participating artists

Dr. med. Mireille Ngosso

(*1980 Democratic Republic of the Congo, lives in Vienna)

fled to Austria with her parents when she was four years old. There she completed her school career and graduated at the Medical University of Vienna. Mireille Ngosso currently works as a physician in the general medicine department at hospital in Hietzing, she is married and has a son. She has been active in the Vienna SPÖ since 2010. She has been a member of the Vienna State Parliament since 2020 and a member of the Vienna City Council. Ngosso is a member of the Municipal Council Committee for Health and Social Affairs and a substitute member of the Committee for Education, Integration and Youth. From 2018 – 2020 she was deputy district head of Vienna’s first district, chairwoman of the environment committee, deputy of the social and generation commission and member of the security and disaster commission. 

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