an.schlägeA - Z
- Das feministische Magazin
- Austria, Vienna
- Contact Persons / Persons Involved:
- Lea Susemichel, Brigitte Theißl
- Main Language Published:
- German, English
- Other Language(s) Published:
an.schläge—the feminist magazine was founded in 1983 and is published in Vienna. It was an outcome of the growth in autonomous women's projects and organizations in the early/ mid 1980s, after second wave feminism had begun sweeping Austria in 1974/75. an.schläge’s financial situation was mostly precarious: initially, much of the work involved was unpaid and publication had to cease in 1991. But the magazine was re-launched in 1994 and has since appeared continuously, meanwhile eight times a year. The number of subscribers is growing steadily—there are currently almost 5,000 subscribers, including many in Germany.
- Content Focus:
Even though the major demands of the women's movement now feature in male- and mainstream media, society today is sadly still far from being equal. Access to media resources remains extremely uneven. an.schläge nevertheless stands by its conviction: that media are an indispensable democratic means of critique and control. The magazine therefore rises to the considerable challenge of keeping discussion of feminist issues in the public eye—because reflection and discourse in the media are vital for social change. Feminists working in the media are indispensable for gender-equitable and equal futures. Feminist media have a dual effect, outwards and inwards. They serve to articulate women's political demands and also contribute to the formation of feminist movements.
an.schläge accordingly sheds light on current political, social, and cultural events from a consistently feminist perspective. In addition, it addresses topics that are otherwise generally neglected:
“We report on social protests and ›grassroots politics‹—politics from below. We write about bodies, sex, and self-determination, analyze developments in the new world of work, take a critical look at scientific discourse and portray up-and-coming female artists in art and pop. The feminism we represent is queer and intersectional.
an.schläge clearly stakes out its political position. »We aim to explore all kinds of topic from a feminist perspective. In this way we put into practice our political demand: that feminism must tackle all aspects of society and critically examine the links between them.«
- Organization and Decision-making Process:
A primary characteristic of feminist media work is that the desire to do things differently is reflected not only in the product and its contents, but also in the production process itself. The struggle for emancipation and the search for alternative ways to live and take action are therefore reflected also in how we go about producing the magazine. Editorial decision-making in alternative media projects is therefore very different from that in other media.
»The collective structure and the consensus principle were important to us from the start.« The team works in the editorial office in Vienna’s 4th district as well as from home. The entire editorial team meets once a week, and otherwise there are further meetings, or they communicate by Slack, e-mail, or telephone.
an.schläge employs three editors, a bookkeeper and a subscriptions manager and draws on freelancers for graphics, advertising sales, and web support. In addition, a volunteer collective, currently with eight members, takes decisions on the content focus, topics, and new projects, as well as basic organizational matters. The board of the non-profit association, CheckArt, which publishes an.schläge, is the supervisory instance.
»We find authors through our existing networks in other projects or through personal contacts; and through applications and proposals sent to us directly.«
an.schläge is available in selected bookstores and other stores and clubs in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The magazine is mainly sold by subscription.
- Financing and Support:
The magazine currently receives funding from the Women’s Department of the City of Vienna [Frauenservice Wien]—and this is vital, because previous funding from the Ministry of Women's Affairs was unfortunately axed under the »Black and Blue« government, a coalition of the (conservative, Christian Democratic) ÖVP and the (right-wing, populist, nationalist) FPÖ.
Subscription revenue is very important. In addition, the sale of an.schläge bags as well as advertising generates limited funds, and occasionally, donations are made. The work of all the authors and illustrators, graphic artists and other freelancers is paid. The volunteer collective deals with everything else.
But money is always short. »We would really love to be able to pay everyone involved at market rates. There’s no budget for marketing and, overall, we have to be really thrifty with resources. Every major investment is a huge struggle.«
- Conditions and Political Situation:
Considering the size of the country, Austria has a relatively large number of alternative media yet none of them is financially secure. So, in an attempt at mutual support, they recently got together to found the alternative media alliance, BAM!
an.schläge is currently the only feminist magazine in the country (in fact, in the German-speaking countries overall) to appear eight times a year. Media monopolies in Austria are generally extreme: a very few publishers dominate the media landscape. This too makes journalists’ job much harder.