We want to create a more inclusive and safer space for all at the Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna. For that, we need to understand what people’s experiences actually are and where the problems lie. Unfortunately, it’s often very difficult for people who experience discrimination or other inappropriate behaviour to come forward. We need to collect data in order to understand what actions to take, without potentially exposing people to backlash. In our experience, this means that we need to guarantee anonymity: thus the idea of the anonymous reporting tool was born.
What is the anonymous reporting tool?
We created a websurvey linked here which allows people to report incidents at the Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna. We need to stress that this is for data collection purposes only: as it is completely anonymous, no actions can or will be taken! If the reporting person reveals themselves the data will be deleted. We understand that there is a potential for fabricated stories: however, studies have shown [e.g. 1, 2,3,4] that false reports are very rare and usually easy to detect. The overall trend of the data can still tell us what issues we are dealing with.
What is the “ART” project?
We know that such a tool is only as strong as it is publically known and visible. Thus we decided to combine it with an art project- to take these ugly stories and experiences and turn them into something positive. How convenient, Anonymous Reporting Tool. We felt very smart when someone told us the initials work. To promote this tool, we asked for a set of stories that people were willing to publicly share, then found a set of artists and paid them to create visual art inspired by the incidents. We have received financial support from the KOA (Koordinationsausschuss) of the ÖH Uni Wien to pay the artists.
Another good side effect is that by sharing stories and making them public we can actually raise awareness for problems at our faculty. So this is what the project is about. We want to know what is going on at the faculty, so we created an anonymous reporting tool. We want to advertize our tool and raise awareness for different kinds of discrimination and so we collect stories of discrimination and we let these be illustrated by artists. Let’s see where this takes us.
Will the stories from the reporting tool be used in the ART project?
No. Unless we have explicit permission from the people involved in the incident, nothing gets art-ified. This option is not included in the reporting tool(!): all stories for publication need to be shared here.