What We Do
Interreligious & Intercultural Outreach in Austria
As the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) is based in Vienna, outreach to the Austrian local public has become an integral part of the Centre’s activities. KAICIID believes that in times when tensions between cultures are on the rise it is particularly important to foster dialogue between people of different cultures and religions. By engaging local stakeholders of diverse backgrounds in a spectrum of dialogical activities, KAICIID aims to help promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and its transformative effects on individuals and communities. The Austrian outreach activities range from expert lectures on subjects related to interreli-gious and intercultural dialogue, to a wide range of cultural events and exhibitions as well as efforts to cooperate with local NGOs in their support for refugees and asylum seekers.
- Intercultural Activities
- Refugees Cultural Orientation Visits
- HQ Visits
- Expert Lectures
- World Interfaith Harmony Week
Building on the tradition of Vienna as the city of music, and underlining the role of art as interlocutor between cultures and religion, Local Outreach orga-nizes intercultural events and musical performanc-es with the aim of introducing local audiences to a dialogue between different musical traditions from different cultures. From January 2016 to April 2017, KAICIID has hosted 12 intercultural events.
Since summer 2015, KAICIID’s Local Outreach has offered in cooperation with local NGOs cultural ori-entation visits for refugees and asylum seekers lo-cated in remote countryside areas. These tours were arranged as an incentive for refugees and asylum seekers learning German. KAICIID accompanied the participants, mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, as they gained insight into European and Aus-trian history and culture. All sixteen tours were pro-vided by KAICIID staff and licensed Austrian Tour guides, each with a specific focus (e.g. Jewish Vien-na, Austria’s parliamentary system, children etc.).
KAICIID is located in Vienna and has the privilege of residing in the “Palais Sturany”, a classical Viennese city palace as its headquarters. For interested groups, KAICIID’s Local Outreach offers visits and guided tours through the headquarters to learn more about the Centre’s work. From January 2016 to April 2017, 14 HQ visits took place.
KAICIID’s Local Outreach has established the “Religionen im Dialog” (Religions in Dialogue) series of open-house expert lectures. The German-language lecture series provides a platfrom for local experts and practitioners of interreligious and intercultural dialogue to present their ideas to the interested Austrian general public. From January 2016 to April 2017, 14 lectures have taken place at KAICIID.
During the 2017 World Interfaith Harmony Week, KAICIID hosted an interactive dinner event. To strengthen dialogue between the Council of Par-ties (CoP), representatives, the Board of Directors (BoD), Advisory Forum members, KAICIID senior leadership and their local IR counterparts, including religious and civil society, IR practitioners came together to share and discuss good practice examples highlighting the significance of interreligious dialogue as a tool for overcoming communal challenges. In 2016, former Austrian President Dr. Heinz Fischer spoke at KAICIID on the importance of in-terreligious dialogue and its role in solving current problems, including the refugee crisis.