From Ecce Homo ("Vienna is the other way around") to Zentrum QWIEN
The tasks and goals of the association Ecce Homo (Vienna is the other way round) had changed a lot in the last years of its existence. On the one hand this is due to the position of gays and lesbians in society, on the other hand to a discourse about homosexuals that has changed fundamentally. In the early days of Ecce Homo's cultural activities, the main impulse was to bring gay or lesbian culture to Vienna (within the framework of the possibilities promoted by cultural policy at the time), but these traditions have now become part of mainstream culture. In order to see Georgette Dee, Max Raabe, Irmgard Knef or The Pfister Brothers and Sisters, numerous institutions are open to the Viennese cultural public today, for which no separate "section" is necessary anymore (even if it can still be useful and exciting to present them occasionally - and we hope so!).
The festival "Vienna is the other way round" was set up by Jochen Herdieckerhoff and conquered a considerably large segment of the Viennese cultural audience with cheeky posters and spectacular performances. Against great resistance, Herdieckerhoff already in 1996 managed to hold a large Viennese culture and entertainment festival with gay and lesbian artists. After "Europride" in 2001 and the biggest festival to date in the circus tent in Sigmund-Freud-Park, Jochen Herdieckerhoff retired and handed Ecce Homo over to Hannes Sulzenbacher, who had co-organized the festival since 1998.
"Wien ist andersrum" took place in 2002 and 2004, one year in between had to be cancelled for financial reasons. Afterwards a strongly enlarged team prepared itself for the biggest enterprise of Ecce Homo, the exhibition "geheimsache : leben. Schwule und Lesben im Wien des 20. Jahrhunderts" ("Gays and Lesbians in Vienna of the 20th Century"), which was shown in the Wiener Neustifthalle in autumn/winter 2005/06.
As a result of the research and realization of the exhibition as well as the eager collection of materials in the years before, the largest archive and probably the largest library in Austria on lesbian/gay culture and history was created. (The Vienna Women's and Lesbian Archive "Stichwort", which undoubtedly has larger holdings on women's history, is exclusively available to women).
All this was reason enough to break away from the traditional and set off for new shores.
In 2007 Ecce Homo changed its name to QWIEN - Center for Gay and Lesbian Culture and History and restructured the fields of activity.