Teresa Distelberger

Hi, my website is running in German as I am living in Austria – and my work is very often on topics that are related to this locality.

Most of what I do is happening in German, some projects are in English or mixed with German – similarly like the labelling of my menu above. ;)

I want to encourage you to click through my portfolio. If you need language to get a better impression of my work, please copy-paste my texts to a translator like Deepl.com – it is often good enough to understand more.

Thank you for your interest!

some goodies in English

a few words about myself (with some links in English)…

Teresa Distelberger, who holds a degree in Applied Linguistics, Film and Gender Studies (University of Vienna), works in an area chiefly focused on filmmaking and performance. She has directed long-feature documentaries as well as created an abundant production of short films, some of which reflect her experience living in a matriarchal culture in Mexico. Teresa is also a group facilitator and political activist. She has produced educational and innovation projects for sustainable companies, as well as conferences about topics of alternative economical systems and is working with a refugee protest collective. More recently, she has co-created events that bring together tradition, immersive performance and role-play. She uses her films and performances to open spaces where people confront their ghosts and heal past traumas, working primarily with supressed feelings around Austrian’s role in WWII, which finds an echo in Austrian people’s reaction to the current tragedy of refugees.



  • 2017-2020 MA „Arts in Practice“ at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem, NL
  • 2013-2018: Trainings in Transparent Communication and Collective & Transgenerational Trauma Integration with Thomas Hübl in Germany, Nepal and Israel (in collaboration with The Pocket Project.
  • 2000-2006: MA-Studies at the University of Vienna: Linguistics, Film und Gender Studies, AUT
  • 2005: Research at Lancaster University, UK
  • 2004: ERASMUS at Sorbonne, Paris, FR


  • 2010-2013: Project manager of a Cradle to Cradle innovation process for compostable printing products at gugler*
  • 2009/2010: Spending everyday outside for a year, working at a kindergarden in the woods
  • 2008/2009: Living in Mexico, making handicraft leatherbags
  • 2007: Education and research. 100 days as a guide at the documenta 12, Kassel
  • 2005-2008: Linguistic research about Austrian identities in the commemorative year 2005.
    Project leaders: Ruth Wodak and Rudolf de Cillia
  • 2004: Founder of kino5 – plattform for independent filmmakers


  • RETTET DAS DORF – SAVE THE VILLAGE (Director and Script of a cinema documentary, 75 min). Production: NGF Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion. (Released in Austria: 28th of February 2020) (German)
  • DIE ZUKUNFT IST BESSER ALS IHR RUF – THE FUTURE IS BETTER THAN ITS REPUTATION (Co-Director und Coordinator of a collective cinema documentary – directed together with Niko Mayr, Gabi Schweiger, Nicole Scherg, 85 min) Production: NGF Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion (Released in Austria: 12th of May 2017) (German)
    Awarded with the Austrian film price ROMY 2018 in the category „Best Cinema Documentary“
  • Das Leben ist keine Generalprobe“ – „Life is not a general rehearsal“ (Assistant Director, Sound Operator and Conceptual Collaborator) Director: Nicole Scherg. Production: NGF Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion (Released in Austria 2016) (German)
  • Die Filmkameradin“ – „The filmcamarade“ (Director, Camera, Script, Editing of a cinema documentary – together with Maria Distelberger, 66 min), 2008 (German)
  • „Saint Nicolas“ (Assistant Director and Sound Operator for a TV documentation, 52 min) Director: Jean Pierre Zirn, Production: La Seine, Paris, 2004 (French)

creation and facilitation of spaces for experience and encounter

  • Since 2018 every year on the national holiday: Salon der Heimatgefühle (feeling home salon)
    2018: Spiegelsaal im Bockkeller, Wiener Volksliederwerk
    2019: Aktionsradius am Gaußplatz, in cooperation with Kopfhoch/Volxfest, Brunnenpassage and Wiener Konzerthaus as part of Stadtlabor Brigittenau „Musik findet Stadt“
  • 2015: Facilitation of a conference of The Austrian Encounter – a group of (grand-)children of Nazis and Holocaust survivors
  • 2015/2016/2018: Co-creation and co-hosting of the Ecstatic Carneval – a transformative ritual/party with immersive performance and meditation corner.
  • Since 2006 facilitating Open-Space-Conferences for 7-Generationen-Netzwerk, GEA/Waldviertler and others.

performance / installation / conceptual works / dialogical art / social sculpture

  • „double infinity Seilkränzchen“ – 21 days of online conversations during Covid Lockdown and the making of a textile as a unifying element – as part of „Listening out Loud and Dreaming Wildly„, the Vienna edition of the project Jumpstar by George Ferrandi in collaboration with Brunnenpassage and Weltmuseum Wien
    Concept: together with Mario Sinnhofer aka Touched
    Hosting: alternating with Mario Sinnhofer aka Touched and George Ferrandi
  • „dirndl dialogues“, social sculpture with conversations, video installation and dirndl dress as unifying elements. In cooperation with Amelia Rosenberg, Goldhaubenfrauen Mauthausen, tailor Silke Peitl and the Volxfest/Simon Mayer as part of Festival der Regionen 2019
  • „Volxfest“, Together with Simon Mayer Artistic Director of a participatory performance project/party with folk dance groups, hunters and lovers of traditional dress as part of Festivals der Regionen 2019
  • „I don’t go to bed with my computer.“ 2-channel-video-installation as part of the group exhibition „Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life.“ curated by Ruth Noack.
    Exhibition spaces: 
    Yellowbrick Athen June 2018
    lítost gallery Prag August 2018
    Institute for Provocation Beijing October 2018
    Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart October 2019 – January 2020
  • „Disquietspeaker“, performing for/in an installation by Gangart Yellow Brick, Athen, June 2018 as part of the exhibition „Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life.“
  • PPC Airlines – Conceptual counseling for the Protest Productions Collective – image film, PR material and action in public space against deportations (as part of WienWoche 2016 and 2017 as well as „Schwarzmarkt für nützliches Wissen und Nicht-Wissen“ 2019), 2015
  • „How do you/I engage?“ lecture performance, Planetary Campus at the Dutch Art Institute, School of Drama, Thessaloniki, January 2018
  • „The Third Reich of Dreams“, Performing in a work by Anja Scheffer at the Roaming Assembly „Between Subversion and Hallucination“, curated by Ruth Noack, Theater aan de Rijn, Arnhem, March 2018
  • „sleeping as ‚art within art’“ – performative intervention at Ludwig Museum Cologne, October 2017, as part of COOP Academy „Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life“ by Ruth Noack at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem NL
  • “Muse Kalliope” – performance as a living book at the “Wachstum im Wandel Konferenz” Vienna University of Economics and Business, February 2016
  • “Protest Dirndl” – longtime performance, Wien, März – June 2016
  • „what is moving you“. performative intervention in public space at the Holocaust memorial day 27th of January 2015, Heldenplatz Vienna

short films (selection)

  • Jumpstar Simmering, 2020, 3 min animation clip (English)
    (concept, script and editing – illustrations by George Ferrandi)
  • PPC Airlines, 2016, 3 min (English with German subtitles)
    (together with the Protest Production Collective)
  • reconnecting, 2015, 1 min 30 (English)
  • „the music of my eyes“, 2007, 3 min (no language)
  • „Xquenda“, 2006, 8 min (German with English subtitles)
  • „Bizuriqui“ (music video for Martha Toledo, Mexico), 2006, 4 min (Zapotec lyrics)
  • „tropisme“, 2005, 7 min (German)
  • „Schlafen, Aufstehen und Café Drechsler“, 2005, 12 min (German)
  • „on the way“, 2004, 6 min (English)
  • „dr. dickie“, 2004, 4 min (English)
  • „Wertschöpfung“, 2004, 8 min (German)
  • „en train de vivre“, 2003, 4 min (no language)


  • Distelberger, Teresa (2009): ‘Leveling the Playing Field, or Where to Go with My Expert Role?’. In Mörsch, Carmen (ed.) Documenta 12 Education 2 : Between Critical Practice and Visitor Services Results of a Research Project. Diaphanes, Zurich
  • Distelberger, Teresa “’Immer wieder steht Österreich befreit am Balkon’ – Rekontextualisierungen der ‘Balkonszene’ und des Ausspruchs ‘Österreich ist frei!’ im ‘Gedankenjahr’ 2005”. In Gedenken im ‚Gedankenjahr‘: Zur diskursiven Konstruktion österreichischer Identitäten im Jubiläumsjahr 2005, edited by de Cillia, Rudolf und Wodak, Ruth, 101-133. Innsbruck, Vienna, Bolzano: Studienverlag, 2008.
  • Distelberger, Teresa, Rudolf de Cillia and Ruth Wodak. „Österreichische Identitäten in politischen Gedenkreden des Jubiläumsjahres 2005.“ In Gedenken im ‚Gedankenjahr‘: Zur diskursiven Konstruktion österreichischer Identitäten im Jubiläumsjahr 2005, edited by de Cillia, Rudolf und Wodak, Ruth, 29-78. Innsbruck, Vienna, Bolzano: Studienverlag, 2008.

Neither her art practice, nor her political activism correspond much to given norms.
Ruth Noack, curator