Myong, Lene, and Mons Bissenbakker. ‘Love Without Borders? White Transraciality in Danish Migration Activism’. Cultural Studies, vol. 30, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 129–146.
Since 2000, Denmark has imposed some of the strictest immigration laws in Europe. Consequently, family reunification has become increasingly difficult for immigrants as well as for Danish citizens. In the fall of 2010, the Danish family reunification laws became subject to criticism and protest by a citizens’ initiative called ‘Love without Borders’ (LWB). The article investigates how LWB managed to generate political momentum around love: an affect which seems to promise inclusion, liberation and togetherness for those directly affected by the laws as well as those attempting to change the laws. Yet the idealized version of love promoted by LWB happened to take the form of romantic intimacy predominantly consisting of straight, young and white-brown couples oriented towards reproduction. Our main argument is that despite its good intentions of supporting migration the activist campaign ‘Love without Borders’ ends up supporting whiteness as the body through which love must flow. As an indicator of the racialized discourses informing LWB’s activism the article introduces the concept of white transraciality. Thus, to LWB love seems to promise affective ties to the nation, to the future and to the political system in ways that sustain white hegemony. Building mainly on Sara Ahmed’s and Laurent Berlant’s reflections on love as cultural politics the article analyzes posters, viral videos and newspaper debates in its discussion of the promises and pitfalls of love as an affective political tool.