Keskinen, Suvi. ‘Antiracist Feminism and the Politics of Solidarity in Neoliberal Times’. (2021) [PDF]

Keskinen, Suvi. ‘Antiracist Feminism and the Politics of Solidarity in Neoliberal Times’. Feminisms in the Nordic Region: Neoliberalism, Nationalism and Decolonial Critique, Eds. Suvi Keskinen, Pauline Stoltz, and Diana Mulinari, Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2021, 201–221.

This chapter analyses the establishment and expansion of antiracist feminism in the last decade throughout the Nordic region, with new groups, media sites, and public events organised, especially in the large cities. I examine antiracist feminist and queer of colour activism in which the main or sole actors belong to groups racialised as non-white or “others” in Nordic societies. A fundamental argument developed in the chapter is the central role and potential of these emerging social movements to reconfigure political agendas and tackling of pressing societal issues, due to their capacity to overlap and connect the borders of antiracist, feminist, and (to some extent) class-based politics. The chapter further argues for the usefulness of theorising the neoliberal turn of racial capitalism as the societal condition in which feminist activism takes place. 

doi:10.1007/978-3-030-53464-6_10.

PDF: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-53464-6_10

Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Mette Kirstine Tørslev, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Geography of (Anti-) Racism and Tolerance: Local Policy Responses, Discrimination and Employment in Denmark. (2011) [PDF]

Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Mette Kirstine Tørslev, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Geography of (Anti-) Racism and Tolerance: Local Policy Responses, Discrimination and Employment in Denmark. Working paper produced within the TOLERANCE project, 2011, pp. 57–110,

Summary of part 1:

Although ethnic minorities’ participation in the Danish labour market has increased over the last years, a strong focus rests on particularly young ethnic minority men, who tend to drop out of school and have lower labour market participation. Danish research reveals different barriers to the labour market for ethnic minority youth; e.g. lack of language skills; lack of knowledge about the labour market; professionals ́ clientelisation focusing on problems rather than on skills, discrimination and expectances of discrimination.

In 2010 the Ministry of Integration launched a new ‘Action plan on ethnic equal treatment and respect for the individual’ focusing on information disseminating campaigns and monitoring of discrimination. The municipality of Copenhagen aims at counteracting discrimination and improve equal opportunities among citizens, focusing on three areas: documentation, information and handling of cases of discrimination. Authorities distinguish between objective/factual discrimination and subjective/experienced, but they remain reluctant to acknowledge subjective discrimination referring to it as a matter of feelings.

The young ethnic minority men in this case study tell about job-seeking and being confronted with stereotypes of ethnic minority men as violent, criminal and dangerous, and they experience a need to perform better than everybody else in order to get a job or get accepted. Thus, they indicate experiences of what can be labelled ‘Everyday racism’ that connects structural forces of racism with routine situations in everyday life. While the social street workers also see discrimination and racism as a barrier to 58employment, they view the young men’s social marginalization and lacking knowledge about cultural and social codes on the labour market as the main barrier. Not knowing basic written and unwritten rules at the workplace is, according to the social street workers, a common cause of conflicts and misunderstandings, and the youth tend to be ‘over sensitive.’ The professionals thus recognize that structural discrimination exists, but they seem to perceive discrimination as potential self-inflicted. This ambiguity reflects the general caution with defining and recognizing problems as related to discrimination. Thus, diverse perceptions and understandings exists and a continuously discursive struggle goes on: are ethnic minorities objectively discriminated against at the labour market, or do their difficulties in finding and keeping a job rest on self-inflicted reasons like their attitude/behaviour or lack of education and relevant networks? In these struggles it becomes a matter of arguing for the authenticity of one’s own subjective experiences and accounts of race relations, while de-legitimizing the truthfulness of other discourses

PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kathrine_Vitus/publication/262009770_Jensen_TG_Schmidt_G_T_Torslev_MT_Vitus_K_Weibel_K_2011_The_geography_of_anti-racism_and_tolerance_local_policy_responses_discrimination_and_employment_in_Denmark_The_Danish_National_Centre_for_Social_/links/55717cc108ae679887327c3d.pdf

Lykke, Nina. ‘Transversal Dialogues on Intersectionality, Socialist Feminism and Epistemologies of Ignorance’. (2020) [PDF]

Lykke, Nina. ‘Transversal Dialogues on Intersectionality, Socialist Feminism and Epistemologies of Ignorance’. NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, vol. 28, no. 3, Routledge, July 2020, pp. 197–210.

Through a personalized story, anchored in historical reflections on the formative years of feminist research in the Nordic context in the early 1970s, the article engages in transversal conversations. The focus is dissonances and resonances between intersectional feminisms and socialist feminisms, and their critiques of monocategorical (neo)liberal feminisms. The method is transversal dialoguing, implying that participants in politically conflicted conversations, shift between “rooting” (situating their own stakes along the lines of feminist epistemologies of situated knowledges) and “shifting” (seriously trying to imagine what it takes to inhabit the situated perspective of interlocutors). A starting point for the article’s transversal conversations is recent critiques of white feminist intersectionality research in Nordic and broader European contexts, claimed to neoliberalize and whitewash intersectionality. Shifting to the perspective of the critics, the author takes responsibility for her stakes in epistemologies of white ignorance. A historical reflection on her becoming a socialist feminist in the context of New Left students’ and feminist movements in Denmark in the aftermath of the students’ revolts of 1968 is used as prism to a discussion of socialist feminisms in the Nordic context in the 1970s, and their paradoxes of being attentive to class, while entangled in classic marxism’s eurocentrism and epistemologies of white ignorance. To dig further into the question of genealogies of leftwing epistemologies of ignorance, characterizing Nordic socialist feminism in the 1970s (and haunting European socialism more generally), the article critically rereads a piece of the authors’ research from the 1970s—an analysis of the work of socialist feminist, Alexandra Kollontaj, and her role in the Russian revolution. Rooting, the author suggests that the epistemologies of white ignorance in Nordic feminist research rather than emerging from monocategoricality and (neo) neoliberalism, as the critics suggest, should be sought after through a critical scrutiny of leftwing versions of eurocentrism.

doi:10.1080/08038740.2019.1708786.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.1080/08038740.2019.1708786.

Myong, Lene, and Mons Bissenbakker. ‘Love Without Borders? White Transraciality in Danish Migration Activism’. (2016)

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.

doi:10.1080/09502386.2014.974643.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2014.974643.

Siim, Birte. ‘Feminist Challenges to the Reframing of Equality and Social Justice’. (2016) [PDF]

Siim, Birte. ‘Feminist Challenges to the Reframing of Equality and Social Justice’. NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, vol. 24, no. 3, Routledge, July 2016, pp. 196–202.

Global mobility and the present economic, political and refugee crisis have resulted in political contestations and new theoretical challenges. Inspired by several European research projects, in this paper I reflect upon feminist activism and the challenges to reframing equality and social justice in contemporary society (see Siim & Mokre, 2013; Lazaridis et al., 2016). I first discuss intersectional relations between anti-racist activism and feminist activism in the Danish context. Then I discuss how feminist theorists can contribute to the reframing of (gender) equality and social justice in contemporary Nordic societies. The focus is on two approaches, each of which has inspired Nordic researchers, as well as my own thinking (e.g. Siim & Mokre, 2013): Nira Yuval-Davis’ (2011) proposal for a multilevel and intersectional approach to the politics of belonging, and Nancy Fraser’s (2013) proposal fora transnational approach to social justice, premised on redistribution, recognition and participatory parity. I argue that both need to be adapted in order to contribute to an understanding of the feminist challenges in the particular Nordic contexts.

doi:10.1080/08038740.2016.1246109.

PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311244650_Feminist_Challenges_to_the_Reframing_of_Equality_and_Social_Justice/link/5852ba0008ae95fd8e1d6f0b/download

Khawaja, Iram. ‘Anger, Shame and Whiteness: On Using Memory Work as an Educational Tool for Reflections on Racialization, Otherness and Privilege’. (2020)

Khawaja, Iram. ‘Anger, Shame and Whiteness: On Using Memory Work as an Educational Tool for Reflections on Racialization, Otherness and Privilege’. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 2020.

The article draws on years of experience teaching otherness, racialization and whiteness on a postgraduate level in Copenhagen, and aims to analyze how it is possible to facilitate constructive discussions on race, whiteness and otherness utilizing memory work. The article is structured around three main points of relevance, which are connected to the main challenges of teaching sensitive topics such as racism, whiteness and privilege in majoritized class rooms. Challenges such as the need to negotiate teacher authority and manage the affective intensities in the class room. The aim of the article is to unfold a form of ‘engaged pedagogical’ strategy for critical reflections on racialization and whiteness in academia highlighting the need to move towards new ways of understanding knowledge production, teacher positionality and lived life as part of curriculum.

https://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/iram-khawaja(d5c034f8-2f3f-4e2d-ad31-f4169167546a)/publications/anger-shame-and-whiteness(99861bf7-fb1c-45b9-a5d1-c1d1675dcc9f).html

Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Garbi Schmidt, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Historicity of (Anti-)Racism and the Politics of Integration in Denmark. (2010) [PDF]

Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Garbi Schmidt, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Historicity of (Anti-)Racism and the Politics of Integration in Denmark. Danish National Centre for Social Research, July 2010, p. 24.

The aim of this paper is to describe the various aspects of the history of (anti-)racism and  the  politics  of  integrationin  Denmark.  The  paper  consists  of  two  parts.  The  first part  discusses  the  international  literature on  concepts  of  (anti-)racism,  citizenship  and tolerance. The next part focuses on (anti-)racism and Tolerance in the Danish context. The paper thus deals with the historicity of (anti-)racism and the politics of integration in Denmark from four angles: A discussion of international literature on the concepts of (anti-) racism, citizenship and tolerance An outline of a Danish grammar of diversity. An  overview of  concepts  (vocabulary)  of  (anti-)racism  and  tolerance  in  Danish anti-discrimination politics, and a Danish grammar of diversity. A description of the historical roles of racism and tolerance in Denmark.

PDF: https://www.ces.uc.pt/projectos/tolerace/media/Working%20Paper%201/2%20SFI%20-%20The%20historicity%20of%20(anti-)racism%20and%20the%20politics%20of%20integration%20in%20Denmark.pdf.

Vertelyte, Mante. ‘Not So Ordinary Friendship: An Ethnography of Student Friendships in A Racially Diverse Danish Classroom’. (2019) [PDF]

Vertelyte, Mante. Not So Ordinary Friendship: An Ethnography of Student Friendships in A Racially Diverse Danish Classroom. Dissertation. Aalborg Universitetsforlag, 2019.

“Not So Ordinary Friendship: An Ethnography of Student Friendships in a Racially Diverse Danish Classroom” explores the roles that young people’s friendships play in  the  production  and  reproduction  of  processes  of  racialization.  This  dissertation asks how and when does race come to matter (or not) in young people’s friendship relations? What identities and subject positions do friendship relations produce?And how  are  young  people’s  friendships  across  intersecting  markers  of  difference situated  politically,  discursively  and  socially?  This  dissertation  is  based  on  the premise  that  the  analysis  of  everyday  youth  friendship  formations  practices  can produce  important  knowledge  for  understanding  the  underlying  mechanisms  of processes of racialization. This  dissertation  derives  from  a  one-year  long  ethnographic  study  at  a  racially diverse  secondary  school  in  Copenhagen.  The  study  includes  32interviews  with students  attending  the  7thgrade  classroom  at  the  school  and  12interviews  with professional staff working at the school and municipal youth clubs. Data is analyzed through    the    approaches    of    critical    race    studies,    affect-sensory    theory, intersectionality  and  social practice  theory;  particularly  through  the  concept  of ‘figured worlds’ as delineated by Dorothy Holland et al. (2001).

The  analysis  of  this  dissertation  explores  how  the  figured  world  of  classroom friendships  emerges  through  different  senses  and  intensities,  such  as fitting  in, clicking or clinging, bonding andhumoras well as daily rituals such as eating at the lunch  table.  Following  the  empirically  emergent  questions: Who  is  friends  with whom?; How  (not)  to  be  friends;  and  Why  are  they  (not)  friends?, this  dissertation illustrates  the  ways  in  which  young  people  negotiate  everyday  politics  of  race  and racism and the ways that adolescent friendships are discursively figured into matters of political concern over the issues of ‘immigrant integration’ and ‘social cohesion’. Putting friendship at the center of analysis, this dissertation approaches friendship as a performative boundary object through  which racialized boundaries of ‘us’ and ‘them’  are  negotiated,  disturbed  and  re-established.  Friendship  is  performative because through the knowledge of who is friends with whom, young people position each  other  across  hierarchical  minority-majority  positions.  This  dissertation  argues that  friendship  is  a  core  social  institution  through  which  processes  of  racialization are  (re)produced,  yet  simultaneously  a  vehicle  through  which  young  people  figure ways to challenge the racialized notions of ‘us’ and ‘them’. This dissertation engages with interdisciplinary debates in studies of racialization as unfolding  in  the  Nordic  European  countries  and  anthropological  studies  on friendship.  To  that  end,  it  challenges  notions  of  Danish-Nordic  exceptionalism  that figure  racism  as  a  matter  of  the  past,  as  well  as  nuances  notions  of  friendshipcommonly portrayed as a residual socialinstitution free from the power structures of racism.  A  core  contribution  of  this  thesis  is  to  offer  a  sense  and  affect-oriented analysis of friendship and racialization. The  research also articulates the  challenges that educational institutions face due to a lack of anti-racist education.

PDF: https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/files/306278121/PHD_Mante_Vertelyte_E_pdf.pdf. https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/files/306278121/PHD_Mante_Vertelyte_E_pdf.pdf.

Vitting-Seerup, Sabrina. ‘Working towards Diversity with a Postmigrant Perspective: How to Examine Representation of Ethnic Minorities in Cultural Institutions’. (2017)

Vitting-Seerup, Sabrina. ‘Working towards Diversity with a Postmigrant Perspective: How to Examine Representation of Ethnic Minorities in Cultural Institutions’. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, vol. 9, no. 2, Routledge, Aug. 2017, pp. 45–55.

This article presents ways for researchers and cultural workers to find and examine versions of representation in cultural institutions through a postmigrant perspective. The starting point is Denmark—a European nation state with, like many others, a diverse composition of citizens. This diversity is, however, poorly represented in Danish cultural institutions and the problem is difficult for many cultural workers to discuss due to the hesitation large segments of the Danish population feel about using terms associated with race and religion. Since much of the research regarding representation is strictly critical in its approach, it is also challenging to find the proper tools and language to discuss and correct the current skewed situation. This article is intended to provide balance in representation, first by presenting a model of four levels for potential positioning of diverse representation in cultural institutions and, secondly, by addressing the problems of access and depiction in regards to representation.

doi:10.1080/20004214.2017.1371563.

PDF: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/20004214.2017.1371563?needAccess=true

Danbolt, Mathias, and Lene Myong. ‘Racial Turns and Returns: Recalibrations of Racial Exceptionalism in Danish Public Debates on Racism’. Racialization, Racism, and Anti-Racism in the Nordic Countries, Ed. Peter Hervik, 2019, 39–61. (2018)

Danbolt, Mathias, and Lene Myong. ‘Racial Turns and Returns: Recalibrations of Racial Exceptionalism in Danish Public Debates on Racism’. Racialization, Racism, and Anti-Racism in the Nordic Countries, Ed. Peter Hervik, 2018, 39–61.

In recent years, the Danish public has been embroiled in different debates on racism and whiteness. While these debates instigate a break with historic and color-blind silencing of racism in Denmark, they have also given rise to multiple reproductions of racist logics. Our analysis concentrates on a debate that took off in early 2013 following the publication of the book Are Danes Racist? The Problems of Immigration Research [Er danskerne racister? Indvandrerforskningens problemer] by Henning Bech and Mehmet Ümit Necef. The debate centered around the question of whether or not so-called anti-racist research met scientific standards. We argue that this debate can be seen as a turning point in how both individual researchers in particular and racism research in general have been positioned as unscientific and as productive of social division and racism in Denmark. The chapter suggests that these racial turns can be seen as a recalibration of the tradition of Danish racial exceptionalism, where racism in Denmark is presented as containable and marginal, and where anti-racist research in itself constitutes a new form of racism.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326985617_Racial_Turns_and_Returns_Recalibrations_of_Racial_Exceptionalism_in_Danish_Public_Debates_on_Racism

Danbolt, Mathias, and Lene Myong. ‘Det her skal alle da opleve: Racial transformation som erkendelsesproces og mangfoldighedsværktøj i dansk anti-racistisk performance’. (2018) [PDF]

Danbolt, Mathias, and Lene Myong. ‘Det her skal alle da opleve: Racial transformation som erkendelsesproces og mangfoldighedsværktøj i dansk anti-racistisk performance’. Peripeti, no. 29/30, 2018.

Hvordan bliver racialisering og racisme fremstillet og forstået i anti-racistisk performance i Danmark? Denne artikel nærmer sig dette spørgsmål gennem en analyse af det selverklærede “anti- racistiske” performanceprojekt Med andre øjne (herefter MAØ), som blev initieret af skuespiller og projektleder Morten Nielsen i 2011 og som var virksomt frem til foråret 2018.

PDF: https://tidsskrift.dk/peripeti/article/download/109631/158977.