Memory, epistemological justice and disobedient knowledge: Narrating Nordic histories in postethnic activism and art

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This chapter examines how activists and artists racialised as non-white or ‘others’ narrate marginalised histories of colonialism and racism and, by doing so, create understandings of Nordic societies that challenge prevalent ideologies of colour-blindness and national self-images as champions of human rights. The chapter analyses actions through which activists and artists call for epistemological justice and create disobedient knowledge. It argues that histories of overseas colonisation and slavery are central to the disobedient knowledge created in activism in the Nordic region, as in other parts of Europe, but that such narratives are also placed in dialogue with histories of colonisation of Indigenous lands within the Nordic region and commemoration of more recent events of racist violence. The chapter shows how the activists combine academic research, collective memory and art to create disobedient knowledge that challenges the silencing of past and present racism. Addressing responsibility over the effects of slavery and colonialism on current European societies, their organisation of welfare and the groups given the potential to enjoy its benefits can open up new discussions of social justice and inclusion. The analysis is based on extensive fieldwork; interviews with activists; and media material collected in Denmark, Sweden and Finland between 2015 and 2019.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRace, bordering and disobedient knowledge : Activism and everyday struggles in Europe
EditorsSuvi Keskinen, Aminkeng Atabong Alemanji, Minna Seikkula
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)978-1-5261-6556-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5261-6554-1
Publication statusPublished - 2024
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • memory politics
  • epistemological justice
  • disobedient knowledge
  • activism
  • Nordic colonial history
  • racism
  • antiracism
  • postethnic activism

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