In the spring and summer of 2020, #Blacklivesmatter protests brought youth into the streets in high numbers; also in Norway. Alongside intensified anti-racist engagements, the volume in counter-narratives challenging anti-racism also increased. "In societies convinced of their post-racial status, racism is always something else, and happens somewhere else", as Gavan Titley asserts. In Norway, racist speech, actions and structures are clearly present but personal experiences of racism are met with counter-arguments, belittling or outrage even today. Thus, interpersonal and public acknowledgement of people's lived experience is still badly needed in order to address structural racism in society.
The PRIO Centre on Culture and Violent Conflict and the PRIO Migration Centre invite you to a seminar on how racialized individuals navigate everyday confrontations with structural racism. Laura Führer, Yohannes Mekonnen and Harmeet Kaur will present their artistic and research explorations on the question of how racialized individuals — born in Norway or migrated from elsewhere — navigate majority understandings of 'color'.
- How do you maintain your pride, when you come to Norway and learn that you are 'black'?
- When you are born in Norway but always seen as 'non-norwegian', how does that affect your sense of belonging?
- How do you reconcile your own complex sense of self with the black and white image that society mirrors back at you?
We hope you are interested in exploring these topics with us at PRIO, 9 November, 15.30 to 16.30. Please register to attend!
Laura Führer recently defended her PhD thesis "The Social Meaning of Skin Color: Interrogating the Interrelation of Phenotype/Race and Nation in Norway" at the University of Oslo. The thesis asks how phenotype functions as a marker and category of difference in Norway today. A central argument is that 'ethnicity' as an every-day term performs a racializing function in Norwegian society. Laura now holds a position as assistant professor in social sciences at the Department of Early Childhood Education at OsloMet.
Yohannes Mulat Mekonnen is a multidisciplinary visual artist working in video, Installations , drawings and mixed media. After completing his undergraduate studies at Ale School of Fine Art and Design (ASFAD) and one year of wide-ranging artistic practice he moved to Tromsø, where he completed a masters of contemporary arts. His latest works deal with the question of representations of reality and the role of power in the creation of truth/narrative.
Harmeet Kaur has written a master's thesis on how experiences with racism affect self-understanding and a sense of belonging to Norway. She is a graduate of development studies from the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Oslo, and has also studied at Oslo Metropolitan University, Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and the Anglo-American University in Prague.