On the use of “zero tolerance”: Institutional responses to discrimination based on gender and race in Finnish universities

Anaïs Duong-Pedica

Under the Act on Equality between Women and Men, Finnish universities must aim to “prevent discrimination based on gender, to promote equality between women and men, and thus to improve the status of women, particularly in working life”.  Since 2014, under the same Act, universities must also work to prevent “discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression”. Finnish universities are also obliged to conform to the Non-Discrimination Act for which the aims are “to foster and safeguard equality and enhance the protection provided by law to those who have been discriminated against in cases of discrimination”.  Discriminatory treatment based on “age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics” fall under the scope of the Act. While there currently is little research written in English on racism in Finnish academia, cases of institutional and individual racism in universities have been documented in Finnish media. Lue loppuun

Worthy Lives and Building Homes

Grace I-An Gao

Taiwanese architect Hsieh’s installation during Helsinki Design Week 2017 changed my views about the racism debate and the imagination of borders. Although the installation has ended, the implication is profoundly valid and still worthwhile to help us discover the power embedded in the community. It engages people to ponder the important questions from the refugee communities: ”Whose life is worthy? Whose suffering is recognized? Who counts as human?” (for related discussion see Näre, 2018). There is no one universal answer to these profound questions, but a constant attempt to engage, negotiate and redefine. Specifically, Hsieh’s architecture installation enables me to get to know the people from the Right to Live demonstration. Lue loppuun

It’s time to challenge white saviour mentality

The antiracist research network RASTER supports the criticism and demands raised by SahWira Africa International towards the recent award-winning PLAN International Finland campaign “Maternity wear for a 12-year old”. We also encourage other organisations to continue the critical discussion about the repetitive gesture of speaking on behalf of and “saving brown women”. Lue loppuun

Why inequality should matter

Njoki Githieya

“Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon, let me begin by a disclaimer: I am an Angry black woman in the making.” This was the line I used to open my presentation at the Challenges to Migrant and Racialized Researchers in the Nordic Countries workshop during the recently organized ETMU days in Jyväskylä. As a young black immigrant researcher in Finland, I am confronted by inequality more often than I’d care to disclose, but, for the purpose of this paper which is a representation of my short presentation at the seminar, I will try to address my thoughts holding the larger black community as a whole. Lue loppuun

The Silencing Force of Whiteness

Leonardo Custódio

In the first week of June, I participated in the workshop “Racism and Anti-racism in the Nordic Societies”[1], at the Södertörn University in Sweden. It was the first time I attended an academic anti-racism event. As a black newcomer to the field, I felt the discussions were rich and enlightening. However, I also felt how whiteness[2] in the academia can be silencing. Based on my experience in the workshop, this text is a reflection about the silencing force of whiteness in the academia and how it can affect the participation of black scholars in predominantly white groups, environments and debates. Lue loppuun

Whiteness as a privilege and a struggle

Daria Krivonos

Whiteness is not a matter of skin pigmentation or phenotypical traits but a structural system of advantage that grants privilege to white people. Whiteness as a system of supremacy and privilege is based on exclusion of other groups, and hence, becomes a site of struggle for people who don’t meet the social ideal of whiteness, such as, for example, Russian-speakers in Finland. Lue loppuun

A Statement on Finland’s Current Asylum Policy

Raster.fi re-publishes a statement signed by over hundred Finnish academics on Feb 27.[i] The original statement in Finnish is available below the English version.

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On the square adjacent to Helsinki’s railway station, asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan are demonstrating for a third week. They represent the victims of Finland’s new interpretation of asylum policy. Lue loppuun