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

(The unexplored sides of) Everyday racism

Faith Mkwesha

 On March 8, 2016, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, I was asked to give a speech about safety at a public demonstration in Turku. The event was organized by individual activists together with KJAR (the System of Free Women Society of East Kurdistan). The theme was Take Back the Night, which has been a rallying point for different feminist demonstrations in Turku during the last three years. In 2016, the theme Take Back the Night was motivated by a desire to reclaim public space from fascist and nationalist groups that had roamed in public spaces in the city at night. They claim that their motive is to protect Finnish white women who are under threat of rape and physical violence by migrant men. These groups have practiced violence and hatred towards women, racialized people, trans* people and other marginalized groups.  Like in all nationalist projects, women’s bodies are being used as arguments for racist values. Lue loppuun