Raster is an anti-racist research network that seeks to connect researchers interested in questions of racialisation, racism and ethnic boundary-making, understood as socio-cultural practices and structures. Both as a societal phenomenon and as individual experiences, racialisation and racism intersect with differences and inequalities related to gender, class, sexuality and generation.

The network aims to analyse, question and create change in relation to these processes through research and participation in the public sphere. It provides a discussion forum for researchers addressing questions of racialisation and racism. The network cooperates with anti-racist civil society actors and engages in discussions with the general public. It also seeks to raise questions of the exclusionary processes within academic culture and institutions.

Raster is a network for researchers who work in Finland.  The network has an e-mail list for communication. If you are interested in joining the list please contact Minna Seikkula (minna.seikkula at

The network’s contact persons are coordinator Minna Seikkula (University of Helsinki) and editor-in-chief Leonardo Custódio (Åbo Akademi University). For contacts please e-mail the coordinator: minna.seikkula at

The language of the network and its e-mail-list is English. When participating in public discussions we also use Finnish and Swedish. Raster continues the work of a previous anti-racist research network that was called Rasmus-researchers.

Previous activities

Critical Interrogations on Whiteness
Time: Monday 6.11.2017 at 10-16
Place: P674, Pothania, Yliopistonkatu 3, University of Helsinki
Whiteness is the unmarked and invisible norm against which others are evaluated and defined. On the other hand, it is increasingly visible in fierce nationalist agendas and other kinds of identity politics. Given this duality, it is important to examine what whiteness is and how scholars should examine it theoretically and empirically. What are the relations between embodied experiences, structural inequalities and cultural meanings in the (different) understandings of whiteness? What is the relationship between whiteness and racism, and for what purposes do we need the concept of whiteness? Does the study of whiteness re-center the norm and how can we prevent that?
Please register for the seminar at
Welcoming words: Suvi Keskinen and Gwenaëlle Bauvois
Steve Garner: The Moral Economy of Whiteness and its Political Uses
Ylva Habel: 50 Shades of White Fragility: Taking Stock of Recent Debates
Lunch (at own cost)
Faith Mkwesha: Unhu-Ubuntu Feminism: Incorporating Sahwira Relations in Nordic Feminist Practice
Daria Krivonos: Welfare Chauvinism At The Margins Of Whiteness: Young Unemployed Russian-Speakers’ Claims to Whiteness and Worker-Citizenship in Finland
Aleksi Huhta: “All Men Are Equal but Chinamen?” Finnish-American Socialists and the Debate on Asian Immigration in the Early Twentieth Century
Aminkeng Atabong Alemanji & Leonardo Custodio: Responding to Challenges Faced by Racialized Scholars in the White Academia
End discussion with all presenters
Closing words

Professor Steve Garner from Birmingham City University (UK) is a sociologist who has written extensively on whiteness and racism. His recent study The Moral Economies of Whiteness analyses the main ways in which white people make ‘race’ through talking about immigration in current neoliberal society.
Dr. Ylva Habel is Assistant Professor in Media and Communication Studies, who works at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Study on Racism at Uppsala University (Sweden). She has published widely on anti-black racism, whiteness, black feminism, African diaspora, media and visual culture. Of specific interest in her research has been the affective economy of Swedish exceptionalist, colorblind discourses.
The seminar is organised by the antiracist research network RASTER, the Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration (ETMU), the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN) at the University of Helsinki, and the project Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era: Translocal Studies on Political Subjectivities, Alliance-Building and Social Imaginaries (2014-2019, Academy of Finland).

Decolonizing education -workshop 17.3.2017
Raster-network organises a workshop on Friday 17.2.2017 at 12:00 – 16:00 at Åbo Akademi University, Arken, aud. Westermarck, Turku.

We will discuss ho to challenge the white and western curriculum at the universities. The seminar includes a panel discussion with short presentations and a workshop session.

Antiracist activism and the challenging of normative whiteness –panel

Raster-network organises a discussion panel at the Antiracist Forum on Saturday 1.10.2016 at 11:15-13:15 at Cultural centre Caisa, Mikonkatu 17C, Helsinki. The panel members will tell about the kinds of antiracist activism they are organising/participating in and discuss how to challenge normative whiteness. Combining researcher and activist views, as well as perspectives from France/Sweden/Finland and different organisations the panel seeks to bring new insights to the field of antiracism and the understandings of racism.

The following researchers and activists will participate in the panel:
– Wendy Francis, Arga flickor-podcast and Interfem, Sweden
– Araia Ghirmai Sebhatu, Black Coffee-movement, Sweden
– Suada Gruda, StreetGäris-network, Sweden
– Anna Rastas, University of Tampere
– Leena Suurpää, Finnish Youth Research Society


The panel is organised by the antiracist research network Raster and the project Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era.

The politics of (anti-)racism: perspectives on research and teaching –seminar

Date: Thursday 15.10.2015 at 10 – 16:30
Place: The University of Helsinki. Building: Economicum, seminar room 3-4.
Address: Arkadiankatu 7, Helsinki.

The first seminar of the Anti-racist Research Network Raster discusses what anti-racism means in research and teaching. In current times, we encounter the need to analyse racism and its different forms when following media and political debates, everyday interaction and structural inequalities. Moreover, the historical legacies of racial thinking and colonialism bear a role in today’s societies, although they are often bypassed. How can one practice anti-racism in research and teaching? How do researchers participate in public discussions and other civil society activities while seeking to challenge ethnic and racial hierarchies?


10:15 – 10:20 Welcoming words

10:20 – 11:05 Gavan Titley (University of Ireland, Maynooth): The Debatability of Racism

11:05 – 11:30 Discussion

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 13:00 Aminkeng Atabong (University of Helsinki): Anti-racism education in Finland? A personal research journey

13:00 – 13:30 Kari Saari (Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences): Experiences on face-to-face interviews with young nativists in Eastern Finland

13:30 – 14:30 Discussion about the network activities and future plans

14:30 – 14:45 Break

14:45 – 15:15 Pauline Hortelano (Åbo Akademi University): Anti-racism: Of unlearning and norming

15:15 – 15:45 Camilla Haavisto (University of Helsinki): Teaching for solidarity and anti-racism: Some obstacles and solutions

15:45 – 16:15 Markus Himanen, Mikko Aarnio, Hanna-Maria Seppä & Hannele Huhtala (Piilosta näkyväksi-project): Practices of Administrative Detention of Foreigners in Finland

16:15 – 16:30 Closing words

In the evening we organise a panel discussion that is open for the general public. This event is in Finnish, but you can comment or ask questions also in English.

Both events are organised by the Raster-network, CEREN (Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism), the Swedish School of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki and the project Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era.

Please register for the seminar and/or the discussion event at the seminar’s registration page. (Closed)

Rasismi ja sen haastaminen nykypäivän Suomessa

Aika: torstai 15.10.2015 klo 17:30 – 20:00
Paikka: Festsal -luentosali, 1. krs, Svenska social- och kommunalhögskolan, Helsingin yliopisto, Snellmaninkatu 12, Helsinki

Onko rasismi vain yksittäisten ihmisten ennakkoluuloja ja tiedon puutetta? Miten rasismia voidaan ymmärtää yhteiskuntaamme laajemmin kuvaavana ilmiönä? Keskustelutilaisuudessa pohditaan, mitä rasismi oikeastaan on ja miten sitä voidaan haastaa ja kyseenalaistaa. Millaista rasismia Suomessa esiintyy ja millä keinoin kansalaisaktiivit, julkiseen keskusteluun osallistuvat kirjoittajat ja tutkijat sitä toimillaan pyrkivät purkamaan?

Maryan Abdulkarim, kirjoittaja-aktivisti
Ahmed Al-Nawas, monikulttuurisuus- ja taideasiantuntija, kirjoittaja
Veronika Honkasalo, tutkijatohtori, Nuorisotutkimusseura
Koko Hubara, blogikirjoittaja ja toimittaja
Kari Saari, tutkija, Mikkelin ammattikorkeakoulu

Seminaarin ja keskustelutilaisuuden järjestävät rasisminvastainen tutkijaverkosto Raster, CEREN (Etnisten suhteiden ja nationalismin tutkimuskeskus), Svenska social- och kommunalhögskolan, Helsingin yliopisto ja tutkimushanke Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era.