Everyday (in)securities of the Greenlandic diaspora in Denmark

Theme 2. Connectivity
Session Name 2.1 Enablement besides constraints: A multidisciplinary approach to cybersecurity and its connections to human security in the Arctic
Datetime Sep 05, 2018 03:30 PM - 03:45 PM (UTC +3)
Location IT106
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Nicola Wendt
Author(s) Nicola Wendt (Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom)
Abstract text

Over the past ten years, the Arctic island of Greenland has gained increasing autonomy from its former colonial power, Denmark. Yet, Greenland remains part of the Danish Kingdom, which also comprises the Faroe Islands, and is entangled in an enduring network of economic and political dependencies. The circa 14.000 Greenlandic-born adults, who currently live in Denmark, embody these dependencies in different ways, as they form part of their everyday lived experiences. To this end, the Greenlandic diaspora still occupies a marginalised position on the edge of the Danish society. Contrasting Danish and Greenlandic political imaginations have thereby reinforced prejudices on either side and reproduced postcolonial power imbalances that might protract the on-going, reconciling autonomisation process.

Expressed through, and for, various digital platforms, such political imaginations and questions of (mis) recognition also inform the public narrative in Greenland. This form of digitally mediated public discourse adds an element of ontological security to the on-going debate on Greenlandic independence. Bridging geographical distances, it appears to call the Greenlanders’ notion of their Danish citizenship into question and thereby affects their political identity formation process in times of fundamental political and climatic upheaval.

Drawing on recent fieldwork conducted with Greenlandic communities in two Danish cities, Copenhagen and Aalborg, this paper explores how the Greenlandic diaspora in Denmark uses digital communication platforms to voice recognition claims. It thus examines the significance of intersubjectivity in identity-forming processes in a postcolonial context.

Keywords: ontological security, recognition, diaspora, digital communication

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