End conference  From One Crisis to the Next? Mediating Border Crises and Solidarity Activism

FRIDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2022 FROM 10:00-16:00

Facebook event:

The conference will be streamed online. Pre-registration required.
Since the 2015 Summer and Autumn of Migration, the border crisis rhetoric has circulated widely in different media outlets in the Nordic countries and Europe more broadly. Public discourse continuously refers to the perceived effects and symbolic value of what was coined as the “refugee crisis”, the alarming rhetoric of which has more recently been witnessed in media and political discussions on the situation of migrants stuck at the border between Belarus and Poland, as well as the potentialities of a crisis at the Finnish-Russian border. This conference provides analyses of the ‘border crisis’ rhetoric and its impact on present migration regimes, as well as the role of media in creating and reproducing these. Moreover, the conference highlights the practices through which migrants and asylum activists seek to make public the humanitarian and solidarity crises that are no less pressing today than in 2015, although gaining less public visibility. The environment of hostility created in the interplay between mediated extreme right activism and news outlets in the ‘hybrid media space’ poses challenges to journalism that seeks for alternatives to border crisis rhetoric, but new forms of participatory media are simultaneously developing.
10:00-10:15: Welcoming words: Suvi Keskinen
10:15-11:15: Keynote lecture 1: Vanessa Barker: The Punishing Crisis: Borders, Penalty and the Future of Welfare States
11:15-11:45: Gwenaëlle Bauvois and Niko Pyrhönen: Hybrid Mediatization of Anti-Immigration Responses to the ‘Refugee Crisis’
11:45-12:45 Lunch break
12:45 -13:45 (Finnish language panel discussion on representing migration and border crises in journalism) Paneelikeskustelu Siirtolaisuuden ja rajakriisien kuvaaminen journalismissa: toimittaja Jeanette Björkqvist ja panelistit.
13:45-14:15: Minna Seikkula: New practices of solidarity? The ‘border crisis’ shaping Finnish civil society
14:15-14:30 Break
14:30-15:30 Keynote lecture 2: Myria Georgiou: The digital border: Europe’s technologies of power, control and resistance.
15:30-16:00 Suvi Keskinen: The Point of No Return? Competing Crisis Constructions and the Mediatization of the Autumn of Migration 2015 in Sweden and Finland
16:00 Closing of the conference
Keynote speakers and abstracts:
Vanessa Barker is Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University, Sweden, and Editor in Chief of the journal Punishment & Society.
The Punishing Crisis: Borders, Penality and the Future of Welfare States
As increasingly repressive border and migration controls are deployed to nominally protect and uphold the integrity of societies of the Global North, the paradox of violence suggests that the same tools and logic used to ensure the society’s survival, corrode it from the outside in. It is not that migration will be the undoing of affluent welfare states but rather the violence they use to uphold it. This talk examines the causes and consequences of Sweden’s historic border closure in 2016 in such terms. It highlights how punishing power, penal nationalism, not only reproduced social and racial hierarchies of national belonging but created new social fault lines within the society and expanded social divisions through transnational space as a form of penal imperialism. These structural, legal, and social developments make it difficult to repair our societies but not impossible.
Myria Georgiou, Professor of Media and Communications, London School of Economics, UK…/academic-staff/myria-georgiou
This talk examines the digital expansion and rearticulation of borders in Europe. It examines how digital communications – big data, artificial intelligence, social media platforms and institutional journalism – become fundamental to transnational mobilities’ regulation, both in terms of policing and in narrating what migration is and why it needs containment. Reflecting on the trajectories of European policies and imaginaries of the border in the period of 2015-2020, the talk offers a holistic overview, through migrant experiences and voices of mobility and through media narratives of migration as both become articulated across Europe. Previewing the forthcoming book The Digital Border (NYU Press, with Lilie Chouliaraki), it reveals the border as a symbolic and material system of control, but also as a site that generates acts of resistance and solidarity.
The conference provides a possibility to hear about the results of the research project “Border Crises in Two Languages: Mediatized Politics and Solidarity Activism in the Wake of the 2015 Asylum Migration”, which set out to investigate the mediatized politics of the experienced crisis at the Finnish-Swedish border during and after autumn 2015. The project has further examined the transnational influences between the Finnish and Swedish media and the role of the Swedish-language media in Finland in this process.
More about the project at
Please register here for participation in the conference:
The conference link will only be sent to those who have registered latest 16.2.2022.
The conference is organized by the project “Border Crises in Two Languages: Mediatized Politics and Solidarity Activism in the Wake of the 2015 Asylum Migration”, located at The Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN), Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki.
The project is funded by the Swedish Cultural Foundation



Researchers Gwenaëlle Bauvois and Niko Pyrhönen participated at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference,  30 August – 3 September 2021.

In the panel on “Mediatization, politicization, and (de-)legitimization of immigration in Europe”, they presented their paper Hybrid mediation of ‘the refugee crisis’ by radical nationalist groups Suomi Ensin and Rajat kiinni!.


Researchers Gwenaëlle Bauvois and Niko Pyrhönen participated  an the European Sociological Association (ESA) Research Network 15 Midterm Conference 2021 whose theme was Global Social Change: Ideas, Beliefs and Interests on May 27, 2021.

In their paper Soldiers of Odin as Peril or Protection? Hybrid Mediatization of Oppositional Framings on Anti-Immigration Responses to the ‘Refugee Crisis’ they presented the results on their analysis the journalistic output on the Soldiers of Odin in four mainstream news outlets in Finland (Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet) and Sweden (Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet) and in one Finnish countermedium (MV-lehti) between January and May 2016.


Project leader Suvi Keskinen and researchers Gwenaëlle Bauvois and Niko Pyrhönen organised the online webinar “Post-truth politics, mediatization and politicization of immigration” 29.4.2021.

How do misinformation, denial and distortion of facts, and other aspects of post-truth politics take shape in different European countries? Researchers from Denmark, Finland and Switzerland discuss their recent and ongoing research with a focus on how the politicized rhetoric of immigration, racism and misogyny is constructed and challenged in media environments.

Invited guest speakers were prof. Peter Hervik (Aarhus University), university researcher Tuija Saresma (University of Jyväskylä) and adjunct proferssor Heikki S. Mattila (Webster University). The event was organised together with the EU Jean Monnet-network  Post-Truth Politics, Nationalism and the (De-)Legitimation of European Integration. 


Researchers Gwenaëlle Bauvois and Niko Pyrhönen participated  in the 20th Nordic Migration Research Conference and the 17th Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration (ETMU).

Their presentation on January 13, 2021 was related to Developing practices for investigating hybrid mediation of ‘the refugee crisis’ by Suomi Ensin and Rajat kiinni!.


Researchers Gwenaëlle Bauvois, Niko Pyrhönen and Minna Seikkula presented their research  in the research workshop IM­MIG­RA­TION, RA­CISM AND NA­TION­AL­ISM organised by by the ESSO-group (Social Psychologists studying Ethnic Relations at University of Helsinki), Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ), and the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN) on November 30, 2020.

Bauvois and Pyrhönen’s presentation “The multiculturalist enemy”? Unpacking the repertoires of othering in the lay discourse against multiculturalism focuses on the lay discourse in social media, in particular Facebook discussions that address the news coverage of two high-profile media events in Finland. In the first case study, we analyse the debates revolving around the emergence of the far-right vigilante group Soldiers of Odin (SOO) in January 2016, while the second case examines the discussion on the election of Jussi Halla-aho (HA) as the chairman of the radical right populist Finns Party in June 2017.


Researcher Minna Seikkula facilitated the workshop/research stream “Solidarity: positionalities, power, and possibilities” at the ETMU Conference at the University of Tampere  November 14th, 2019, together with Nelli Ruotsalainen & Amiirah Salleh Hoddin.

Minna Seikkula also gave her own presentation “Intersectional border struggles and solidarity activism” presentation at the ETMU Conference, University of Tampere on November 14th, 2019.



Researcher Minna Seikkula gave the presentation “Intersectional border struggles” at the DENOR (Decolonial Critique, Knowledge Production and Social Change in the Nordic Countries) 2nd exploratory workshop Decolonial perspectives on education, University of Trondheim, Norway on April 4th, 2019.



Researchers Gwenaëlle Bauvois and Niko Pyrhönen participated in the conference Mobilities and Transnationalism in the 21st century at the University of Reykjavik, Iceland (April 28-30. 2019).

They participated in the panel workshop: The Power of Narratives: Democracy and Media in Political Turmoil.

In their presentation “The Whole World’s Welfare Desk” and other Transnational Anti-Immigration Narratives on Deservingness”, they looked at the narratives on deservingness in three countermedia outlets Kansalainen (FI), Breitbart News (US) and Fdesouche (FR).