Aminkeng Atabong Alemanji: Participatory Creation of Antiracism Mobile Phone Application

With racism continuously changing in forms efforts to combat it needs to be diversified. One way of doing this is to invest in the creation of diverse antiracism methodologies. With four out of five youths in Finland active users of smart phones and various apps on other hand held devices like laptops, this project sets out to combine antiracism efforts and mobile (hand held) technology (via apps) to establish Finland’s first antiracism mobile phone application. Using three existing antiracism apps as practical examples from which to commence discourse, research participants will be introduced to the world of antiracism mobile phone application. Research participants will analyse the pros and cons of each app with the aim of creating a novel app. The study will critically analyse this data along the lines of the user models, approaches and understanding of racism, antiracism methodology, and ICT in education. The outcome of this analysis will represent both the theoretical background of the first antiracism mobile application as well as provide reference to future developments in antiracism interventions and services. Using participatory action research methodology, the research participants will play a major role with respect to the form and content of the novel app.

Suvi Keskinen: Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era

Keskinen analyses postethnic activism, in which people mobilise on basis of shared position as racialised and ‘othered’ minorities, instead of specific ethnic belonging. Based on data from three Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark and Finland), Keskinen analyses the political subjectivities, social imaginaries and alliance-building that are created in postethnic activism. The research examines the ways that neoliberal political rationalities shape the contours of activism and how such rationalities are negotiated, made use of, questioned and resisted by activists. Moreover, it analyses the social imaginaries of gender, belonging, nation, history, community and solidarity elaborated in these activities.

Nelli Ruotsalainen: Contesting Normative Whiteness in the Finnish Feminist Movement

Ruotsalainen’s sub-project focuses on feminist activism in Finland. In her research, she is especially interested in how feminists activists relate to whiteness in Finland as a norm that maintains societal inclusion and exclusion. Through participatory action research methods, Ruotsalainen aims to produce knowledge together with feminist activists, who are not themselves exposed to racism, but who are invested in critically analyzing and subverting societal power relations and thus develop anti-racist practices.The sub-project examines both the activists themselves who, through their positions as white in Finland, are complicit in the (re)production of racialized hierarchies, and the practices through which they seek to question and undermine those racialized power relations.

Amiirah Salleh-Hoddin: Participatory Approach in Developing Equality Data: Using Statistics to Map and Counter Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Finland

Salleh-Hoddin’s sub-project seeks to provide knowledge on how racialised minority groups develop claims over rights, belonging and participation – using the intersectionality perspective to examine the role of gender, race, ethnicity and age-related distinctions in the struggle to contest white normativity and make visible the presence of minorities and the inequalities that they face. The official ways of collecting data on the unequal treatment of ethnicised/racialised minorities in Finland is insufficient and, in some areas, non-existent. Currently, population registers use proxies such as country of birth (own & parents’) and language spoken at home instead of information about racial/ethnic belonging. These proxies may provide certain indications, but do not establish a clear picture of the racial/ethnic inequalities in Finland. In addition, the existing data is not always used for the benefit of the minority groups. The sub-project also aims to examine how ethnicised/racialised minorities in Finland claim their right to define the boundaries of their communities and by so doing, transform meanings of categorisations. Among the research questions this project seeks to answer is what kinds of means, strategies and tactics are used in the struggle that take place in civil society activism that seeks to contest ethnic/racial divisions, and how encounters between differently positioned actors and dialogues among diverse minority communities lead to collaborative knowledge production.

Minna Seikkula: Intersectional border struggles in migrant rights activism

The sub-project explores action that challenges border politics and articulates migrants’ rights.  Acknowledging the participation of citizens and non-citizens, permanent residents of various backgrounds and newcomers themselves in border struggles, the project investigates how racialised, classed, gendered, religious and aged positionalities shape the participants’ attempts to navigate and challenge migration restrictions and the European border regime.

The study asks how the intersectional positionalities of people taking a prominent role in solidarity work and migrant activism shape border struggles. In practice, the project focuses on border struggles by people with irregular status and their allies as it comes to strategies of legalization through other residence permit types than humanitarian residence permits. The study will observe what kind of agencies are encouraged and required from differently positioned persons in order to navigate among the migration regulations (e.g. work permit). At the same time, the study seeks to ally with people participating in border struggles as well as to contribute to the knowledge resources to support actions that challenge border politics.