The White Tent of Grief. Racialized conditions of public mourning in Denmark

Michael Nebeling, Mons Bissenbakker

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

In 2015, Danish-Palestinian Omar El-Hussein shot and killed two men in Copenhagen, before being killed himself by the police. Danish media immediately classified El-Hussein’s actions as ‘a terrorist attack’, and they became the object of extreme concern to the Danish public. In the following days, the two murder sites were momentarily turned into public memorial spaces. When the site of the killing of El-Hussein also became a site of mourning, however, it prompted a negative reaction from politicians and the white majority public. While the mixed reactions to publicly mourning a murderer are understandable, they also reveal something about the racialized conditions of public mourning. Reading the different acts of publicly mourning El-Hussein, the article investigates the ways in which public sites of grief are outlined by racialized economies. This article builds upon Butler’s argument that public mourning forms as indicative of which lives are considered lives at all. However, we argue that such an analysis must consider the racialized logics of the performativity of public mourning: Thus, while non-white grief seems not to be recognized as grief at all, white grief tends to reiterate the racialized processes that outline white lives as grievable at the expense of non-white lives.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSocial & Cultural Geography
ISSN1464-9365
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2. jan. 2019

Fingeraftryk

grief
Denmark
memorial
homicide
politician
police
public space
economy
public

Emneord

  • Copenhagen shootings
  • Lieux publics de commémoration
  • Public memorial sites
  • afecto
  • affect
  • el ser blanco
  • fait d’être blanc
  • necropolitics
  • necropolítica
  • nécropolitique
  • racism
  • racisme
  • racismo
  • sitios conmemorativos públicos
  • tiroteos en Copenhague
  • tueries de Copenhague
  • whiteness

Citer dette

@article{dc4278885ce741ba906d7deff1b785be,
title = "The White Tent of Grief. Racialized conditions of public mourning in Denmark",
abstract = "In 2015, Danish-Palestinian Omar El-Hussein shot and killed two men in Copenhagen, before being killed himself by the police. Danish media immediately classified El-Hussein’s actions as ‘a terrorist attack’, and they became the object of extreme concern to the Danish public. In the following days, the two murder sites were momentarily turned into public memorial spaces. When the site of the killing of El-Hussein also became a site of mourning, however, it prompted a negative reaction from politicians and the white majority public. While the mixed reactions to publicly mourning a murderer are understandable, they also reveal something about the racialized conditions of public mourning. Reading the different acts of publicly mourning El-Hussein, the article investigates the ways in which public sites of grief are outlined by racialized economies. This article builds upon Butler’s argument that public mourning forms as indicative of which lives are considered lives at all. However, we argue that such an analysis must consider the racialized logics of the performativity of public mourning: Thus, while non-white grief seems not to be recognized as grief at all, white grief tends to reiterate the racialized processes that outline white lives as grievable at the expense of non-white lives.",
keywords = "Copenhagen shootings, Lieux publics de comm{\'e}moration, Public memorial sites, afecto, affect, el ser blanco, fait d’{\^e}tre blanc, necropolitics, necropol{\'i}tica, n{\'e}cropolitique, racism, racisme, racismo, sitios conmemorativos p{\'u}blicos, tiroteos en Copenhague, tueries de Copenhague, whiteness",
author = "Michael Nebeling and Mons Bissenbakker",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/14649365.2018.1563708",
language = "English",
journal = "Social & Cultural Geography",
issn = "1464-9365",
publisher = "Heinemann",

}

The White Tent of Grief. Racialized conditions of public mourning in Denmark. / Nebeling, Michael; Bissenbakker, Mons.

I: Social & Cultural Geography, 02.01.2019.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The White Tent of Grief. Racialized conditions of public mourning in Denmark

AU - Nebeling, Michael

AU - Bissenbakker, Mons

PY - 2019/1/2

Y1 - 2019/1/2

N2 - In 2015, Danish-Palestinian Omar El-Hussein shot and killed two men in Copenhagen, before being killed himself by the police. Danish media immediately classified El-Hussein’s actions as ‘a terrorist attack’, and they became the object of extreme concern to the Danish public. In the following days, the two murder sites were momentarily turned into public memorial spaces. When the site of the killing of El-Hussein also became a site of mourning, however, it prompted a negative reaction from politicians and the white majority public. While the mixed reactions to publicly mourning a murderer are understandable, they also reveal something about the racialized conditions of public mourning. Reading the different acts of publicly mourning El-Hussein, the article investigates the ways in which public sites of grief are outlined by racialized economies. This article builds upon Butler’s argument that public mourning forms as indicative of which lives are considered lives at all. However, we argue that such an analysis must consider the racialized logics of the performativity of public mourning: Thus, while non-white grief seems not to be recognized as grief at all, white grief tends to reiterate the racialized processes that outline white lives as grievable at the expense of non-white lives.

AB - In 2015, Danish-Palestinian Omar El-Hussein shot and killed two men in Copenhagen, before being killed himself by the police. Danish media immediately classified El-Hussein’s actions as ‘a terrorist attack’, and they became the object of extreme concern to the Danish public. In the following days, the two murder sites were momentarily turned into public memorial spaces. When the site of the killing of El-Hussein also became a site of mourning, however, it prompted a negative reaction from politicians and the white majority public. While the mixed reactions to publicly mourning a murderer are understandable, they also reveal something about the racialized conditions of public mourning. Reading the different acts of publicly mourning El-Hussein, the article investigates the ways in which public sites of grief are outlined by racialized economies. This article builds upon Butler’s argument that public mourning forms as indicative of which lives are considered lives at all. However, we argue that such an analysis must consider the racialized logics of the performativity of public mourning: Thus, while non-white grief seems not to be recognized as grief at all, white grief tends to reiterate the racialized processes that outline white lives as grievable at the expense of non-white lives.

KW - Copenhagen shootings

KW - Lieux publics de commémoration

KW - Public memorial sites

KW - afecto

KW - affect

KW - el ser blanco

KW - fait d’être blanc

KW - necropolitics

KW - necropolítica

KW - nécropolitique

KW - racism

KW - racisme

KW - racismo

KW - sitios conmemorativos públicos

KW - tiroteos en Copenhague

KW - tueries de Copenhague

KW - whiteness

U2 - 10.1080/14649365.2018.1563708

DO - 10.1080/14649365.2018.1563708

M3 - Journal article

JO - Social & Cultural Geography

JF - Social & Cultural Geography

SN - 1464-9365

ER -