building and fence reflected in water with ice mealting
Photo: Anne-marie Allesø Rasmussen

Reconstituting imagined communities of whiteness through racial banishment. The would-be deportation centre Lindholm and the “ghetto law” in Denmark

Culture and languages
Society and economy

CGM seminar with Erling Björgvinsson

10 Apr 2024
13:15 - 14:45
C417, School of Global Studies

Erling Björgvinsson, Professor of Design at HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University.
Centre on Global Migration (CMG)


The presentation will focus on the link between the bill to place a deportation centre on the island Lindholm on the coast of Zealand, Denmark and its mass media coverage, and the implementation and media coverage of the “Ghetto law” packages in Denmark targeted at Danish minoritized citizens neighbourhoods. Following Nicholas De Genova and Ananya Roy, the two cases link migration studies and urban studies with the purpose of analysing how external and internal politics intertwine through imaginaries of possessive whiteness, Othering, and racial banishment when it comes to asylum seekers and minoritized citizens. Specifically, it argues that racial banishment and imaginaries of whiteness is based on racial dispossession, mobile containment and immobilisation to regulate proximity to whiteness, as it relates to ownership and civil rights. It also argues that this connects to colonial hierarchies of differentiations between on the one hand imagined whiteness in the form peaceful and secure homogeneity, civility and prosperity and on the other hand, minoritized people who are seen as unreliable, unproductive, and threatening, and that they produce chaos and disorder.


Erling Björgvinsson is Professor of Design at HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University. His research focuses the dynamics of power and change as they are imagined and carried out in art and design through historical and material practices that enable, direct, and restrict ways of being and imagining. The presentation is based on research carried out in the research project PLACED: Accommodating refugees and asylum seekers and the spatial production of hospitality and otherness, funded by FORMAS. Currently he is heading a six-year long practice-based research project titled Imaginaries of Value: Site and Mobility in Globalised Art and Design Practices Through Their Creative and Administrative Uses of Paper.