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Meeting the Greenlandic people – Mediated intersections of colonial power, race and sexuality

Journal article
Authors Kristine Køhler Mortensen
Marie Maegaard
Published in Discourse, Context & Media
Volume 32
ISSN 2211-6958
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Swedish
Language en
Keywords Coloniality Sexuality Media Intersectionality Greenland Denmark
Subject categories Scandinavian languages


Whereas many former colonized regions and colonizing nations have engaged in public political debates on past assaults, the colonial relation between Denmark and Greenland presents an opposite case in point. In this article we investigate how Danish contemporary media representations of Greenlanders work to re-inscribe issues of colonial relations by modulating representations around specific intersections of social categories. We focus on a Danish highly popular TV-documentary series from 2016 framed by an explicitly formulated purpose to show the “strong” and “brave” Greenlandic people. Through critical discourse analysis we demonstrate how in this production bodies are inscribed in intricate intersections of nature, economy, gender, sexuality, and race producing the Greenlandic body as exotic and uncivilized. Moreover, the article engages in interactional analysis of interview scenes that demonstrates how the portrayed Greenlanders despite being given ‘a voice’ end up being ‘silenced’ (Spivak 1988) through various epistemic authoritative acts carried out by the host. We conclude by discussing how despite the explicitly formulated “good intentions” of the TV show, it ends up reproducing and maintaining colonial power dynamics.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-14