Warming up narratives of community: Queer kinship and emotional exile

Ali Ali (2022). In: Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics., Vol. 8(4), 10–24.


How does the experience of bureaucratic obstacles and xenophobia change our ideas, ideals and politics of belonging in Europe?

This article Warming up Narratives of Community is about LGBTQ+ asylum and migration politics in Finland. It shows that narratives and acts of solidarity take shape among those who share the experience of bureaucratic difficulties and everyday racism.

Mainstream politics and media stories often present belonging and settlement in Europe as a matter of legal admission. Such stories ignore the complicated and debilitating process of seeking protection, settlement and belonging. However, first-hand experiences of racism and bureaucratic challenges warm up our political and social muscles. People who go through such experiences realize the need for a collective reconsideration of simplistic stories of belonging and identity. In this article, “warmth” does not simply mean feeling of joy and ease. It also (or mainly) means active, lively, thoughtful, responsible and engaged dialogue and politics.

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