Candy and Cake: Criticizing Finnish and Nordic Whiteness

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


How is whiteness produced and reproduced in Finland? How might it be challenged and critiqued through artistic and arts-based practices? In this presentation I examine various presuppositions, attitudes, and relationships to whiteness and racism in Finland. We investigate how public conversation in Finland, similar to other European and global discourses, has recently moved towards more direct and overt racist and nationalist positions, and explore how specific forms of contemporary art and other forms of visual culture either contribute to or trouble normativizing of these positions.
First, using critical race theory as a framework, I discuss color-blindness as pervasive throughout Nordic discourse, and the resulting refusal to problematize the power of whiteness to produce both white and non-white subjectivities. Second, I clarify how whiteness, through visual culture, is complex, but finds its expression through simplicity as a naturalized universal entity Third, I provide and interpret examples of whiteness from Finnish visual culture that are caught up in a circuit of consumption, reproduction, perpetuation, and reinforcement. Finally, I link my presentation to the work by a graduate student at Aalto University that provide tools for critique, and raise critical and important questions about concepts of belonging and identity, and open up the right to claim, own, and display it.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventConference on Arts-Based Research and Artistic Research - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Mar 201815 Mar 2018
Conference number: 5


ConferenceConference on Arts-Based Research and Artistic Research
Abbreviated titleABR&AR
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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