The Slow Violence of Deportability
Horsti, K., & Pirkkalainen, P. (2021). The Slow Violence of Deportability. In M. Husso, S. Karkulehto, T. Saresma, A. Laitila, J. Eilola, & H. Siltala (Eds.), Violence, Gender and Affect : Interpersonal, Institutional and Ideological Practices (pp. 181-200). Palgrave Macmillan. Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56930-3_9
Published inPalgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology
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© 2021 the Authors
In 2015, Finland, like other European countries, received an unprecedented number of asylum seekers. Later, in the aftermath of what we prefer to call the ‘refugee reception crisis’, the deportation of those who had received negative asylum decisions began. The Finnish Immigration Service significantly tightened its policies after 2015. Increasingly strict asylum criteria have resulted in deportations at a level never seen before. Furthermore, protests against deportations have increased and become publicly salient. In this chapter we theorize deportation as a form of slow violence that hurts not only its main target but also people nearby. While a forced removal can be seen as a single, potentially violent act, deportability is a slow process. The violence ‘happens’ rather than ‘is done’, and therefore deportability may not be understood as violence. By analyzing thematic interviews with people who have contested deportations, we analyze how citizens who are proximate to deportable migrants ‘withness’ deportability—how they begin to see and feel the invisible, slow violence done to others and decide to act. The chapter concludes that making visible violence that would otherwise remain unrecognized is crucial in current anti-deportation activism. ...