‘We hugged each other during the cold nights’ : the role of affect in an anti-deportation protest network in Finland
Pirkkalainen, P. (2021). ‘We hugged each other during the cold nights’ : the role of affect in an anti-deportation protest network in Finland. Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2021.1989292
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This article analyses the role of affect and emotions in Finland’s first large-scale anti-deportation protest, the 2017 Right to Live protest in Helsinki. Despite deportation protests having recently gained scholarly attention, their emotional dimensions have not been sufficiently studied, especially as concerns the emotions of protestors with vulnerable legal status. This article is based on in-depth interviews with key activists in the anti-deportation protest network in Finland, including asylum seekers, refugees and Finnish citizens. The article argues that in order for the protest of asylum seekers facing the threat of deportation to become public and visible, it was important that citizens who supported the cause not only offered material assistance but also shared their emotions. The article applies Margaret Wetherell’s theoretical concept of affective practices to analyse interactions between asylum seekers and their supporters, and Sara Ahmed’s circulation of affect and affective economies to explain how affect and emotions played a role in mobilizing protesters and sustaining the protest. The article concludes that the circulation of affect within the network of asylum seekers and supporters produced lasting affective value during the protest and after the protest ended. Strong affective ties enabled the protesters’ network to function effectively in a challenging political climate and despite the network’s lack of formal organization, leadership and shared ideological premises. ...
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Programme, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Academy of Finland.
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