chapter  7
30 Pages

Identity and Cultural Representations in the Postmigrant Condition

WithAnne Ring Petersen, Sabrina Vitting-Seerup

The battle over ‘identity’ and the identification of Self and Other is central to postmigration. Similar battles are fought under different names across many European countries, so this chapter aims to turn the obsession with issues of identity which characterizes the postmigrant condition into an instrument for complexifying the notion of identity as such. Using Stuart Hall’s understanding of identity as a matter of ‘becoming’ as well as ‘being’, the authors draw on cultural, feminist and queer identity theory to establish a postmigrant perspective on the dynamics of identity formation in contemporary Danish culture. The aim is twofold. First, the chapter develops an operational framework for analysing how the struggles over ‘identity’ surface in art and cultural production. Here, the concepts of identification, disidentification and intersectionality are deployed as the cornerstones of a postmigrant identity theory suited for (but not limited to) the analysis of cultural representations relating to the postmigrant condition. The second aim is to explore how this theoretical framework can be applied in analyses of four case studies from Denmark. Looking through the lens of postmigrant identity theory, the authors examine examples from music (Natasja), the visual arts (Superflex), comic books (Halfdan Pisket) and literature (Hassan Preisler).