Jón I. Kjaran, Giti Chandra og Mohammad Naeimi will give the fourth lecture in the RIKK – Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference at the University of Iceland lecture series on decolonialism in fall 2023. Their lecture is titled “‘Trapped’ in Coloniality. Iceland and Its Others” and will be held at 12–13 on Thursday 26 October, at the National Museum of Iceland.

The representations of people of colour in popular culture owe much of their urgency to the discourse of the ‘dark continent’ which draws on the rhetoric of modernity as founded on the historical process of colonisation. As such, Africa and its people are presented as being in need of saving (from themselves and others), and people from the ‘global north’ as their ‘white saviours’. Drawing on decolonial/postcolonial theories, the lecture will analyse how Africa and the people coming from there, as well as Iceland and Icelandic people, are represented in the Icelandic TV series Trapped – focusing specifically on the intersection of ethnic background, gender and sexuality. We will discuss the colonial tropes that shape the non-Icelandic characters in the series as well as the ways as the ways in which the notion of Iceland navigates the structuring of the saviour as white and masculine. Further, we will offer a reading of the implications of locating the terror as outside rather than using the crime fiction genre to reflect on the terror within. Thus, the lecture aims to understand the workings of the power of popular culture and how it sustains and reproduces colonial discourses.

Giti Chandra is currently Research Specialist with the Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (under the auspices of UNESCO) at the University of Iceland. She also teaches at the University of Iceland, and has been Associate Professor, Dept of English, at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. She is a member of the managing committee of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology, Decolonising Development action, and Principle Investigator of the Rannís funded project ‘Decolon-Ice’.

Mohammad Naeimi is a lecturer and researcher in gender, politics, and education at the University of Iceland, school of education and diversity. He obtained his Ph.D. in Political Philosophy and Gender Studies in 2020, at the University of Verona (Italy) with a doctoral thesis on the impact of modernity on epistemological-historical shift of Iranian same-sex desire into gayness from a Foucauldian perspective. Recently, his research focus is on queer activism in the global south, diversity in academia, queer Muslims and queer immigrants belonging formation. His recent book is on queer activism in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Jón Ingvar Kjaran is Professor of queer pedagogy and sociology of eduction at the University of Iceland, School of Education / Facutly of Diversity and Education. Their research focus is on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, queer issues, migration, and violence. They is currently leading two research projects on gender violence funded by the Icelandic Research Fund. Their latest book is on queer activism in Indonesia and Malaysia, published in 2022 by Palgrave.
Further information on the lecture series can be found on RIKK’s website – rikk.hi.is – and the institute’s Facebook-page. The lecture series is organised with the cooperation of the National Museum of Iceland. A recording of the lecture will be made available on RIKK‘s website.