This conference is part of an ongoing international effort at a critical understanding and examination of global popular memory in relation to the Black and African presence in Europe. This includes an examination of the imperial past and the future from a Norwegian and Scandinavian perspective in particular, but globally by drawing from experiences and case studies. The conference comes at a critical time where on the one hand there is widespread skepticism towards multiculturalism and hostility towards Europe’s “Others” – considered immigrants, and on the other, Scandinavian and Norway’s significant standing in the international humanitarian global project, particularly in Africa. Norway has been important in shaping humane discourses globally best symbolised by the Nobel Prize for Peace. Norway’s case study is not unique as contradictions exist globally, and therefore, lessons from Norway, Europe and elsewhere point to the importance of exploring the potential restorative project. The conference seeks to explore the modes, means and value of (re)writing back African/black Diasporas into the idea of Europe and by implication, into global human heritage drawing from their own and other’s ‘best practice”. Our premise is that historical accounts as forms of representation are not — nor can they ever be — neutral nor static. Social transformation has always been a result of a willingness to address questions of power, of dominant discourses, ideologies, views and voices, dialogue, but also to a will to change.
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