The word “diaspora” has accumulated multiple connotations since its initial iterations in Greek centuries ago. Beyond a mere “dispersal” of people across the globe, diasporas are rich communities filled with emotional memories, artistic expressions and vibrant economies.
Diasporas are also targets of xenophobic hate and racist stigma, occasionally resulting in various forms of violence. The tensions and beauty around the term emerge from our complicated notions of “home.” Where is home and what do we do to maintain connections to a place/time when we live elsewhere? While each individual navigates these issues in specific ways, everyone can agree that crossing borders is a learning experience. Diasporas oblige both “home” and “host” groups to engage with human difference and try to make sense of it all. It’s not easy.
For the Fall Semester 2021, we in Brazilian Studies at AU thought a project on diaspora would facilitate an exploration into this nervous wonder of crossing borders linking, in this case, Brazil to Denmark. The commemorative event occurred on the evening of 4. February, 2022 at the Frontløbere cultural center in Aarhus. We included all student cohorts and the project involved multiple methods, theories and perspectives. A truly transdisciplinary process!
Importantly, students from the AU Brazilian Studies Program connected with members of the Brazilian diasporic community living in Denmark. AU students from 1st, 3rd and 5th semesters worked together conducting interviews in Portuguese with Brazilian immigrants to learn about their cultural and personal background in Brazil and their migration experience to and inside Denmark. As a result of this collaboration, a series of posters were born. But, in truth, both the images and texts, in Portuguese and in Danish, represent only a part of the story.
The journey, both for the migrant and the student, is an ongoing one that often poses as many questions as it does answers.
Viva Diaspora! Viva Dialogue! Viva Education!
Special Thanks:Super obrigado to Mariana Gil for layout design
Julie PedersenKaroline BeckMalthe SimonsenRasmus GrønneTanja Ankerstjerne
Cecilie SchmidtLouisa Riisgaard
Amalie SnerbirkJulie Haakonson
Anders NielsenDitte AntonsenFrederik LundgaardRasmus DamgaardSebastian Bagger
Brazilian IntervieweesCleo StenfeldtNatália LarsenRenata CardosoSandro MasaiUlisses Loli