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In other words, the unnamed keeper has first removed the infant Thale from her parents, and then attempted to transform her body into something he imagines as more human. Both these operations resonate powerfully with practices common in colonial settler environments. In Australia, the forced adoption by white families of aboriginal children began in the early s and did not cease until the s.

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The same practice informed relations between the Saami and the Nordic states Goodall The logic of this practice was that by removing the child from the harmful influence of the indigenous parent, and by placing the child in the care of the western state or in western families, the child could be weaned from its presumably harmful indigenous customs. A problem, however, was that indigenous children were also assumed to harbour a genetic indigenous nature.

The indigenous rested thus not only in culture, but also in the biology of people.

This type of racialised thinking became, as Philippa Levine is one of many to have observed, a pillar of the colonial ideological system. As cultural differences were increasingly reduced to automatic, racial behaviour in the late nineteenth century, the Saami were seen as inherently different from the settler communities supported by the state. The body of the Saami thus transformed from potential citizen into an object for anthropological and medical study.

As discussed by Roger Kvist , the Saami were rarely seen as political subjects after Instead, they were classified according to an increasingly pervasive racial order, which in the late nineteenth century was organized into a system named eugenics by its founder Francis Galton.

Bokrelease: "Undoing Homogeneity in the Nordic Region"

This discipline proposed that humankind could actively control what Darwin described as natural selection. By encouraging certain especially valuable members of society to procreate, and by discouraging or preventing less fruitful members from the same, society would be improved. Eugenics quickly gained traction across Europe and several centres were established in Scandinavian nations see Gunnar Broberg and Nils Roll-Hansen for a discussion on Eugenics and the Scandinavian welfare states. Eugenics also formed the foundation for the program of racial hygiene launched by Nazi Germany.

This pseudo-science soon spread across Europe and the US, and it was enthusiastically practiced in Scandinavia well into the s. The relationship between Thale and her Swedish keeper is obviously informed by these colonial practices and notions. Now that the keeper is dead and Thale liberated, she is free to escape into the forest.

However, one of the cleaners has made the mistake of calling his employers to explain what they have found, setting the military outfit that once imprisoned Thale on their tracks.

Bokrelease: "Undoing Homogeneity in the Nordic Region" - Uppsala University, Sweden

This outfit also wants her, not because of her feminine beauty, but because of the peculiar powers she apparently possesses; her native strength and her ability to heal organic material. Dressed in white hazmat suits and carrying machine guns, they sedate the cleaners with a sleeping gas and then proceed to interrogate them hooded and strapped to chairs in images reminiscent of Iraq and Abu Ghraib, despite the verdant forest setting.

When the interrogation goes nowhere, the officer in charge decides to kill the two men.


He is only prevented from doing so by sounds of gunfire from the cabin. Thale, again hiding in the bathtub, has begun dispatching the soldiers with supernatural strength. She has also attracted other members of her species. These computer-animated creatures are far more animal-like than Thale, but like her, they all seem unmistakably female.

Somehow sensing the good intentions of the two cleaners, they kill the military personnel but leave the hooded cleaners alone.

In a final parting gift, Thale heals one of the cleaners who suffers from lung cancer. Then, with a smile and a wink towards the camera, she disappears among the trees. As mentioned, Gothic scholars such as Smith and Hughes have contended that Gothic narratives often pair anti-enlightenment fervour with Orientalist tropes. Thus, many Gothic narratives can be seen concurrently to critique and endorse the colonial enterprise. As modern Gothic, Troll Hunter and Thale are similarly torn between the colonial and the postcolonial, but their positions are not exactly the same.

While both the traditional and the imperial Gothic accommodate orientalist themes and images, these tend to be much more prominent in the imperial version. Here, the Gothic threat is routinely managed with the help of modern guns. In these narratives, the threat that the Gothic Other constitutes can only be brought under control with the help of modern tools of violence.

Looking at Troll Hunter , the military solution is still in effect here. The trolls may be an indigenous population, but their monstrous and aggressive natures make confinement and — should they escape — violence the only means by which to manage them. Indeed, they have to be managed. There is no language other than violence with which to speak to them. The anti-heroic protagonist Hans is furthermore the agent of this violence and, while the story is told through the perspective of the bewildered media students, we are made to identify also with Hans.

We understand that the violence he practices is necessary. By contrast, Thale describes the military solution as destructive and inherently incapable of resolving the Gothic crisis of the film.

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When the faceless soldiers enter the cabin where the hulder is hiding, the audience is encouraged to root for Thale. When she rises from the bathtub in which she has again hidden and, in slow motion, snaps the neck of the nearest soldier, this is a moment of triumph. In the confrontation between the forest-dwelling, Gothic other and modernity in the shape of armed scientist soldiers, the audience is meant to understand that the modern welfare state is just as infected by eugenic theory and militarism as the European empires of the nineteenth century.

At the same time, even Thale represents the northern forest and its inhabitants as inherently abject Others. The audience may be rooting for the suddenly combative Thale, but she, and the territory and indigeneity she represents, remains fundamentally Other. She belongs, like the trolls, not simply to a different race, or to a repressed pagan past, but to a different species. While Thale seeks to counter racist attitudes and the colonial and eugenic practices that racism legitimized, and that legitimized racism itself, this fact still enables an understanding of difference as racially based.

This, she argues, seems to have disappeared. Biological racism may have been largely eradicated from Swedish textbooks and from legitimate political discourse but it cannot be argued that it has actually disappeared. To return to Troll Hunter and Thale , the most common arena for disseminating notions of race is arguably imperial Gothic and fantasy culture. When different peoples are given metaphorical shape as different races, even as different species — which is something that occurs in countless widely popular cinematic narratives, including King Kong , Lord of the Rings , Species and the Alien franchise — the metaphorical guise renders biological racism unproblematic.

Thus, when the indigenous subaltern is cast as an abject and potentially aggressive forest creature, the racist and sexist models from the colonial era once again become operative. Even when the Gothic other is as aggressive and predatory as the trolls of Troll Hunter , the wholesale massacre of entire families is perceived as monstrous. This essay is a revision of a paper I presented at the conference Gothic and Uncanny Explorations in Karlstad in September I want to thank the members of the Linnaeus University Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and the cluster for Nordic Colonialism in particular for help in writing and revising this essay.

I also want to extend my gratitude to the Swedish Research Council for their support of the Concurrences project that helped fund my research. Finally, I need to thank artist Broken Twin for the album No Darkness , which became the soundtrack of the composition of this essay.

Race & Ethnicity: Crash Course Sociology #34

Oppgrader til nyeste versjon av Internet eksplorer for best mulig visning av siden. Hopp til bunn-navigering. English Norsk. Frigi tilgang. Associate Professor, Linnaeus University, Sweden johan. Sammendrag Engelsk sammendrag. In a crucial scene towards the end of the movie, Hans tells the media students how he was forced by the government to eradicate a large group of trolls inhabiting a reservation: There was a mountain troll territory up in Strynefjell. The Gothic, Colonialism, and the Nordic Region Anglo Gothic has been widely recognized as intimately related to colonialism and imperialism.

As Keskinen et al observe, colonialism in its material and ideological forms easily takes hold among all who identify with the ideological stakes identified by the coloniser: The lure of an enterprise as powerful and authoritative as the Western civilising project, attracts even those who never belonged to its centre or were its main agents.

This is a common locale for Nordic Gothic. Leffler has argued that in: most Scandinavian horror novels and films […] the mazy architecture of the Gothic building, the labyrinthine city or the haunted house, is replaced by a boundless, uncontrollable and wild Nordic landscape.

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Thale and Eugenics If the trolls of Troll Hunter are predominantly male, triggering a contest of masculinity between the trolls and the state agent Hans, the mythological creatures that appear in Thale seem to belong exclusively to the female sex. In one of the few studies of Thale , Tonje Skar Reiersen observes that the hulders exist at: the intersection of nature and culture, they represent both freedom and fate. Acknowledgments This essay is a revision of a paper I presented at the conference Gothic and Uncanny Explorations in Karlstad in September Bergsland, Knut. Bidrag til sydsamenes historie.

Senter for samiske studier. Bhambra, Gurminder. Rethinking Modernity. Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Brantlinger, Patrick. Rule of Darkness. British Literature and Imperialism, — Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Broberg, Gunnar and Nils Roll-Hansen. Eugenics and the Welfare State. Colonialism in the Margins. Cultural Encounters in New Sweden and Lapland.