From Darkness to Light

Main researcher: Kristín Loftsdóttir

The research looks at mobility and the creation of the European subject, in relation to Iceland and the Canary Islands. What kind of connections have existed between Iceland and the Canaries? How have they been shaped by their geographical position as on Europe‘s margins? The main focus prioritizes two interlinked points of contact between the islands and their entanglement with the wider world: Historical relations and contemporary relations.

Historical Relations through a museum display. Transnational mobility in the 19th century is explored through the afterlife of a plaster bust collection, that connects Iceland and the Canary Islands.

  • How can the collection be used to explore different contact zones that were racialized, gendered, and class based?

Contemporary relations through Icelandic mobility to the islands. The research explores current mobilities between the Canary Islands and Iceland. What do these mobilities say about mobility of different bodies from Iceland to the Canary Islands? This mobility often takes the form of interlinked tourism and health-related mobility. The goals are to:

  • Contextualize this mobility in a wider context of regimes of mobility in Europe.
  • Understand the differentiation of populations that travel from Iceland to the Canary Islands.
  • Compare the Canary Islands and Iceland as destinations of mass tourism.

The methodology includes participant observation, interviews (formal and informal) and analysis of media discussion and advertisements. Interviews are taken with people from Iceland that travel to the Canary Islands, as well as those engaged in the tourism sector and cultural industries in the Canaries.

The project is supported by the University of Iceland Research Fund and Icelandic Research Fund.

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