Glänta serves as ‘another place’ for people who ‘share alliances’ on the subject of personal identity. Ten writers have contributed to this argumentative, thoughtful collection of essays and narrative poems, all critical of a society that celebrates secularism and capitalism, as well as ‘maleness’ and ‘whiteness’.
Johannes Anyuru, one of Sweden’s leading writers, speculates on his own otherness as a black Muslim: ‘Islam will always be its own world, with skies, seas and horizons of its own and, above all: with its own narratives that tell us what skies, seas and horizons are.’ Anyuru calls his essay ‘Alhambra’, describing a visit to the palace but widening the discussion to the philosophy and culture it represents: ‘[Islam], that battered fortress rising out of the desert of globalization.’ His essay includes his wife Sara Nelson’s letters to her dead mother and fragments of her search for an identity as a Muslim woman: ‘I am not another’s tolerance. I’m not an image in another’s collection […] I am a collective.’
Discriminate more? By excluding non-human components of planet Earth, we contribute to its ruination, argues Anders Johansson. More discrimination might be the answer: ‘there are theoretical reasons for breaking down [humanity] into the smallest possible units […] so that each one of us can stand accused of his or her actions.’
Exclusion: Agri Ismaïl prefers to make legalistic points to hammer home the ways used by ‘whites’ to exclude outsiders. He tells about straightforward abuse but also discusses, for instance, Kodak colour film (once coded for paleness), what percentage of non-Europeans in an area triggers an exodus of white Swedes – it is 4% – and the guidelines for identifying ‘unwanted types of person’ documented in the archives of the Swedish Migration Authority.
More articles from Glänta in Eurozine.