“The EU gave us a new beginning”: Liquid racism and affect in a curated migrant story

Giaxoglou, Korina and Spilioti, Tereza (2024). “The EU gave us a new beginning”: Liquid racism and affect in a curated migrant story. In: Archakis, Argyris and Tsakona, Villy eds. xploring the Ambivalence of Liquid Racism: In between antiracist and racist discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 181–201.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.341.07gia


In this chapter, we trace subtle forms of racism, known as liquid racism (Weaver 2010), in a personal experience story of a migrant’s journey, curated as part of a communication campaign about the European Union (EU). Our analysis of the story is based on the examination of its structure ( emergence ), its production and reception ( wholeness ) and its curation ( embedding ; De Fina 2020) in relation to tellers’ and audiences’ affective positioning (Giaxoglou 2021a), that is, the ways in which tellers position themselves and others affectively within the taleworld, the storyrealm, and broader master-discourses. We trace liquid racism in the way the migrant’s experience is commodified and in the way his experience is collectivized, promoting an exemplary image of a ‘good’ and ‘grateful’ migrant. The chapter contributes a critical approach to storytelling that can prove useful in tracing liquid racism emerging from the production of ambiguous affective positions in antiracist narrative texts.

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