Whose Freedom? Whose Memories? Commemorating Danish Colonialism in St. Croix

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Abstract

The article addresses the issues of cultural and archival historical representations as they are presented in Danish journalism about historical events taking place in the former colonies of Denmark, the current United States' Virgin Islands (USVI). The (post)colonial relationship between Denmark and USVI has been overlooked by Danish and 'western'-based scholars for quite some time. The article presents the case of a journalistically represented reenactment in the USVI commemorating the emancipation of the Danish slaves on the three colonial islands St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas in 1848. The case shows that journalists often depend on documented historical accounts rather than cultural knowledge, myths and legends, that may tell a different (his)story. Engaging journalism with feminist theory and postcolonial theory, the article discusses how this bias determines who gets to speak and who is silenced, that is, journalistic objectivity. Finally the article seeks to develop another way of thinking about postcolonial memory constructions in journalistic representations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Identities
Volume17
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages11
ISSN1350-4630
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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