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Moving History: Subaltern Histories of Resistance to Racism in Switzerland

How do constructions of the (anti)racist past of Switzerland affect the present and the presence of subjects marked by migration in contemporary Switzerland? In Silencing the Past, Michel Rolph Trouillot puts emphasis on what he calls the "two sides of historicity". History is the socio-historical process ("the facts of the matter") as well as our knowledge of this process ("a narrative of those facts"). In order to shed light on power mechanisms in the production of history, one has to examine the silencing processes in the context of the formation of the sources, of the archives, of the narratives and finally of the making of history. In this context, my contribution explores the ongoing production of the history of migration in contemporary Switzerland by focusing on specific public interventions against racism made by those defined as "migrants" according to the dominant construction of "Swissness". On the one hand, I seek to understand how their interventions move, rupture and resist the hegemonic narrative of "Swissness" and the "immigrants". On the other hand, I explore the reception of these interventions. Their (non-)existence within the official Swiss history of (anti-)racism reveal specific power relations in the production of the history of migration.


Organisation du congrès: Société suisse d'histoire et Instituts d'histoire de l'Université de Lausanne | Contact