The Many Layers of Moral Outrage

Kurdish Activists and Diaspora Politics

in Conflict and Society
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Abstract

This article takes the expressions of moral outrage in an illegal demonstration in Norway as a point of entry to explore how the political unfolds in Kurdish diasporic spaces. The premise for this analysis is that moral outrage among pro-Kurdish activists is an enduring, intergenerational process, the expression of which displays a multitemporality and multidirectionality. In order to explore the many layers of moral outrage this article proposes an analysis along the literature of political ritual and performance, which focuses on signification, symbolism, identity constructions, and the importance of audiences. I argue that Kurdish activists consciously perform their moral outrage to position themselves in relation to their host country, other Kurdish activists in Norway, and the larger transnational Kurdish community in Europe. As such, moral outrage turns out to be central in the enactment of Kurdish diaspora politics.

Contributor Notes

NERINA WEISS is Senior Researcher at the Fafo Research Foundation. She received her PhD in social anthropology from the University of Oslo in 2012 and worked as a Marie Curie IE Fellow at DIGNITY (Danish Institute against Torture) from 2011 to 2013. She has published on radicalization, political violence, migration, gender, as well as torture and trauma. Regionally, she has worked in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with extensive fieldwork experience from Cyprus and eastern Turkey, as well as from Denmark, Norway, and Austria. Email: nerina.weiss@fafo.no

Conflict and Society

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