Public Statement by selected NTNU Faculty in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

We are deeply aware of the forces and institutions that continue to threaten and destroy black lives, and the lives of other people of colour in the United States.
Oda-Kange Midtvåge Diallo is  ph.d candidate while Frederico G. Settler is professor II, both at Department of Interdisiplinary Studies of Culture. 
        
            (Foto: Privat)

Oda-Kange Midtvåge Diallo is ph.d candidate while Frederico G. Settler is professor II, both at Department of Interdisiplinary Studies of Culture.  Foto: Privat

Authored by Black academics, and affirmed by other colleagues, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

We recognise the bravery of so many people, who stand in the face of police brutality despite the threat that these institutions pose in their everyday lives. We note that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery are but the most recent victims in a long and unrelenting history of violence. As we say their names, we remember the many black lives lost to police violence in the USA, as well as in Scandinavia.

Assault on black discontent

As we face this assault on black discontent, and efforts to muffle a collective scream, it is made all the more striking that it occurs at the same time that we have had to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on Black and other communities of color.

It not only highlighted deep social and economic inequalities evidenced by higher infection rates, but also the over-representation of black and brown people who work as frontline workers, as well as the striking inequitable access to health care. Together with heavy-handed policing, poor social security provision, and the disproportionately high number of black people in US prisons, the plea by George Floyd becomes the cry of many – “I can’t breathe.”

We feel your pain

These words resonate through the black body politic. We feel your pain, frustration and vulnerability. The horror, the rage and the subsequent repression you face rests on anti-blackness, which we see as fuelled by white supremacy, that has a long history of exploiting and violating black people’s lives and bodies.

As black people from across the Atlantic, we believe that white supremacy continues to shape and disrupt black peoples experiences everyday – from the classroom, to the boardroom and into city streets. Your experience of white supremacy resonates with what we know to be true in our local context also, and it will remain in place until we collectively work with and for one another.

Eugene Obiora

In Trondheim, the hometown of our university, Eugene Obiora died as a result being strangled by local police in 2006. Daily, Black people and people of colour are being racially profiled by police here in Norway. Racism has deep roots in the history of this country from the colonization of Sápmi, to the Danish-Norwegian colonization of Ghana, the (US) Virgin Islands, the DK-NO union’s substantial involvement in slave trade, all the way to today’s white nationalist policies.

As Black people we are always aware of this reality, and as academics we are committed to uplifting the fight. We therefore also want to express our commitment to supporting the efforts of Black-led antiracism work in Norway, such as the initiatives organized by African Student Association and Arise.

We stand with you

As an academic collective, we decry racism and the use of violence that appears to be reserved especially for black people, and other people of colour. Because we recognise that being in a public space can often be a fraught and perilous experience, we are deeply aware of the sacrifices and risks you take every day of protest, standing up to face the violence that is structured to annihilate you. We stand with you!

As members of the academic collective of NTNU, we salute your efforts and endorse your fury. We stand with you as you put your bodies on the line, once more, demanding space to breathe, and to flourish. We stand with you in opposition to white supremacy’s impulse to annihilate you, and some of us. We pledge our support for your call against racism, and instruments of state through which it is enforced, and black lives are regarded not worthy of recognition, and respect, and life.

Signed by:

Black and Indigenous Academics

Oda-Kange Midtvåge Diallo (Author of Public Statement)

Federico G. Settler (Author of Public Statement)

Lucy Pius Kyauke

Olaolu Lawal

Elisabeth Stubberud

Supporting Academics

Lewis Doney

Ida Marie Lyså

Delilah Bermudez Brataas

Helen Eriksen

Mari Haugaa Engh

Deniz Akin

Maria Kirpichenko

Turid Fånes Sætermo

Libe García Zarranz

Rose Martin

Siri Øyslebø Sørensen

Sofia Moratti

Ingvild Firman Fjellså

france rose hartline

Helen Margaret Murray

Gerd Karin Omdal

Sophia Efstathiou

Astrid Rasch

Berit Gullikstad

Tanja Plasil

Guro Korsnes Kristensen

Agnes Bolsø

Ivana Suboticki

Angelina Penner

Thomas E. Sutcliffe

Hanna Musiol

Tone Pernille Østern

Ann-Kathrin Bretfeld-Wolf

Sunniva Skjøstad Hovde

Jennifer Branlat

Maria Bårdsen Hesjedal

Govert Valkenburg

Kris Kalkman

Lorenzo Cañás Bottos

Julie Katrine Flikke

Agata Maria Kochaniewicz

Priscilla Ringrose

Martin Anfinsen

Celina Annabell Stifjell

Outi Pitkänen

Bård Torvetjønn Haugland

Ingvill Stuvøy

Thomas R. Hilder

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