Aarhus Universitets segl

Articulations of life among Afghans in Denmark

The European ‘refugee crisis’ is currently a burning issue in the media and in political debate. In the social sciences and the humanities, the crisis has generally been framed within pre-existing concepts like ‘settlement process,’ ‘cohesion,’ or ‘integration.’ The ARTlife-project proposes a radically different approach. In collaboration Afghans residing in Denmark, we will experiment with the methodological and conceptual affordances embedded within the technologies of photography, film, social media, theatre and material objects in an attempt to understand what recent arrived refugees and Danish-Afghans, that might have lived in the country for decades, themselves see as the challenges of everyday life in Denmark.

Our hypothesis is 1) that a ‘bottom-up’ approach, is a precondition for better understanding of what it means to be a refugee in Denmark and 2) that such an approach to what we call ‘articulations of life’ can best be attained through the development of co-creative methods, conducted between researchers and refugees.


The project will explore existing and emerging articulations of life in five sub-projects:

  • Marriage and home-making as articulations between Afghan families (Mikkel Rytter)
  • Social mobility and filmmaking among women with Afghan background (Karen Waltorp)
  • Photos, albums and diaries: young Afghan men and unaccompanied minors (Christian Vium)
  • Forum theatre as performance and negotiation of uncertain futures among Afghan youth in Denmark (Julie Nynne Bune)
  • Gender, development and NGOs among Afghan refugees (Narges Ghandchi)

About the research project

Period May 1-2017 – August 31, 2020

The ARTlife-project is funded by AUFF-NOVA and The Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS)

Grant recipient, PI. Mikkel Rytter

Contact: mikkel.rytter@cas.au.dk