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New project on cross-cultural understandings of Night and Belonging

Aarhus case study focuses on the areas surrounding City Vest, areas with high concentrations of Muslim Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

This project is one part of a larger, collaborative research project called “NITE Spaces” funded by HERA from 2019-2022. Through a programme of community co-designed cultural events and activities, and close engagement with policy-makers, NITE aims to contribute to policy approaches and cultural understanding of the night with the goal of creating more inclusive cities. With migration a defining characteristic of contemporary urban life, key and often polarizing in current policy, political and public debates in Europe, NITE aims to support community wellbeing and better integration at local, national and transnational levels.

The Aarhus-based project is a comparative study between Aarhus and Lisbon that investigates how local self-identifying Muslim youth and Protestant or syncretic Christian African youth navigate the city at night. It also includes fieldwork with local officials to gain insight into how the State “sees” the city at night. The main hypothesis is that varying cultural understandings of the night generate conflict and creativity as people negotiate a sense of belonging in psychological, cultural and geographical terms.

The PI of the Aarhus-based project is Derek Pardue, who is an Associate Professor in Brazilian Studies inside the Global Studies Department.

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