From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

The politics of displacement: the Far Right narrative of Europe and its ‘others’

Roger Bromley


Arguably, the most urgent narratives in the contemporary world are political in the widest sense of the term. It seems to me, certainly from a European perspective, that there are two major conflicting political narratives at the moment: a European one from a White Nationalist, Identitarian perspective, seeing itself in danger of being displaced by migrants, challenged by a narrative from the Global South, itself constructed by those in flight from war, poverty, and exploitation. Both, in a profound sense, are linked by displacement, one metaphorical/symbolic, and the other emergent and actual. In this article, I want to concentrate upon this particular European (or, more precisely perhaps, Euro-American) Far Right narrative which, if not exactly dominant, is certainly gaining currency and is manifested in populist politics. The principal target of this narrative is immigration, specifically refugees; its main adversary is the ‘lickspittle mentality’ of Liberalism which has, it is claimed, nurtured the ethnic invasion threatening Europe. In attempting to locate the sources of this discourse in the concept of racialisation, an analysis derived from decolonial thinking will be presented. In the second part of the article, I will look briefly at two texts (literary and cinematic) which have contributed to a counter-narrative about forced migration and actual physical, and psychological, displacement, rather than the metaphorical displacement of European ‘nativism’. This counter-narrative, it will be argued, is primarily imagined from the perspective of migrants/refugees on the borders of Europe in many senses.


narrative, decolonial, Far Right, white, nationalist, displacement, immigration, refugees



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