‘Cultivating Integration’? Migrant Space-making in Urban Gardens

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Organized cultural encounters manage difference, conduct, time and space. Yet, alternative social spaces emerge besides these scripts. This article explores migrant space-making in integration gardens, an urban gardening association in Copenhagen aiming to ‘dismantle social and cultural boundaries’. The space of the gardens is multilayered. Firstly, it operates as an integration grid – a homogenizing-organized cultural encounter evolving around a foreigner–Dane binary. However, the gardens also emerge as a web of gardening, centered around plants and gardening practices, breaching multiple (hi)stories, locations, relationships, and materialities. The article juxtaposes the spatiotemporal logics of the integration grid and the web of gardening, analyzing the possibilities for action and relating they afford. The analysis contributes to theorizations of organized cultural encounters by highlighting the embodied, affective human and non-human agencies in divergent space-making practices. Discussing these multidirectional spaces, the article links conceptualizations of agency, bodies, affectivity, time and space.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)621-636
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2017


  • Organized cultural encounters
  • Space-making
  • Urban gardens
  • Affect
  • Assemblage
  • Migration

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