Festival as embodied encounters: on Kulturhavn in Copenhagen

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This article is part of a project on Paradoxical Spaces: Encountering the Other in public space which explores how cultural difference is experienced, practiced and negotiated in public space. Specifically, it explores the ‘multicultural’ festival Kulturhavn taking place yearly along the harbour of Copenhagen. Multicultural festivals are seen as places for on-going identity negotiations, where individuals and groups define meaningful concepts of identity along with notions of exclusion. In the paper, we adopt a performative approach abandoning the distinction between bodies and space and embracing ideas of ‘embodiment’ and ‘rhythm’. We explore participant engagement emphasizing bodily practices as well as sensuous experiences, but also differential processes and orientalist images produced in, and through, encounters. Among the range of activities at the festival, we focus on three: food; dance; and taekwondo. The methods are participant observation and different kinds of interviews.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)637-650
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2017


  • Intercultural encounter
  • Encounter
  • Intercultural contact
  • festival
  • Body
  • Multiculturalism
  • Orientalism

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