Governing Memory in the Aftermath of Far-Right Terrorism – Robert Nilsson Mohammadi

10. Jun

6:00 pm, C16.207


Victims of far-right terrorism are often left to cope with their losses alone, sometimes in situations where institutional responses perpetuate the violence. Victims advocate for recognition, investigation, accountability, and remembrance. The reception of this type of memory activism typically involves cities. However, signs indicate that the relations between victim initiatives and municipal authorities do not always run smoothly. This presentation explores urban political administration as a site of memory production, where memory is both a subject to be governed and a means for governance. The exploration focuses on Malmö, Sweden, whose super-diverse and post-migratory population became the target of a lone wolf terrorist. Racial profiling by the police and journalists rendered the terrorist invisible, allowing him to operate undetected for seven years (2003–2010) while casting suspicion on his victims, their perceived groups, and multiculturalism as a way of life. After the killer was exposed, the police issued a warning to all those “looking non-Swedish.” Sweden’s Minister of Integration interpreted the deeds as a sign of failed migrant integration rather than racism. The judicial system failed to consider his political motives, despite clear evidence in the form of a manifesto. Unlike most acts of right-wing extremist political violence in Sweden, public memory has developed around the events in Malmö. Since 2020, the municipality has collaborated with a victim and survivor initiative to create an anti-racist monument, marking the memory of the lone wolf terrorist as one instance in an ongoing history of vulnerability and subjugation in Sweden’s racialized class-society. How was the issue embedded in the politico-administrative governance of Malmö? Which spaces for memories have been opened and closed during the process? How does the case enlighten other local cases of memory work, and memory-activism, in the aftermath of far-right terrorism?

Dr. Robert Nilsson Mohammadi is affiliated with Malmö University, Sweden. He has conducted research on the social movements of the 1960s and subsequently focused on urban history. Currently, he is researching participatory methods for exploring and writing history, especially practices guided by the concept of “sharing authority.” Since 2019, when Nilsson Mohammadi began working closely with a victim and survivor initiative in Malmö, he has studied the formation of memory following the activities of a lone wolf terrorist in Malmö, as well as memory in the aftermath of far-right terrorism from a translocal, comparative perspective.

Organisation: Prof. Monika Schoop (

Language: English

This event is hosted by the Center for Critical Studies and the Gender and Diversity Research Network.