Karolina Nikielska-Sekula analyses belonging, translocational positionality, and the cultural heritage of people of Turkish descent residing in Drammen in her doctoral dissertation entitled LOCATING IN-BETWEENNESS: Belonging, Translocational Positionality, and the Cultural Heritage of Drammenian Turks. In the context of their settlement in this mid-sized Norwegian city, she discusses the ways in which Norwegian Turks use and create spaces and places in Drammen, influencing its landscape. Her dissertation explores respondents’ expressions of belonging focusing Turkish-run facilities in Drammen on mezzo-levels of analysis as well as on individual conceptualisations of home. The findings suggest that the idea of home comprises both strong attachments to the social and physical spaces of Drammen, and an idealised longing to the ancestral homeland. In the latter, a feeling of home is absent.
Nikielska-Sekula additionally explores the complex construction of the identity of Norwegian Turks. Employing a translocational positionality framework (see Anthias 2002, 2008, 2013), she discusses the everyday routines of respondents, uncovering their various identifications ranging from belonging to Turkishness and Islam to a strong identification with Norwegian society and the ‘spaces of foreigners’ attached to it.
Lastly, Nikielska-Sekula investigates the engagement of Norwegian Turks with their cultural heritage on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, which exemplifies the incorporation of elements of Norwegian heritage into Turkish traditions and how, conversely, participation in Norwegian heritage involves ethnic habits comprised of food and feasting patterns that are assumed Turkish.
Nikielska-Sekula primary argument is that the complex positionality of Norwegian Turks is localised in Drammen and influenced by the local circumstances of the city and the organisation of Norwegian society in general. She ultimately questions, therefore, the common idea that minorities being stuck “in-between cultures” underlying the localised character of diasporic practices of people.
Karolina Nikielska-Sekula is a fellow in the PhD Program in Culture Studies. She has been employed by the Department of Culture, Religion, and Social Studies, USN Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences, and received additional funding from INTEGRIM-Marie Curie Actions in order to complete the fieldwork required for her project.