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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dark Blood: An Analysis of Slaves in the Family (Slavernes slægt)

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The article presents an analysis of the Danish documentary series, Slaves in the Family. It demonstrates how an analytics of hybridity can unpack the naturalizations and denaturalizations of categories of purity, arguing that it is vital to capture the unstable tension between understanding “hybridity” as a mixing of elements on the one hand, and as a displacement of categories on the other. Slaves in the Family criticizes and destabilizes ideas of purity by rearticulating the story of Danish colonial history and of Danish national identity. However, the article argues that the series’ narrative about family and race is uneasily situated between the two conceptions of hybridity. Consequently, notions of purity are reinstalled by the way the series articulates “kinship” as the basis of true relations and authentic identity.

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