“White Rage” with Espen Rasmussen

March 18, 2021
10:00–11:15AM EDT
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© Espen Rasmussen / VII. Athens, Greece. Christos Pappas (54), member of parliament and vice president for Golden Dawn in Greece, in the press briefing room in Athens. The party has 18 members in parliament. When the police searched his house, they discovered a 9mm Luger gun, a Colt, flags with nazi symbols, several books about the Nazi movement and a wine bottle with a picture of Mussolini on it. They found several images of Adolf Hitler as well. So what, says Christos Pappas.

White Rage is a highly topical and controversial project by Espen Rasmussen. It is a geographically extensive and comprehensive visual study of xenophobia and the individual mechanisms and motives that cause people to translate hate into actions in the aftermath of the refugee crisis. In the spring of 2016, Espen started an almost two-year journey through some of the darkest places in Europe and the U.S. He met fascists, Nazis, Muslim haters, extreme nationalists, militia members, and right-wing populists. Two questions frequently arose: What drives them? Why do they hate?

Traveling across Europe, from Norway to Italy and France to Russia and the U.S., Espen met and spoke to hundreds of right-wing activists who reject liberal politics and moral standards and advocate a Nationalist revival and a new conservative order. In 2007-2016, the number of reported hate crimes doubled in nineteen E.U. countries, with an increase from 19,767 complaints to 40,152. And in Trump’s America, the Ku Klux Klan has been superseded by Nazis with European role models. Espen traveled 3266km through three states in the east of the U.S. to understand what drives hate in America.

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