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Task 1 - Banal Nationalism


Alan writes:

The presence of the national flag, and its use on occasions like birthdays, is very striking to the new arrival In Denmark, but is taken for granted by Danes themselves. This is an example of ‘banal nationalism’, Michael Billig’s term for the way in which nationalism is constantly present in modern societies as part of ordinary life, expressed for example on coins and stamps, little rituals, shared stereotypes, the use of the first person plural pronoun by politicians and so on. These things might hardly be consciously registered, but all give the feeling of belonging (or, for the confused outsider, not belonging) to a given nation. ‘The metonymic image of banal nationalism is not a flag which is being consciously waved with fervent passion,’ says Billing, ‘it is the flag hanging unnoticed on the public building’ (Billig 1995, 8) — or indeed the flag hanging unnoticed on a flagpole outside a Danish home!

Your first task, then, is to record, map and represent all flags (Danish...or otherwise) within a 100m radius of our house in Jespersvej, and to offer some interpretation of their incidence. Practices involved in this task will include exploring and observing, and might include one or more of the following: mark marking, photographing, filming.

See Marie's response here.