From Afro-Sweden with defiance: the clenched fist as coalitional gesture?

Nana Osei-Kofi, Adela C. Licona, Karma R. Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Anti-racist activist Maria Teresa “Tess” Asplund, who is Afro-Swedish, became known around the world in 2016 when a photograph of her stepping out in front of three hundred marching neo-Nazis from the Nordic Resistance Movement went viral on social media. Tess raised her clenched fist in protest, as part of a counter-demonstration. The recognizability of her clenched fist as an act of protest struck a chord with anti-racist activists and movements around the world as the photograph of her lit up the Internet. In this article, we examine Asplund’s action as an expression of the current racial climate in Sweden, while at the same time tracing the viral and transnational circulation of her image across multiple-publics and mediaspheres to investigate how her solitary presence and her clenched fist function relationally and rhetorically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalNew Political Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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