FT, professori Davydova-Minguet Olga and working group

306100 €

Towards relational, multidirectional dialogues on memory politics in diverse Finnish society

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

The war in Europe profoundly impacts various segments of Finland’s population, influencing how people interpret history, especially war memories, and position themselves in the diverse Finnish society. The project investigates the meanings immigrants from Russia and Ukraine attach to WWII memories, in the context of Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, and the “memory wars” between Russia and “the West”. How societal integration, dialogue, and membership can be enhanced in these circumstances? Do newcomers need to “immigrate into history”, adopting the new homeland's dominant views on the past, or does the diversification of society necessitate changes in Finnish memory politics? How can Ukrainian and Russian immigrants establish convivial coexistence in Finland? How do images of WWII change among different groups due to the ongoing conflict? Is it possible to facilitate the development of dialogic and democratic relationships in the realms of historical memory? Our approach to addressing these questions involves the integration of diverse expertise, including academic, activist, and artistic perspectives. The project plan entails in-depth and extended fieldwork with small groups of Russian-speaking and Ukrainian participants, utilizing the facilitated constructive dialogue methodology developed by the Timeout (Erätauko) Foundation. The dialogues are complemented by collective "sensory walks" to specific public memory sites, including museums. This innovative approach to fieldwork allows us to achieve three main objectives: 1) develop a new practical, research-grounded methodology for engaging in dialogues about the past; 2) collect unique and valuable research material; 3) explore the multifaceted positionings of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants concerning their countries of origin and Finnish memory cultures in the war context.