Lotta Lounasmeri

media researcher

Kuva: Pirre Naukkarinen

I am a media researcher, and my special interests lie in political culture and communication. At the Saari Residence, I intend to work on a manuscript about President Kekkonen and his exercise of power and leadership. The book is being produced based on collaboration between seven female researchers. The idea is to study Kekkonen, who is sometimes said to be a mythical figure, and his exercise of power from less traditional perspectives with the help of new kinds of materials, such as media materials, films, comics, folklore and anecdotes.

In my opinion, issues related to political culture change slowly, which is why it is important to understand and discuss history. The exercise of power is always inherent in politics, and it is interesting to examine how power is communicated and justified. The basis of a ruler’s power does not lie in legislation and the political system alone, but more specifically in the methods used to communicate power to those being governed Emotional communication is particularly effective.

When analysing mythical leadership, you often enter the realm of the subconscious. We need to explore this area in order to understand why Kekkonen’s character and leadership spoke so powerfully to this nation. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Kekkonen’s death. Remembering Kekkonen is more important now than ever. The cycle of history shows that similar developments repeat themselves. When examining Finnish political culture, it becomes clear that society would benefit from examining its past every now and then and the ways of thinking and acting that are still deeply rooted in us, even though we would not always like to be aware of such issues.