SAVE THE DATES! KALENTERIT ESIIN!

The dates for #InariDig2 are now confirmed and the dig will be from August 7th to 16th. We will have an open excavation like last year and the registration opens in the end of May. The specifics are yet to be confirmed and we will keep you posted along the way. A sure thing is that there will be a limited amount of spots for volunteers so stay tuned!

#InariDig2:n ajankohta on nyt selvillä. Yleisölle avoimet kaivaukset järjestetään kesän lopussa 7.-16.8.2017. Ilmoittautuminen vapaaehtoiseksi avautuu toukokuun lopussa ja lisätietoa alkaa tippumaan pitkin kevättä ja kesää. Vaikka moni asia onkin vielä epäselvää, on varmaa se, että paikkoja vapaaehtoisille on rajoitettu määrä. Kannattaa siis pitää korvat höröllä!

Suzie Thomas talking about Lapland’s Dark Heritage in London

On Thursday 9th March, Suzie Thomas will give a lecture entitled “Lapland’s Dark Heritage: Understanding the Material Legacy of the Second World War in Northern Finland” at the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Her lecture has the description:

“In this lecture I will talk about current research at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu, with which I am involved as a Researcher. In the project “Lapland’s Dark Heritage”, we are investigating the ways in which local residents and visitors to Finnish Lapland engage with and understand the material culture left behind by both the German military presence in Finland, and the so-called “Lapland War” (1944-45). This research has revealed varied, and sometimes surprising, interactions with the material heritage of this period – which itself ranges from collectible military memorabilia through to the traces of former structures, including PoW camps and military depots, in the Lapland wilderness. In this talk, I will give a historical overview of Finland’s experiences in the Second World War, and share some diverse case studies from the research. This includes a potentially controversial exhibition in a Lapland museum (and visitor reactions to it), individual history hobbyists and artefact collectors – often with very personal stories and reasons for engaging with the wartime material – through to “alternative” expressions of touristic activities and attractions.”

The lecture is open to Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London and their guests, and will also be recorded to be available to watch via the website.

By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK – Burlington House Gates 2Uploaded by tm, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27908270

UPDATE: The film of the lecture is now available to view online.

War through Other Stuff Conference, Edinburgh / War through Other Stuff -konferenssi Edinburghissa

Oula Seitsonen and Vesa-Pekka Herva are taking part for the rest of the week in the War through Other Stuff Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. They present on Thursday February 23 a paper about a rather unlikely sounding couple, rural folk magic and modern war. Magical thinking and 20th-century conflict may appear as odd bedfellows, but some recent research proposes that magical thinking was common, for example, among military personnel during the Second World War. Albeit often marginalized and ignored, magical thinking affects the ways people understand and relate with the world in modern western societies in general, and in wartime conditions in particular. War can be considered as an inherently liminal state of affairs characterized by uncertainty, which in turn promotes ‘superstitious’ beliefs, for instance in the form of using protective charms. This paper discusses special finds and features recovered recently from three German-run WWII PoW camps in the northern margins of Finland. These peculiar and outwardly purposeless finds are considered in the context of rural folk magic and spiritualities in a ‘peripheral’ region of northern Finland. This paper brings together a host of broader issues: rural cultures and mindsets in the North, the significance of magical thinking in the context of (the material heritage of) modern war, and the perception of Lapland as an enchanted land characterized by natural and supernatural marvels and cultural ‘backwardness’. It is argued that the special deposits and features in question were made after the war in an attempt to ‘pacify’ malevolent places literally and figuratively haunted by ghosts of the wartime in the local folklore.

Lapin sotureita / Lapland’s warriors.

Oula Seitsonen and Vesa-Pekka Herva ottavat tällä viikolla osaa War through Other Stuff konferenssiin Edinburghissa, Skotlannissa. He pitävät torstaina 23.2. esitelmän ehkä hieman epätodennäköisen kuuloisesta aisaparista, kansantaikuudesta ja modernista sodasta. Maaginen ajattelu ja 20. vuosisadan konfliktit voivat kuulostaa oudolta parivaljakolta, mutta tuoreet tutkimukset ehdottavat, että maaginen ajattelu oli yleistä esimerkiksi sotilaiden keskuudessa toisessa maailmansodassa. Vaikka maaginen ajattelu jää usein marginaaliin ja sitä ylenkatsotaan, se vaikuttaa edelleen ihmisten tapaan toimia ja ymmärtää myös modernia länsimaista maailmaa ylipäänsä, ja erityisesti sodan aikana. Sota on perusolemukseltaan epävarma ja liminaali toimintaympäristö, mikä edistää ‘yliluonnollisia’ uskomuksia, esimerkiksi turvautumista erilaisiin onnenkaluihin. Esitelmä käsittelee odottamattomia erikoisia löytöjä, jotka olemme tehneet vastikään kolmella saksalaisten toisen maailmansodan aikaisella vankileirillä Lapissa.  Tulkitsemme näitä outoja ja näennäisesti tarkoituksettomia löytöjä kansanuskon viitekehyksessä. Tämä lähestymistapa koskettelee myös monia muita laajempia kysymyksiä, kuten pohjoisen maaseudun kulttuurin ja ajattelutapojen erityispiirteitä, maagisen ajattelun merkitystä modernin sodan materiaalisten jäänteiden yhteydessä, ja yleisiä näkymyksiä Lapista taianomaisena alueena, jolle  on luonteenomaista yliluonnolliset ja luonnonihmeet sekä kulttuurinen ‘takapajuisuus’. Ehdotamme, että tekemämme erikoiset löydöt ja ilmiöt on asetettu paikoilleen ja tehty sodan jälkeen, ja niiden tavoitteena on ollut ‘rauhoittaa’ nämä pahansuovat paikat, joita sodan haamut ovat vaivanneet kuvaannollisesti ja kirjaimellisesti paikallisessa kansanperinteessä.

New publication / Uusi julkaisu: “Ghosts in the background” and “The price of the war”. Representations of the Lapland War in Finnish museums

Project Researchers Suzie Thomas and Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto recently had a paper published in the journal Nordisk Museologi. The article, entitled “Ghosts in the background” and “The price of the war”. Representations of the Lapland War in Finnish museums, stems from an assessment of the different ways in which selected museums across Finland address the theme of the Lapland War (1944-45). The paper’s abstract reads as follows:

Museums decide which events and perspectives to privilege over others in their exhibitions. In the context of “difficult” or “dark” histories – in which the subject matter might be painful, controversial or in some other way challenging for one or more community or interest groups to reconcile with – some events may be marginalized or ignored. This may also happen due to official narratives diverting attention to other events that have come to be seen as more “important” or worthy of discussion. We explore the ways that information about the Lapland War (1944-1945) is incorporated into permanent exhibitions at five Finnish museums: the Provincial Museum of  Lapland; Siida – the National Museum of the Finnish Sámi; the Gold Prospector Museum; the Military Museum of Finland, and the Finnish Airforce Museum. Despite the significant social and environmental upheavals brought about by the brief but destructive conflict, it seems surprisingly rarely addressed.

The journal issue’s contents list is available online, and the articles will also appear online later in they year. The print version is already available.

Reference:

Thomas, S., and Koskinen-Koivisto, E. (2016) ‘Ghosts in the background’ and ‘The Price of War’: Representations of the Lapland War in Finnish museums, Nordisk Museologi 2016(2): 60-77.

Photo: Information about crashed aircrafts at the Finnish Airforce Museum. Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto.

Projektin tutkijat Suzie Thomas ja Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto julkaisivat hiljattain artikkelin Nordisk Museologi -aikakauslehdessä. Artikkeli käsittelee Lapin sodan representaatioita viiden eri museon perusnäyttelyissä. Tässä artikkelin abstrakti suomeksi käännettynä:

Museot päättävät jokaisen näyttelyn kohdalla, mitä tapahtumia ja näkökulmia ne haluavat painottaa. Vaikean tai synkän kulttuuriperinnön kohdalla valinnat saattavat johtaa jollekin taholle ristiriitaisten tai  kipeiden aiheiden sivuuttamiseen ja marginalisointiin. Näin voi esimerkiksi käydä, jos aihetta katsotaan virallisen koko Suomen käsittävän sotakertomuksen näkökulmasta tai nostetaan esiin jokin tapahtuma tärkeimpänä tai keskeisimpänä Suomen kohtaloa sodassa määrittävänä tekijänä. Artikkelissa analysoimme viiden suomalaisen museon – Lapin maakuntamuseon, Saamelaismuseo Siidan, Kultamuseon, Sotamuseon ja Suomen ilmavoimamuseon – perusnäyttelyitä. Huolimatta sen merkittävistä vaikutuksista alueen asukkaisiin ja luontoon, Lapin sota (1944-1945) saa yllättävän vähän sijaa museoiden pysyvissä näyttelyissä. 

Nordisk Museologi -lehden numero 2/2016 ilmestyi tammikuussa. Sen sisällysluettelo on jo verkossa ja kaikkien artikkeleiden PDF-versiot ilmestyvät samalle sivulle piakkoin.

Uusin julkaisumme: Kulttuuriperinnön “joukkoistaminen” / New publication: Crowdsourcing cultural heritage

Uusi vuosi alkaa Lapin synkkä kulttuuriperintö -projektissa uusilla julkaisuilla. Oula Seitsosen analyysi yleisön osallistumisesta Yleisradion järjestämään sotahistoriallisten kohteiden kartoitukseen julkaistiin vastikään Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage -lehdessä.

“Joukkoistaminen”-termi on hieman kömpelö käännös englanninkielisestä crowdsourcing-sanasta, jolla tarkoitetaan yleisön osallistamista esimerkiksi tiedon tai rahoituksen keräämiseen tai tutkimuksen tekoon (“crowd”=yleisö + “outsourcing”=ulkoistaa): Wikipedia on tästä ehkä vaikuttavin esimerkki. Muita ehdotettuja suomenkielisiä käännöksiä ovat esimerkiksi joukkouttaminen ja talkoistaminen. Joukkoistamisen viime aikainen yleistyminen linkittyy läheisesti maailmanlaajuisesti käynnissä olevaan tiedon tuottamisen ja käyttämisen demokratisoitumiseen. Osana tätä demokratisoitumiskehitystä on tiedostettu, ettei asiantuntijoilla ja ammattilaisilla voi olla yksinoikeutta tietoon, vaan myös suuren yleisön ja esimerkiksi paikallisyhteisöjen näkemykset on otettava huomioon aiempaa paremmin. Viime aikoina onkin kehitetty erilaisia tapoja, joilla voitaisiin huomioida paremmin yleisön tiedollinen, taidollinen ja tulkinnallinen panos, myös kulttuuriperinnöntutkimuksessa.

Verkossa tapahtuva joukkoistettu tiedonkeruu on yksi mahdollinen toteuttamistapa yleisön osallistamiseksi.  Ylen järjestämän sotahistoriallisten kohteiden yleisökartoituksen perusteella aihe kiinnostaa ihmisiä kovasti: Ylen kartalle kertyi parissa kuukaudessa lähes 2000 merkintää. Tutkimuksen perusteella erityisesti henkilökohtaisesti tärkeiden paikkojen promoaminen sekä oman tietämyksen jakaminen ja korostaminen näyttävät motivoivan ihmisiä ottamaan osaa tämän kaltaiseen yleisökartoitukseen. Ainakin näiden näkökohtien huomioiminen tulevia kulttuuriperinnön yleisökartoituksia tai muita joukkoistamisprojekteja suunnitellessa tuottaa todennäköisesti parempia tuloksia ja innostaa ihmisiä osallistumaan.

New year starts with new publications from Lapland’s Dark Heritage. Oula Seitsonen’s analysis of public participation in crowdsourcing of conflict heritage sites in Finland, organized by the State-broadcasting company Yleisradio (original Yleisradio article), has just been published in the Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage.

Paper abstract describes:

Following a recent worldwide boom in the democratization of knowledge, crowdsourcing and Participatory GIS, heritage practice increasingly draws on crowdsourced geographical data. In this paper, I discuss a public crowdsourcing of twentieth century conflict heritage in Finland, launched by state-owned broadcasting company Yleisradio. Here emphasis is on analysing the user behaviour and incentives, which can inform analogous future initiatives.Many of the public entries mirror local perspectives on conflict heritage: pride of personally important loci and self-satisfaction appear to be important incentives for taking part. Finally, I summarize themes that other heritage crowdsourcing organizers could apply to their work.

 

 

Happy New Year / Hyvää uutta vuotta, from us to you!

We in the Lapland’s Dark Heritage team are looking forward to more research, more cooperation with our colleagues and friends in Finland and beyond, and more dissemination of our results in 2017. We also have some new adventures to look forward to:

As noted already, #InariDig2 received a grant from the University of Helsinki’s Future Fund, meaning we can return to Lapland next summer for more public archaeology.

Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto recently received a personal grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation (Suomen Kulttuurirahasto), meaning that she can continue to do research related to the project, and will be based at the University of Jyväskylä, working with the rest of the Lapland’s Dark Heritage collective until October 2017.

We also had some wonderful news from Royal Society of Edinburgh. Both Suzie Thomas and our colleague Iain Banks of the University of Glasgow received Caledonian Research Fund/Royal Society of Edinburgh (CRF/RSE) European Visiting Research Fellowships for 2017. This means that Suzie will visit Scotland for two months to carry out research around community uses of the Cultybraggan former Prisoner of War Camp, basing herself at the University of Glasgow for that time. Shortly after her Fellowship ends, Iain will come to Finland for a further two months, so that he can once again participate in the excavations in Inari, carry out further field research and spend time at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu.

We wish everyone all the very best for 2017, and look forward to updating you with more project news over the next year!

By Kolbkorr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Kolbkorr (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Merry Christmas: Public excavations for the summer 2017 funded! / Hauskaa joulua: Kesän 2017 yleisökaivauksille apuraha!

We received magnificent Christmas news: our 2017 public excavations got funded! We get to continue the public and community archaeological research together with the Sámi Museum Siida and all the volunteers from the local area and further away, with financial support from the University of Helsinki Future Fund!

We will arrange in 2017 two weeks long public excavations at Prisoner-of-War camps in Inari, inspired by the positive experiences and feedback from our 2016 field studies. Volunteers are again welcome to join in the excavations and related program, and to share their own experiences, opinions and everything else related to the World War 2 heritage.

We will update details about our upcoming studies in our blog page and through the University information channels after the New Years.

Merry and peaceful Christmas and happy New Year to everyone!!!

Christmas on front in 1942, Santa Claus has arrived (SA-Kuva).
Christmas on the front in 1942, Santa Claus has arrived (SA-Kuva).

Saimme vielä joulun alla ilouutisen, että vuoden 2017 yleisökaivauksiin anomamme apuraha on myönnetty! Pääsemme jatkamaan yleisö- ja yhteisöarkeologisia tutkimuksia yhdessä saamelaismuseo Siidan ja paikallisten sekä kauempaakin tulevien vapaaehtoisten ja kiinnostuneiden kanssa Helsingin yliopiston Tulevaisuusrahaston suosiollisella avustuksella!

Järjestämme loppukesästä 2017 kahden viikon mittaiset yleisökaivaukset Inarissa toisen maailmansodan vankileirikohteilla, vuoden 2016 tutkimuksista saatujen positiivisten kokemusten ja palautteen inspiroimina. Vapaaehtoiset ovat jälleen enemmän kuin tervetulleita osallistumaan kaivaustutkimuksiin ja kaivausten oheisohjelmaan, sekä jakamaan omia tärkeitä mielipiteitään, kokemuksiaan ja kaikkea muuta toisen maailmansodan kulttuuriperintöön jollain tavalla linkittyvää.

Ilmoitamme alkuvuodesta tarkempia tietoja tulevista tutkimuksista sekä blogissamme että yliopiston tiedotuskanavien kautta.

Hauskaa ja rauhallista joulua sekä uutta vuotta kaikille!!!

 

Talks this week in Helsinki from Lapland’s Dark Heritage

On Wednesday 14th December, Suzie Thomas is giving a talk as part of the University of the Arts’ KuvA Research Days / KuvAn Tutkimuspäivät at the Exhibition Laboratory, Merimiehenkatu 36, Helsinki.  She talks as part of the afternoon “Poetic Archeology” session, with a paper entitled “Archeologies of Conflict and Dark Heritages: Unpicking a painful past”. The full programme is available here as a pdf. All are welcome to this public event.

On Thursday 15th December, both Vesa-Pekka Herva and Oula Seitsonen are talking in different events. Herva gives a presentation in the afternoon at titled “Saksalaisen sotilassairaalan yhteisöarkeologiset tutkimukset Inarissa” (En: Community archaeological studies of a German military hospital in Inari), as part of the University of Helsinki’s archaeologykesalla-kentalla” fieldwork seminar day on Thursday at Porthania, Yliopistokatu 3, Helsinki (room PIII). The event is open to all.

Later the same day at 18:00-20:00, Oula Seitsonen gives a presentation at the public event “Arkeologia tutuksi” (En: Get to know archaeology) organised by the Archaeological Society of Finland, together with Timo Ylimaunu from the University of Oulu. Ylimaunu  is presenting “Modernin maailman arkeologia ja muistaminen” (En: Archaeology of modern world and remembering) and Seitsonen presents “#InariDig: Yleisö- ja yhteisöarkeologia modernin maailman monimerkityksisen kulttuuriperinnön käsittelyssä” (En: #InariDig: Public and community archaeology in dealing with the multifaceted heritage of the modern world), at Kirjasto 10, Elielinaukio 2G, Helsinki. Follow the link for the event flyer: modernin-maailman-arkeologiaa.

New publication from Koskinen-Koivisto and Thomas / Uusi julkaisu

Project researchers Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto and Suzie Thomas contributed a chapter to the new edited volume “Heritage in Action: Making the Past in the Present”, which was recently published by Springer, edited by Helaine Silverman, Emma Waterton and Steve Watson.

The book chapter, entitled “Lapland’s Dark Heritage: Responses to the Legacy of the World War II”, contributes to the wide and diverse volume which looks at different ways in which the idea of heritage is an active (and activist) phenomenon which is constantly on the move and changing.

The abstract for the chapter is:

“Dark” or “difficult” heritage is increasingly becoming of interest to researchers. How do different communities, whether in situ, online, or united by a particular hobby or interest, relate to aspects about the past that may be difficult or painful to reconcile? Do these encounters with difficult heritage lead to exploitation, indifference, destruction, or other even more diverse responses? This chapter focuses on communities in far northern Finland where different groups, both locally and more remotely, for example via online encounters, have chosen to engage (or not to engage) with the physical remains left by German activity in Lapland during World War II. These groups, including tourists, local residents, and hobbyist treasure hunters, respond differently to this “dark” heritage generated and in so doing generate their own connections and reconnections with the past.”

The book is dedicated to the memory of a much loved and respected colleague Professor Steve Watson, who sadly and unexpectedly passed away during the production of the volume.

suzie_book20161208_153917

Suzie’s and Eerika’s bookselfies.

Projektitutkijat Eerika Koskinen-Koiviston ja Suzie Thomasin kirjoittama artikkeli julkaistiin teoksessa “Heritage in Action: Making the Past in the Present”, jonka Springer juuri julkaisi. Teoksen toimittavat Helaine Silverman, Emma Waterton and Steve Watson.

Artikkelin nimi on “Lapland’s Dark Heritage: Responses to the Legacy of the World War II” ja se käsittelee sotahistoriaharrastajia sekä muuta aktiivista toimintaa sodan kulttuuriperinnön parissa Suomen Lapissa.  Laajassa  artikkelikokoelmassa kulttuuriperintöä  tarkastellaan dynaamisena ja muuntuvana ilmiönä, jonka kentällä toimii erilaisia aktivisteja ja instituutiota. Yllä artikkelin englanninkielinen abstrakti.

Teos on omistettu pidetyn ja kunnioitetun kollegamme professori Steve Watsonin muistolle. Kaikkien suruksi hän kuoli yllättäen kesken kirjaprojektin.

 

Dr. Iain Banks and the Mustikka Dreams

Dr. Iain Banks from Glasgow university attended the open excavation in Inari with us this summer. He already dazzled us with his knowledge (and his accent) in this video, and now he was kind enough to write us a piece about how he remembers experiencing Finnish Lapland.

driainbanks
Dr. Iain Banks, 2011

Mustikka Dreams

This summer, I found myself in a place that was both familiar and very strange to me.  I was standing in a forest in Lapland, far to the north of the Arctic Circle, with my field of vision cut down to a few feet by the density of the forest. The familiarity came from the vegetation and landforms. Lichens grew everywhere, and the ground cover was a mixture of mosses and berries. The trees were pines for as far as could be seen. This was so familiar to someone who has spent as much time as I have in the Highlands of Scotland.  We don’t have as rich an array of species of berry as Lapland, but the lichens thrive as well, the damp conditions keep the mosses as dominant as in Lapland, and I could almost believe myself to be in a forest at home.

There is also a similarity in terms of the human landscape.  While we don’t have reindeer herders, we have traces of the Second World War scattered across the Highlands.  We have training camps, PoW camps, and forestry camps slowly decaying into the landscape, disappearing under the mosses and lichens amidst the trees. I was in Lapland as part of the research project Lapland’s Dark Heritage, come to see Lapland’s PoW camps and participate in the excavations at Inari.  Further north than I had ever been before, in a country that I had never previously visited and whose language is a closed book to me, the combination of environment, archaeological material, and the warm welcome of colleagues made me feel completely at home.

During my time in Lapland, I learned a huge amount about the history of events, about which I’d previously had a hazy notion of plucky Finns holding back the Russians in the North. In particular, I’d never heard about the burning of Lapland.  I was able to share my experience as a field archaeologist in helping the volunteers to learn the basics of excavation, and to share some of my research into PoW camps further south in a public lecture.

We excavated elements of a hospital site just outside the town of Inari, working with a group of Finnish volunteers, and forming a truly international group of English, Scottish, Brazilian, and Finnish academics probing the heritage and impact of the war in Lapland.  Still smarting from the Brexit vote, it was heartening to work with my European colleagues and plan future collaborations that will endure whatever the politicians decide.  A small taste of that came with the recent visit of Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto to the University of Glasgow, and we hope to expand links between Glasgow, Helsinki, and Oulu in the coming years.  Lapland’s Dark Heritage is a tremendous project, and I have really enjoyed being involved in it; I will be returning for as long as the project will have me.

I started by talking about the familiar; the biggest difference was night time. We have long hours of summer daylight and short winter days, but it is less extreme than in Lapland. Standing on the edge of Lake Solojärvi at 2 am photographing the mist on the surface of the water was an experience I will always remember.  I have travelled far and wide across the world, but Lapland has been one of the best experiences I have had.

drsolojarvi
Lake Solojärvi. Taken by Dr. Iain Banks in the summer of 2016.

Material heritage of German WWII military presence in Finnish Lapland