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