Nationalizing victims and mourning - averting transnational ties?
Olga Davydova-Minguet (University of Eastern Finland)
Paper short abstract:
The presentation depicts tendency towards "nationalization" of mourning sites and practices in the North-Western region of Russia Republic of Karelia, and ponders its relation with the actual transnational ties and still going on emigration from Karelia to Finland.
Paper long abstract:
Republic of Karelia, the North-Western region of Russia bordering with Finland, has experienced massive emigration to Western countries, mostly to Finland during Post-Soviet transformation and become one of the most transnational territories of Russia. Exchanges between RK and Finland have been extensive in terms of tourism, migration, businesses, administrative contacts etc. During 1990s and beginning of 2000s these developments became signed also in the landscape of Karelia. In the former Finnish territories that after the WWII became part of the USSR, several monuments to the former inhabitants and victims of the war were erected. With the isolationist political change in Russia which started in mid-2000s and stabilized with the crisis in the EU-Russia relations which burst out in 2014, the memory landscape and mourning practices started to change too. Previous trends towards transnational memory were substituted by the developments towards "nationalization" of memory. For example, in the capital of Karelia Petrozavodsk, the monument to the victims of Finnish concentration camps was erected in 2017 after 73 years of oblivion, and the grounds of mass executions of Stalin times that were discovered in 1990s are being claimed to be places of shootings of Soviet soldiers by Finnish occupants during the war. In my presentation I depict tendency towards nationalization of mourning sites and practices in Karelia and ponder its connection with the actual transnational ties with Finland and still going on emigration from Karelia to Finland.