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Accepted Paper:

The contemporary negotiations of the 'kalevalaic' landscape in the context of intangible cultural heritage discourse in Finland  
Heidi Henriikka Mäkelä (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

In my paper, I will discuss the negotiations of intangible cultural heritage and the contemporary constructions of the national 'kalevalaic' landscapes in Finland. The representations of landscape will be examined in respect of nationalism, power relations, and the European heritage discourses.

Paper long abstract:

The UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was ratified in Finland in 2013, and the process is put into practice by the National Board of Antiquities. In Finland the inventorying will be carried out in a participatory way: the cultural heritage is identified and produced by communities on an open, wiki-based inventory platform called 'Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage'. Submissions for the Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage have been collected since February 2016. The Wiki-inventory now contains over 140 submissions from approximately 200 communities.

In my paper, I will examine the Wiki-Inventory submissions that somehow discuss the national epic Kalevala (published in 1835/1849) and the so-called 'Kalevala-ness' (kalevalaisuus), which, in public speech, often refers to everything that is regarded as old and emblematically Finnish. In other words, 'Kalevala-ness' or 'Kalevalaicity' is an ideological and biased construct that still filters the public view on the national epic, Finnish mythology, and a purportedly shared national culture.

I will examine in my presentation how the idea of Kalevala-ness is negotiated in the contemporary Wiki-inventory submissions in relation to the constructs of canonical Finnish national landscapes or imageries. I understand the concept of landscape here as a material-discursive process, and I will study the representations of landscape (such as texts and pictures) in respect of nationalism, power relations, and the European heritage discourses.

Panel Env01
Landscape - the instructions manual: negotiating the meanings of landscape [SIEF Working Group Space-lore and Place-lore]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -