OONA ILMOLAHTI

Grant-funded Researcher

I am a Grant-funded Researched working in the Urban Karelianity project led by Professor Maria Lähteenmäki. In the project I have studied for example the digital city branding of Finnish Karelian border towns; by focusing on digitally born data, such as websites and social media channels I have analysed the (visual) social imaginaries built around the cities. Currently I am focusing on the women’s role as cultural mediators passing on cultural heritage linked to Karelian isthmus and especially the former Finnish town of Käkisalmi (Priozersk). The focus is on (multiple) cultural identities and self-identification.

Living cultural heritage is something passed from generation to generation. In recent years there has been a strong pressure to get rid of the "old -fashioned evacuee karelianity”. It is however important to assess, which features are relevant enough to pass on; what is the core story worthwhile telling for next generations? How do the Karelian (Käkisalmi) linked women and their organizations see their role in building the Karelian identities in the 21st century, and can this identity talk be seen as living cultural heritage? Remembering urban or semi-urban locations such as Käkisalmi brings a certain concreteness in the rural features of the stereotypical talk of Karelian culture; the streets and many buildings are still present and the grid plan acts as a map for remembering. The actors of the study are people currently living in urban areas.

Contact info

Organization

Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, Karelian Institute

Email

oona.ilmolahti@uef.fi

Phone

-

Keywords

Research groups and research projects

Urban Karelianity (Personal grant from Karjalan Kulttuurirahasto, autumn 2022)

I have also participated in two other projects at the University of Eastern Finland, both led by prof. Maria Lähteenmäki:

– Lake Ladoga Project, Sortavala Säätiö/Uef, 2018-2022

– Lively Border, GreenZoneProject, Kone Foundation, 2017-2019

Research groups - UEF

Links

Publications