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WS 1 Activist research in practice: Methodological and ethical conversations
WS2 Between the law and the migrant: emancipatory and marginalizing relationship
WS3 Border crossings in the human-nature relationship
WS4 Forms of mobility in cultural representations of migration 
WS5 Literary constructions of mobilities and migration: Mobile lives, translocal stories
WS6 Migration and resettlement in rural settings  
WS7 Mobile family lives and local-global complexity 
WS8 Mobile lives of animals (cancelled)
WS9a Border management and policy responses to mass migration movements:
From Syria to Ukraine (cancelled)
WS9b Migration at European borders (hybrid workshop)
WS10 Self-perceived quality of life and integration among lifestyle migrants in
the Mediterranean (cancelled)
WS11 Religious complexities and diversities (hybrid workshop)
WS12 The war in Ukraine: humanitarian, political, and social consequences of the crisis
WS13 Transnational death: migration, everyday, crises
WS14 Whiteness and national belonging in Finland
WS15 New directions in ethnic and migration research (hybrid workshop)
DISCUSSION EVENT: Anchoring European migration research to social justice


WS 1. Activist research in practice: Methodological and ethical conversations

On-site Workshop – Working language / English
Workshop Conveners:
Leonardo Custódio, Åbo Akademi University leonardo.custodio[@]
Camilla Marucco, University of Turku, cammar[@]
8 abstracts

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1

ROOM: Metria M105

WS1 Why Borders are not Lines on a Map: On the Political Autoimmunity of Border Linearity
Rodrigo Bueno Lacy, University of Eastern Finland
Henk van Houtum, Nijmegen Centre for Border Research, Radboud University & University of Eastern Finland

In this article, we analyse political cartography’s template of linear borders to argue that it imposes a straightjacket on the perception, representation, and conduction of world politics. Although most of us have grown used to regard this layout as the taken-for-granted visual of our world maps, we contend that it represents the stubborn visual manifestation of a pervasive methodological and ethical malpractice rooted in what John Agnew called the territorial trap—i.e., employing the nation-state as the basic unit of analysis for the study of global politics. In this article, we carry out an iconological deconstruction of this methodological border linearity to illustrate how our political maps implicitly legitimise spurious geopolitical narratives that naturalise power without questioning it. Although hegemonic political cartography offers cocksure synopses of the most urgent global dramas (e.g., war, migration, corruption, etc.), we claim that its fundamental border grammar constitutes a redeemless unscientific distortion that amplifies the misrepresentation of the geopolitical phenomena it brings to life. Just like elsewhere, we have argued that it is methodologically and ethically flawed to regard migration as an arrow (Van Houtum and Bueno Lacy 2020), here we argue that borders should not be seen as lines. We conclude with a plea for a radical, activating research agenda aimed at designing alternative maps able to show the complexity and wealth of borders that glocally connect and divide our lives in many more ways than the grid of national borders would ever make us suspect.

WS 1 Rethinking and Remaking Peacebuilding in and Beyond the South Caucasus: From Peacebuilding Networks to a Peace Movement
Vadim Romashov, Tampere Peace Research Institute
Anush Petrosyan, Tampere Peace Research Institute

The recent war in Karabakh and the ongoing war in Ukraine have reshaped the security architecture and geopolitical landscape in and around the South Caucasus. After almost three decades of its work, the regional peacebuilding community with strong international links, is experiencing an ‘existential crisis’ as their members feel that the civil society has been sidelined by the geopolitical actors that promote nationalism and dictate their own ‘rules of the game’ affecting the lives of millions of people. To recover from this crisis, the community has activated its extensive regional network of local peacebuilders to analyze the current developments, their impact on the regional peace initiatives and possible responses from the civil society. The main conclusion of these discussions is that now is the time to de-marginalize and re-politicize peace practice that has been deprived of its political power by the global liberal peacebuilding agenda starting from the early 1990s. This requires converting peacebuilding practice into peace activism and eventually peacebuilding networks into a real peace movement that will challenge the agents of war and their discourses. Research-based peacebuilding that brings together representatives of perceived antagonized societies in joint research and writing process is still important for conflict transformation but not sufficient for instigating large social changes that would thwart wars, oppression, nationalism, patriarchy, social injustices and inequalities. Nevertheless, the peace movement needs a proactive peace research. In this workshop, we expect to share experiences and ideas on how participatory action research or activist research can support the much-needed transformation of peacebuilding practice in and beyond the South Caucasus.

Martin Lačný, Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov
Anna Polačková, Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov
Emilia Mariančiková, Institute of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov

Recent research shows that pandemic has to be understood as a dynamic and sweeping global phenomenon that is altering social, economic, institutional, cultural and power structures in border regions across the world. The day-to-day functioning of many border regions changed dramatically in the course of particular pandemic waves and the pandemic borders became a crash test for existing forms of cross-border cooperation (CBC) and a testing ground for its new forms. Apart from the restrictions introduced by measures and regulations, the impacts of pandemics were mainly psychological (usually explained through worries or perceived risks) and there were short-term or longer-lasting changes in behaviour related to cross-border mobility and interaction observed. As of February 2022, the war in Ukraine became a significant exogenous factor affecting migration and border management, but also the forms and intensity of CBC. Within the outlined context, we are recently starting the implementation of a new research project aimed to identify the perceptions and preferences of local CBC actors, influencing their capacity to take an advantage of existing and presumed opportunities for the development of CBC on the Slovak-Ukrainian border. We would therefore like to consult on methodological issues and to gather practical and theoretical guidance and/or inspiration. We are tentatively considering the EXLINEA research tool, supplemented by questions addressing the impact of worries and perceived risks and modified to also assess the situation retrospectively, which could enable us to compare the perceptions and preferences of CBC actors amid and after pandemic/war with the pre-COVID/pre-war situation.

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2

ROOM: Metria M105

WS 1 Personal care and research risks within a context of insecurity
Angel Iglesias Ortiz
, Tampere University

This contribution aims to reflect on the complexities between ensuring personal well-being and doing research in contexts with serious conditions of insecurity. These conditions also need to be considered as part of the problem surrounding the situation of the people in the context studied. In the context of Mexico-US border, insecurity is directly related to the presence of criminal organizations in the everyday life but also in the ways these organizations have direct influence in the life of migrants while being at this border. One of the main questions around these complexities is how to minimize and manage risks while still doing meaningful research with positive impact in the social context at stake. For example, a risk that I underwent doing fieldwork in border city of Tijuana (Mexico) was the presence of human traffickers or persons with links to criminal organizations in the shelters where migrants are staying in this city. Thus, a seemingly ‘trivial talk’ in the shelters can develop into a shared danger for the interviewee and the researcher. My contribution to the workshop is about reflecting on encountering the situation in which the personal security of the interviewee and researcher can be compromised and how we can minimize risks while contributing to the daily conditions of those exposed to insecure situations.

WS 1 Second thoughts about researching feminist activism and advocacy in Pakistan
Suvi Baloch

In this presentation, I reconsider a number of ethical and methodological issues relating to my recently approved master’s thesis on anti-violence activism in Pakistan. My aim is to spark conversation on the various ways in which local contexts may inform the politics and ethics of research. I majored in global development studies with minors in e.g. gender studies, and I have a keen interest in the political economy of ‘development’. The graduate research was based on a fieldwork in urban Pakistan, mainly consisting of interviews with feminist activists engaged in community groups, NGOs and government agencies. I identified common approaches to ending violence against women among the so-called secular feminist organizations, and traced developmental logics through a discursive inquiry. Both sets of findings make sense as forms of feminist politics, and influence the way I now grasp ‘activist research’ in the given context. Perhaps adversely, the research process has made me rethink the relevance of activist research framework; I now find it applicable not only in regard to the research subjects but also to my role as the responsible researcher. A deeper understanding of the field has further removed some uncertainties that I grappled with in the initial stages of the study, yet this emergent consciousness of situated organizational rationales does not necessarily make a politically engaged research any easier. While the hands-on learnings are not directly transferable to other settings of activist research, this presentation can hopefully provide fruitful ground for common discussions amongst the workshop participants.

WS1 To “help” or not to “help” the participant: An ethnographer’s dilemma
Md Azmeary Ferdoush
, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland

Ethnographers are often faced with the dilemma of whether to help or not help participants, especially those from the global South conducting fieldwork at “home.” While such dilemmas are frequent, rarely any guideline directly engages with them. In this paper, I engage with the ethical dilemma of whether to help research participants during fieldwork, especially in the global South, where participants are often marginalized populations who may ask for crucial help. In so doing, I first question what should be considered as “help.” Then I juxtapose help with the ethical issues of reciprocity and responsibility. Third, I briefly focus on the emotional burden that ethnographers often become subject to for not being able to help the way they might have wanted and finally, discuss uneven immersion as a tactic to deal with the dilemma.

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3

ROOM: Metria M105

WS1 Hanadi rakentaa kodin – Home building of an adult learner with refugee experience
Johanna Ennser-Kananen, University of Jyväskylä

This paper tells the story of Hanadi, a woman in her late 30s who came to Finland in 2016 as a refugee from Afghanistan and Iran. Hanadi attends a 2.5-year adult basic education (ABE) program at a rural Finnish community college, from which she will graduate with a comprehensive school certificate. I first met Hanadi in August 2020, when I began a still ongoing critical ethnographic study on epistemic legitimacy at the school. Acknowledging the sociohistorical realities of colonial epistemic violence (e.g., de Sousa Santos, 2015), this study identifies knowledges that are unexpected, unwanted, or unrecognized in the school environment, and aims to expand students’ epistemic agency (Dotson, 2014). I attempt to tell part of Hanadi’s story in 4 meditations (Sherris, 2022). These pieces of narrativized data from fieldnotes and interviews offer some perspectives of Hanadi’s becoming-of a refugee, her negotiating of classroom activities, her language and literacy practices, and the unexpected persistence of her art (and life). Hanadi’s language, literacy, and art practices reach across the boundaries between home and school and between social and material realities (Fenwick, 2012) and are thus a rich resource for knowledge building. Hanadi’s story complicates ideas of “home” and “home language” and raises questions about effective antiracist education that supports healing, home-building, and resistance. The presentation hopes to unsettle rigid academic genres, inquires about the role of the researcher in benefiting from presentations of “data” or “theory”, and asks about the potential of activist storytelling.

WS1 An Activist Alternative to “Non-Diverse Diversity” Inside Finnish Higher Education
David Hoffman, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä
Quivine Ndomo, University of Jyväskylä
Jawaria Khan, University of Helsinki Heidi Säntti, Family Creatives
Heidi Säntti, Family Creatives
Mika Raunio, Migration Institute
Anna Ruotanen, Family Creatives
Maria Marouli, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä

This Fall, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (OKM) will launch the Kotamo Report, focused on diversity, equality and equity amongst research and teaching personnel across Finland’s higher education institutions (HEIs). The report points out vast room for improvement when it comes to the approach HEIs and the OKM take to social justice and stress is placed on “training” in HEIs, and OKM monitoring of the problematic issues identified in the report. However, one glaring issue that escaped notice is the nature of “diversity” of the policymakers advocating “promoting” social justice, the consortium awarded this project, or the HEI and OKM personnel and consultants who should now engage issues that have been ignored for decades. Our presentation spotlights conventional approaches to social justice that both avoid and create seven longstanding wicked problems across Finland’s higher education system. We pose a fundamental question: Are approaches to engaging diversity and social justice by non-diverse, monolingual, non-specialists viable? Based on our analysis and framing of seven wicked problems ignored for decades, key issues and gaps missed in several recent OKM initiatives, including the Kotamo Report, we propose a rigorous, activist alternative which draws on interdisciplinary, highly diverse teams of Finnish-based specialists, engaging social justice (self-)critically, constructively, and creatively inside higher education. Methodologically and ethically, we will highlight both the challenges and unrealized potential linked to purposefully crafting a clear alternative to the un-grounded ‘checking the boxes’ and ‘social justice bingo’ approaches in current use by the OKM and in many HEIs.


WS 2. Between the law and the migrant: emancipatory and marginalizing relationship 

On-site Workshop – Working language / English 
Workshop Conveners:  
Magdalena Kmak, Åbo Akademi University, magdalena.kmak[@] 
Mervi Leppäkorpi, University of Turku, mervi.leppakorpi[@]
5 abstracts 

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3 

ROOM: Metria M304

WS2 ‘No Friend but the Mountains’ – Australian migration law as experienced by Behrouz Boochani 
Stephen Phillips, Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi 

In 2013, Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani was detained in the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea under Australia’s offshore strategy. During his time in detention, Boochani used a hidden mobile phone to send a series of writings in poetry and prose to a friend, who translated Boochani’s original Farsi into English. The outcome of these writings was a book, No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison. The examination of literary texts can provide significant benefit for understanding the law and its function – various scholars have shown how insights into power, control, and the rule of law are illuminated through studying creative works. Art and literature play a key role in documenting human rights abuses, and are central to the intellectual thinking that develops from and around the experience and observation of these abuses. Art and literature are legitimate and important sources of intellectual output, offering complementary insight to traditional academic sources when addressing questions of denial of human rights. In this presentation I draw on Boochani’s account of his experiences of interception and offshore detention to 1) establish an experiential context before seeking to draw out legal details and analysis of broader policy trends and impacts; 2) prioritise the experiences of victims in writings that concern what they have suffered; and 3) attempt to invert the top down approach that is often typical of formalised legal structures and thinking around migration and asylum. 

WS2 The Paradox: Denied Wishes of Immigrant ‘Legality’ nexus Survival Strategies (working title) 
Hiwot Wolde Adebo, ZEF-Bonn University  

As blocking measures couldn’t stop migration flow, the strict immigration laws and complex bureaucratic procedures in the home affairs office of South Africa appeared to redirect the immigrants to consider alternatives for survival. Their inability to obtain proper documents initially; the officials’ refusal to renew their expired documents; and the legal bodies’ attitude towards them significantly made migrants’ lives tougher.  As a result, immigrants’ navigations happened to be back and forth. Their stabilities got disrupted when the active forward movements in their life in the host environment were harnessed by their expired documents. Therefore, while juggling the legal system and the aspiration that made them cross the border, collaborating with corrupt officials and police officers has become a necessary part of immigrants’ navigation. In other words, their emancipation appeared to be highly dependent on their ability and willingness to pay for it; either to get the necessary document informally or to avoid being caught by police officers. However, at times obtaining/not obtaining the right document didn’t seem to matter as far as the persons have ‘the face’ that features immigrants; the legal bodies still expect them to throw little bribes. Ironically, the restrictive “laws” and home affairs officials’ migrant-related decisions seemed to open room for lawlessness. This paper investigates the lived experiences of Ethiopian immigrants negotiating the political-legal environment in Johannesburg and the SOWETO area, South Africa. The findings are based on one-year-long ethnographic field research where I collected the data through in-depth biographic  interviews and participant observation.  

WS2 The social (im)mobility of highly educated African immigrants in Finland in white-collar jobs in the light of the Finnish equality law 
Thaddeus Chijioke Ndukwe, Åbo Akademi University 

A major element of successful migration is the migrant integration into the (host) society. Research shows that this is usually mostly made possible by upward social mobility, or specifically, positive change in migrants’ economic and social status. Such mobility is said to occur in an open system of social stratification. In other words, that social mobility is the movement of individuals within or between social strata in a society. Its markers, notably, education, class, race, and jobs are used to predict, discuss, and learn more about the potentiality or possibility of progress. This paper hence investigates and discusses the situation of highly educated African immigrants in white-collar jobs in Finland in the light of the above, using interviews. In particular, it discusses how they have fared or are faring in the Finnish open system of social stratification and how this impacts their lives.  Results show that this has been more on the negative for the Sub-Saharan/Black African immigrants than for the North/white African immigrants. This basically questions/challenges the permanent (even invisible yet everywhere) borders against such migrants’ mobility in Finnish society.     

WS2 Law and Insecurities of Family Members Abroad: Caveat in Human Rights Balancing 
Jaana Palander, University of Eastern Finland 

The emerging literature on the difficulties of family reunification for people receiving international protection has pointed out the hardship and insecurity faced by family members left behind. This presentation, based on an upcoming book chapter, investigates whether human rights law protects the interests of these family members and how their difficulties are recognized in human rights law. Though states are usually not responsible for protecting people outside their territory, extraterritorial human rights obligations do exist in some contexts. In this presentation, I explore theoretically how the general legal principle of extraterritoriality affects the adjudication of courts and how legal theory could be used to support the better protection of family members abroad. I analyse the relevant European Court of Human Rights case law. My analysis of the case law reveals that the insecurities of family members abroad are referred to by the courts and therefore legally relevant, but often fail to gain significant weight in the balancing of interests. I argue, that the theory of extraterritorial obligations could provide guidance for adjudication and thus create more protection. 

WS2 Civil society organizations Human Rights argumentation in amendment processes for irregularized migrants’ access to health 
Mervi Leppäkorpi, University of Turku 

In Germany, Sweden and Finland political parties and governments have proposed law amendments to facilitate migrants without residence permit access to certain health services. Irregularized migrants are often described as people without voice – even in contexts, where the said migrants have organized themselves to demand their rights.  Instead, organizations of civil society are invited as stakeholders to represent the group and the interests of the highly heterogeneous group of people.  As a part of  my PhD “In Search of Normal Life – An Ethnography of Migrant Irregularity in Northern Europe” I analysed the representation of the “sans-papiers”, which the organizations of civil society construct in their statements when they are invited to the customary hearings. The amendment process serves as a forum for advocacy, which includes strategic choices about the chosen argumentation. The argumentation is not neutral, but intend to convince the decision makers. In this workshop I will focus on the Human Rights argumentation in those statements. The Human Rights argumentation offers a possibility to analyse the organizations’ understanding of the national “us” and its values as well as their own position as part of the “us”. 


WS 3. Border Crossings in the Human-Nature Relationship 

On-site Workshop – Working language / English 
Workshop Conveners:  
Kirsi Laurén, University of Eastern Finland, kirsi.lauren[@]  
Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti, University of Eastern Finland, pauliina.latvala-harvilahti[@]

4 abstracts 

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1 

ROOM: Metria M305

WS3 Transboundary Conservation in the Maya Forest  
Hanna Laako, University of Eastern Finland  

Transboundary conservation is a strategy developed by international conservation organizations to safeguard biodiversity along and across borders and to enhance peace-building among nation-states and border communities. Currently, there are over 200 transboundary conservation cases worldwide, suggesting that the strategy is a significant yet under-researched area particularly in International Relations. This presentation discusses the relationship between transboundary conservation and international relations in the case of the Maya Forest, which refers to the tropical rainforest borderlands between Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. The Maya Forest is a concept built by conservationists in the 1990s to protect biodiversity in the region inherited from the Classic Mayan civilization. By analyzing transboundary conservation in the Maya Forest, the article reveals how the strategy reinforces nature states. As a strategic complex composed of heritage sites and biosphere reserves, the Maya Forest is constructed as a shared biocultural landscape. In this way, the presentation also addresses the ways in which nature conservation crosses international borders and scales while highlighting the underlying, multiple meanings of the “Forest of the Mayans”. 

WS3 Nature as a cause of identification for Nordic based Muslims  
Laura Wickström, Åbo Akademi University, The Polin Institute  

Environmentalism and the conception of nature is an apt example of the transformations of values and beliefs both in religiosity and in the meaning of place. Nordic people often refer to themselves as a forest people and for newcomers such as immigrants or asylum seekers nature and in particular the forest may have very different meanings for identity and the way of life. This presentation focuses on the conception of eco-Islam in relation to the Nordic nature. The movement of Islamic eco-theology – based on Islamic-ecological philosophy, environmental jurisprudence grounded in sharia, and Islamic-ecological activism – has inspired practicing Muslims. The notion of tree planting is central. By planting trees sins can even be forgiven. How is it then to live surrounded by trees where planting them only sounds strange? However, not all environmentally engaged Muslims are even interested in nature. This can e.g. be seen in the massive green entrepreneurship in the UAE. The ever-increasing awareness of climate change has caused Arab and Muslim governments and organizations to initiate environmental projects, such as preservation of nature, green businesses, water purification etc. As a result, more and more businesses, whose main field of activity is the environment, have been established. This does not automatically mean that the people involved in these projects appreciate or even show interest towards nature. With a strong instrumental view of nature values may be transformed when being encountered with the Nordic notion of being part of the physical environment.

WS3 Are National Parks Really National? The Case Study of Ladoga Skerries   
Alexander Osipov, University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute  

Following the ideas of Russian sociologist Oleg Yanitskij this study applies the new term ”socio-biotechnical systems”, as a result of technical, natural, and social interactions as well as human transformation of nature or socio-ecological metabolism. These systems are conflicting and contradictory, open and changeable, and their study requires the rejection of dichotomies such as “human – nature” and “subject – object”. The case study of the Ladoga Skerries National Park (est. in 2017) could be considered a classical socio-biotechnical system that includes various actors. The territory of the Ladoga Skerries is densely populated and has been transformed by human activity for a long time. When the map of the national park was superimposed on the grid of the urban landscape of cities and settlements, developed spaces, natural resources, tourist routes and locations, a clash of interests was inevitable. The roots of the problem were in the concept of a national park, which was relatively new to Russia in the 1990s. What the residents can and cannot do in the planned park remained unclear for them. The conflict around the park was also a traditional confrontation between the center (Moscow) and the periphery. The decision to create a national park was the prerogative of the central authorities, behind which the residents saw the interests of a narrow circle of people. Rephrasing French philosopher Henry Lefebvre, the local communities considered national park as a kind of perceived space, lived space with daily practices, whereas scientists argued for conceptualized space. 

WS3 The role of water resources in internal migration in Azerbaijan during the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan  
Firuz Suleymanov, University of Eastern Finland  

Water is an essential source of life and people long have realized the benefits of dwelling near bodies of water. According to the World Bank, 10% of the increase in internal migration globally between 1970 and 2000 is attributed to water shortages. Droughts are predicted to afflict nearly 700 million people by the end of this century. Furthermore, agriculture is the main consumer of 70% of freshwater resources in the world. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia still have agrarian societies, though the share of agriculture in their GDPs has decreased over the past ten years. The importance of the agricultural industry for employment is paramount; in recent years, it has contributed to at least 40% of all employment. Threats to water resources in Azerbaijan due to the continuing conflict with Armenia are having an impact on agricultural productivity and employment and on internal migration processes. In this paper, I will discuss the need to protect water resources during the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan with a view to stabilizing internal migration in Azerbaijan. My paper will answer the question of what is the nexus between water resources and internal migration. How will the intensifying armed conflict in the region affect the above-mentioned nexus? 


WS 4. Forms of mobility in cultural representations of migration 

On-site Workshop – Working language / English and Finnish  
Workshop Conveners:  
Lena Englund, University of Eastern Finland, lena.englund[@] 
Ari Räisänen, University of Eastern Finland, ari.raisanen[@]  
Anna-Leena Toivanen, University of Eastern Finland, anna-leena.toivanen[@] 
5 abstracts  

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1 

ROOM: Metria M304

WS4 Navigating Hateful Spaces: Mapping the traumatized in Caryl Phillip’s Final Passage
Brian Bowa Zyambo, University of Eastern Finland 

Migration and mobility introduce migrants to diverse and novel spaces in the destination countries. These spaces may be traumatogenic due to the skewed power relations. Consequently, this may produce traceable patterns in the migrant’s everyday mobilities within the ‘destination’ space. This paper will attempt to map the everyday mobilities pro rata to power relations in ‘destination’ spaces. Of interest are public spaces such malls, trains, and buses. Further, the navigation in private spaces such as accommodation and public services choices will also be mapped. However, noting Foucault’s cautionary note on the diffuse nature of power (Foucault 1998: 63), the paper will examine everyday mobility of two main characters in the text who seemingly adopt very different navigation paths in the country of ‘destination’. This juxtaposition will invariably problematize the universalistic categorization of ‘destination’ spaces as traumatogenic.  Consequently, this will highlight how the same ‘hateful’ space can be negotiated differently resulting in the transformation of the ‘destination’ community as Jopi Nyman observes in, Home, Identity, and Mobility in Contemporary Diasporic Fiction (2009: 159). Furthermore, by analyzing Caryl Phillip’s Final Passage which focuses on diverse narratives on migration and everyday mobility in ‘destination’ spaces, the paper problematizes monolithic explications on the purposes and experiences of migrations. Additionally, given that focusing on fossilized conceptions of migration may yield knowledges that maybe mobilized to violent ends, the paper will to attempt to transcend stereotypical narratives that limit migration to trauma.  

WS4 No Particular Place to Go: Trauma and (Im)mobility in Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys” 
Dirk Van Rens, University of Eastern Finland 

This paper combines a literary trauma studies and mobility studies approach to examine how Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys” (2019) negotiates the traumas inflicted by what Saidiya Hartman refers to as the afterlives of slavery (2007: 6). My main focus is the way the novel articulates these traumas through the prominent theme of (im)mobility; I moreover address the spaces linked with movement or stasis and their relation to the “politics of mobility” (Cresswell 2010: 21). Apart from the physical (im)mobility that takes place in the text, I also consider the role of imaginative mobility, particularly in moments when physical mobility is negated. Both trauma and mobility studies have found themselves in a state of (re)development in recent times. Combining these approaches allows for fresh and illuminating insight in accordance with Michael Rothberg’s insistence on trauma as a “necessary but not sufficient” perspective for understanding social issues, therefore always requiring an additional angle (2014: xiv). My focus on the traumas caused by the legacy of slavery is in line with a recent widening of the perspective of trauma studies, which has long “marginalize[d] or ignore[d] traumatic experiences of non-Western or minority cultures” (Craps 2013: 2). My paper also takes its cue from recent developments in mobility studies by centring on moments of (im)mobility ‘an sich’, rather than exclusively having eye for its outcomes (Toivanen 2021: 5). 

WS4 A translocal sense of place? Finns’ translocal place-making in the UK 
Evi-Carita Riikonen, University of Eastern Finland 

When embarking on a migration trajectory, one faces the multiplicities of places: the place-specific knowledge related to some, and the lack of knowledge related to others. In balancing the (dis)connectedness between the ‘heres’ and ‘theres’ in one’s migration trajectory, several power narratives emerge: negotiating the positionalities, co-presences, and changes related to multiple places. My research looks at how Finns in the UK engage in translocal place-making through negotiating power narratives. This process results in a translocal sense of place: an understanding of several interconnected, subjectively important places. Specific aspects of Finns’ translocal place-making are addressed: negotiating positionalities through imagined return to one’s home country; generating (dis)connectedness through material culture; and negotiating change amidst the turmoil caused by the Brexit referendum. While the concept of ‘transnational’ has been applied extensively in migration studies and in Human Geography, the focus on ‘translocal’ enables a more nuanced analysis of the linkages between simultaneously participated co-presences on local level. It offers more insights into the embodied, agency-oriented subjective experiences of migrants. My research shows that one’s translocal sense of place is a subjective power landscape, formed through one’s migrant condition. Finns in the UK negotiate, generate and regulate their (dis)connectedness in relation to the UK and Finland through physical, emplaced, and symbolic mobilities: return visits, engaging in narratives related to cultural materialities, imagined spacetimes related to one’s past, present, and future, and dealing with disruptions to one’s everyday places. 

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2 

ROOM: Metria M304

WS4 Overpopulation and the Perpetual Search for Resettlement: Representations of Gilbertese (Kiribati) migration and non-migration in the colonial archives 
Petra Autio, University of Helsinki 

While the Pacific country of Kiribati is generally known for relative lack of migration, both its future and past are associated with migration. Climate change is not only threatening the very existence of Kiribati’s low-lying islands, it is already affecting the traditionally meagre livelihood and environment, particularly combined with the overcrowding in urban areas. Therefore migration is expected to increase. On the other hand, Kiribati’s colonial history includes two resettlement projects, due to the apparent reaching of the bearing capacity of the environment and environmental destruction by human activities, which have come to be regarded as precedents of climate change relocation. Examining the history of Kiribati, colonially known as Gilbert Islands, more closely, the image of Kiribati/Gilbertese migration has always been ambivalent. Based on archival documents of Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony administration from ca 1930-1970, this paper discusses the rationale for and efforts towards Gilbertese migration. Paying attention to the structure and form of colonial archives, as well as their contents, there is emerges a persistent discourse on overpopulation, land scarcity and inevitable migration, starting long before the Gilbertese population actually shows any significant growth. To solve the problem of perceived surplus population and land-hunger the colonial officials keep canvassing for more resettlement and labour migration opportunities. The discourse becomes equally a discourse on non-migration, as most of these schemes never materialize. The representation of Gilbertese migration as always imminent is built in the repetitions and redundancies of the colonial correspondence: the copies, quotes and cross-references of the documents. 

WS4 Cultural representations of the Afro-Brazilian community in southern Nigeria 
Patrycja Koziel, Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures 

The aim is to present examples of the material heritage and the manifestations of the functioning of cultural representations of Afro-Brazilians in southern Nigeria (mainly Lagos), namely Nigerians with Brazilian surnames, identifying with the descendants of Africans who migrated from Brazil in the 19th century. Afro-Brazilians are a group that, following migrations from the past, navigates between native, African, and Brazilian practices, locally and globally, (re)creating and negotiating them. Importantly, the intensification of various practices relating to the common Afro-Brazilian culture has been seen in the last few years, including celebrating holidays, dance and music performances, festivals, and carnival in the Popo-Aguda district, and the activities of formalized associations such as Brazilian Descendants Association Lagos and Yoruba-Brazilian Descendants. As I notice, these are very contemporary and deliberate glocal manifestations of the transatlantic socio-cultural exchange of global importance, taking place in two areas: spatiality and subjectivity. How do these cultural expressions build the identity of a community based on the memory of mobility? Does this mean a transposition of Afro-Brazilian cultural components into the aesthetics of Nigeria’s space? In the research approach, I refer to the processes of strengthening collective identity, understood as the result of socio-cultural circumstances intertwined with the development of the Diaspora. The presented material is based on the results of field research and visual documentation. 


WS 5. Literary constructions of mobilities and migration: Mobile lives, translocal stories 

On-site Workshop – Working language / English and Finnish  
Workshop Conveners:  
Elina Arminen, School of Humanities, University of Eastern Finland, elina.arminen[@] 
Marja Sorvari, School of Humanities, University of Eastern Finland, marja.sorvari[@] 
7 abstracts  

THURSDAY 24.11.  14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1  

ROOM: Metria M106

WS5 Vuokko Niskanen’s Hiekkala series: refugee stories for children learning to read 
Elina Arminen, University of Eastern Finland 

The presentation concerns Vuokko Niskanen’s novel series “Hiekkala” (1978–1985), that is aimed at children who are learning to read. The series depicts war and refugee experiences of children from fictive Hiekkala village in the Karelian isthmus during the Second World War. Niskanen was a primary school teacher in Jyväskylä teacher training school. In the series, the pedagogical aspect is highlighted: the novels are aimed to provide information about history of war, and refugee experience.  In the analysis, the Hiekkala series is discussed at the point of view of transgenerational trauma. The presentation will explore how and why the series convey information and experiences of evacuation and being a refugee to young children who have not experienced the war and the expulsions first hand, but whose parents’ or grandparents’ generation’s childhood experiences include them.  The analysis focuses especially on the knowledge related to emotions: How the series pictures children’s fears and how to cope with them. In the analysis is discussed also the role of the Hiekkala-series in constructing the Finnish narrative of the Karelian evacuees of the Second World War and creating identities of second and third generation Karelian evacuees. During the 1970s and 1980s, in the Finnish discussion about the Second World War and its refugees the childhood perspective and the concept of trauma were not as prominent as they are today. Against this background, the Hiekkala novels, which deal with children’s emotions, appear as a meaningful case.  

WS5 “Indefinitely temporary: temporarily indefinite”: Refugees and Mobility in Refugee Tales 
Touhid Ahmed Chowdhury, University of Bamberg 

While immigrants and their stories are a vital part of present-day Britain, the non-UK-born population was an estimated 9.6 million, and the non-British population was an estimated 6.0 million, refugees remain largely unseen and undiscussed. The term “refugee” itself is often connoted negatively, and the sky-rocking numbers of people seeking refuge from war and socioeconomic hardships, have put considerable pressure on European and other Western societies. The Refugee Tales project draws inspiration from the age-old storytelling tradition, specifically from The Canterbury Tales, to tell the stories of the destitute refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. In a way, it gives voice to the voiceless and creates a space where the concepts of indefinite detention, mobility and migration are questioned, criticised, and recontextualised. This paper will argue that refugee narratives – a literary genre that has not yet been clearly defined– are significantly different from stories of immigration and that migration means different things to different groups of people. Focusing on David Herd and Anna Pincus’s edited volumes of short story collections Refugee Tales, it will be argued that refugees do experience migration very differently from immigrants. While immigrants choose to leave their home country in search for a better life, for refugees, migration is a rather a life-defining and traumatizing experience that never ends.  

WS5 Muuttaminen, identiteetti ja kuulumattomuuden tunne JMG Le Clézion romaanissa Poisson d’or (1996) 
Fredrik Westerlund, University of Eastern Finland 

Poisson d’or (suom. Kultakala) on vuoden 2008 Nobelin kirjallisuuspalkinnon saaneen JMG Le Clézion vuonna 1996 julkaisema romaani. Teos kertoo nuoren afrikkalaisen tytön tarinan. Hänen ensimmäinen muistonsa, johon kerronta palaa useita kertoja, on hetki, jolloin hänet varastetaan, jonka jälkeen hän päätyy palvelijatytöksi vanhan marokkolaisen naisen luona. Päähenkilö Laïla kantaa mukanaan vahva tunne, ettei hänen nimensä eikä nykyinen elämäntilansa heijasta hänen todellista identiteettiään. Alkuperästään hän säilyttää vain kaksi korvakorua, jotka ystävänsä mukaan ovat peräisin Hilal-heimosta “vuorten toiselta puolelta”. Läpi kirjan korostetaan paperittomien ja laittomien maahanmuuttajien epävarmaa tilannetta. Marokosta Laïla siirtyy muiden siirtoilaisten joukossa Eurooppaan salakuljettajan avulla ja asettuu Pariisin alueelle. Siellä hän tapaa useita yhteiskunnan marginaalissa eläviä ihmisiä, muun muassa senegalilaisen Hakimin, joka on perinyt El Hadj-nimisen isoisänsä unelman paluusta kotimaahansa, vaikkei itse ole koskaan käynyt siellä. Kuolinvuoteellaan El Hadj antaa Laïlalle edesmenneen tyttärensä nimellä olevan passin, jonka avulla päähenkilö saa nimellisen henkilöllisyyden. Palattuaan Ranskaan lyhyeen Yhdysvalloissa oleskelun jälkeen, Laïla palaa etelään, ensi Etelä-Ranskaan ja sitten Hilal-heimon laaksoon. Lopulta löytää kotinsa ja identiteettinsä, mutta todeten ettei enää kuulu sinne. Tutkin esitelmässäni, miten toistuvat kansainväliset siirtymiset vaikuttavat päähenkilön identiteetin muotoutumiseen, samalla, kun ne korostavat hänelle raaka tunne kuulumattomuudesta.  

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3  

ROOM: Metria M106

WS5 Our America: Migratory Dreams in Pajtim Statovci’s My Cat Yugoslavia and Crossing 
Jesse van Amelsvoort, University of Amsterdam 
Enrico Dal Bosco, University of Amsterdam 

“Europe was our America,” the main character of Pajtim Statovci’s novel Crossing (2016) remarks as he and his friend are preparing to leave Albania. They dream of going to Rome, Berlin, or Madrid – to Europe, away from Tirana. In this novel and Statovci’s début, My Cat Yugoslavia (2014), characters look to have a better life or flee the violence that erupts after the collapse of Yugoslavian and Albanian communist rule. The migratory fulfilment of characters’ hopes and dreams makes possible the crossing of long-established norms regulating sexuality and gender. In both novels, the move away into Europe starts a process that dispenses with traditional family structures and opens up a more fluid engagement with the main characters’ gender/sexual explorations. Yet as shifts in location are correlated with shifts in identity, complimentary questions about the opposition of destination and origin are raised. Does searching for improvement elsewhere imply a disavowal of the homeland? What does a migratory identity in flux come to if settling down at a place of destination is continuously deferred? Such uncertainties underpin the characters’ journeys within My Cat Yugoslavia and Crossing. In so doing, Statovci’s works suggest how the world beyond one’s state of birth can serve as an emancipatory and liberating horizon for the marginalized, but also balance this horizon against the practical and mental difficulties of reaching it. They posit the interrelations of national and personal identification, particularly regarding sexuality and gender, and their renegotiation as part of the migratory experience. 

WS5 Danial Abdal-Hayy Moore’s Sufi Poetry: A Mystical Mobility in Anglophone Literatures 
Taufiqurrohman Taufiqurrohman, University of Eastern Finland 

Anglophone mystical poetry includes in the literary texts that have undergone mobility. The poetry of Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore—a contemporary American Sufi poet—substantiates it. His poems transfigure a new poetic within the formed natures of Anglophone mystical poems. Being parallelized with the mystical traditions generally represented in the mystical poems of the previous epochs, his collections display the distinctive forms of mystical Anglophone poems. Grounded from his close contact to the Beat generation and his affiliation to Sufi—Islamic mystic—brethren in the U.S. and Morocco, his collections of poems reflect the impacts of literary encounter; they are in the sort of representations of mystical traditions written in the poems. The impacts clearly manifest in, at least, two of his collections, Laughing Buddha Weeping Sufi and Love is a Letter Burning in a High Wind. The first collection transfigures the unity-in-duality of mysticism between Sufism and Zen Buddhism—as his inspiration from and communication to, especially, Shunryu Suzuki. The second one—as his homage to posthumous Sufi poems of Rumi which was highly translated into English in the U.S.—is the rewriting of representation of love to God, namely through the nature. Both collections show that ‘mystical mobility’ has its own manifestation in the contemporary Anglophone mystical poetry.

WS5 Memories on the Move: The Autobiographical Texts of Katharina Martin-Virolainen and Anna Soudakova 
Marja Sorvari, University of Eastern Finland 

This paper focuses on two recent works by Russian-born writers living outside Russia: Katharina Martin-Virolainen’s (b. 1986) Im letzten Atemzug: Erzählungen (“In the Last Breath: Stories,” 2019) and Anna Soudakova’s (b. 1983) Mitä männyt näkevät (“What the Pines See,” 2020). Both writers were born in the northeast of Russia (Petrozavodsk and Leningrad, respectively) and moved from Russia with their families when they were children, Virolainen to Germany and Soudakova to Finland. The aforementioned works are their literary debuts, and both discuss how the past becomes an integral part of the present. The writers are bilingual, writing their works in the language they acquired as children in their new country of residence. In the paper it is suggested that Martin-Virolainen’s and Soudakova’s works, with their multilingual and multicultural composition in addressing past lived experiences, find affinities with what has been called “traveling memory” by Astrid Erll. The works resonate with the notion of how the contents, forms, and practices of memory travel across linguistic, cultural, and geographical borders. The use of multilingual practices in Martin-Virolainen’s and Soudakova’s works refers not only to the authors’ multilingual and multicultural identities but, more importantly, draws attention to the multiple sites, languages, and identities connected to the traumatic memories that have “traveled” with them, as well as to memory’s precariousness and the fragility that this multiplicity may cause. 

WS5 Fiktio vs. fakta: venäjänkielisen maahanmuuttajan kokemuksia Dina Rubinan romaanissa Manjak Gurevich («Маньяк Гуревич») 
Tatjana Rynkänen, University of Eastern Finland 

Esitelmässä tarkastellaan venäjänkielisten maahanmuuttajien kokemuksia integroitumisesta vastaanottavaan yhteiskuntaan kaunokirjallisen tekstin näkökulmasta. Yksilön maahanmuuttokokemukset selvitellään Israelissa asuvan venäläisen kirjailijan Dina Rubinan romaanissa Manjak Gurevich («Маньяк Гуревич»). Venäjänkielisten suuri määrä muihin ryhmiin verrattuna on eräs maahanmuuton erityispiirteistä maissa, jotka ovat vastaanottaneet suuria määriä venäjänkielisiä maahanmuuttajia entisestä Neuvostoliitosta ja Venäjältä. Myös venäjänkielisen väestön tilanteessa näissä maissa on paljon yhtäläisyyksiä. Esimerkiksi Suomessa, Saksassa ja Israelissa tehdyt tutkimukset osoittavat, että venäjänkielisten kielitaidossa ja työllistymisessä sekä kotoutumisessa vastaanottavan maan yhteiskuntaan ilmenee samanlaisia haasteita. Historiallisista, kulttuurisista ja poliittisista syistä venäjänkieliseen väestöön liittyvät kysymykset eivät ole yksiselitteisiä, ja ne herättävät ajoittain vilkasta keskustelua sekä Suomessa että muissa maissa. Asia on ajankohtainen ja relevantti myös laajemmin nykyajan globaalien muutosprosessien näkökulmasta, sillä geopoliittisen ja taloudellisen tilanteen muutokset haastavat maahanmuutosta ja kotouttamisesta vastaavia tahoja arvioimaan uudelleen poliittisia linjanvetoja sekä maahanmuuttajien integraatioon liittyviä kysymyksiä. Esitelmässä pureudutaan siihen, miten kaunokirjallisessa tekstissä kuvaillaan yksilön maahanmuuttokokemuksia. Millaisen kuvan venäjänkielisten maahanmuutosta romaani luo? Eroako kuvitteellisten henkilöiden ja tapahtumien luominen ja kuvailu todellisuudesta ja tutkitusta tiedosta. 


WS 6. Migration and resettlement in rural settings   

On-site Workshop – Working language(s) / English, Finnish, and Swedish
Workshop Conveners 
Sari Pöyhönen, University of Jyväskylä  sari.h.poyhonen[@]  
Tiina Sotkasiira, University of Eastern Finland  tiina.sotkasiira[@] 
4 abstracts 

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3

ROOM: Metria M305

WS6 Interacting with the border in newly reclaimed land: The Bunderneuland case study  
Meggy Lennaerts, University of Groningen & Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg 

This paper examines the function of the border between Groningen (Netherlands) and East Frisia (Germany) and how it affects cross-border mobility through a multi-layered case study of the newly reclaimed land called Bunderneuland (East Frisia) between 1605 and 1806. When a small group of Amsterdam merchants signed a treaty with the Count of East Frisia in 1605 to dike a piece of land in this rural area, they had to face the opportunities and challenges of creating a new settlement in a border area that is prone to floodings. People from both Groningen and East Frisia migrated to the area. As it is positioned next to the border, the authorities in both regions had something to say about this new rural settlement. In these two centuries, the authority regimes changed in both regions, revealing how the rural area’s new inhabitants managed their challenges and opportunities while interacting and negotiating with the border and how it evolved after the regimes changed. To research this process, I use the theory of transregional history, which recognizes the border as a multi-layered relational construct. Transregional history also encourages an actor-driven narrative, which this paper does through the case study of the Bunderneuland polder. Through archival research on both sides of the border, this study challenges the assumption that the border was only negotiated on the authority level. Whether it was to settle a controversy or to collaborate, the inhabitants of Bunderneuland had to cross the border to settle their affairs, thus impacting the border. 

WS6 Preparations for the Fieldwork and Writing Dissertation: Rural (Im)mobilities as a Multifaceted Migratory Process Under the Impacts of Climate Crisis  
Baris Can Sever, University of Helsinki (Finland) / Middle East Technical University (Turkey) 

The aim of the research is to analyse the additional and interactive role of current climate crisis in human mobility and migration, and to specifically understand how it has emerged as a significant factor for migration movements (including immobility) by the intensifying impacts of inequalities and injustices in socio-economically impoverished agricultural rural areas in Turkey. Based upon the aim of my study, I have determined the main question as follows: “How do socio-economic and climate injustices under the impact of neoliberal politics and climate crisis influence and render the migratory movements from the Central Anatolian Agricultural Basin in Konya/Turkey? Methodologically, I will mostly have a qualitative understanding to interpret the data and produce a meaningful account of stories and transformations. As a main body of the qualitative data, I am planning to conduct interviews with agrarian households and young people who mainly generate their income from agricultural practices and production. I am also planning to reach a group of people who already migrated to administratively medium- and large-scale centres by consulting the community members they left behind. As a third tier of the interview sets, I will also collect qualitative data from relevant institutions, scholars, and experts in the field. Thus, it would be significant to understand how the climate crisis has generated additional pressures on the communities in the last decade and makes them leaving or being stuck in hardly habitable areas, along with other intricate factors. 

WS6 Cosmopolitan margins: faith, technologies and embodied ageing  
Aija Lulle, University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute 
Whilst the cosmopolitan theory is heavily skewed towards the urban centres and youth. I argue that geographical and social margins can illuminate life today in ways which have been overlooked and neglected but are crucial for today’s belonging to the world. The paper is based on my ongoing work in the Latvian countryside, researching migration, ageing and home-making. I illustrate the argument through three vignettes. Initially, I interrogate openness to diversity and worldliness through older people’s encounters with a foreign priest who regularly commutes to the countryside to provide spiritual care for the community. Further, I analyse how technologies and language encounter shed light on today’s cosmopolitanism and how globalisation creates new divisions and separations. The final vignette will bring together materiality emerging and decaying in the countryside with the ageing processes of migrants and non-migrants who belong to the world, which beg us to question the cosmopolitan perspective in novel ways. 

WS6 Forced migration and resettlement in rural settings – exercising linguistic citizenship  
Sari Pöyhönen, University of Jyväskylä, Centre for Applied Language Studies 

Language positions people in society. Christopher Stroud (2001; 2008) has coined the concept of ‘linguistic citizenship’, which is a political stance to language and power. With this concept Stroud aims to make visible the sociolinguistic complexity of language issues and to promote the idea of language as a political and economic site of struggle. Linguistic citizenship refers to cases when individuals “exercise agency and participation through the use of language” and “to what people do with and around language(s) in order to position themselves agentively, and to craft new, emergent subjectivities of political speakerhood” (Stroud 2018). This paper explores, how forced migrants exercise their linguistic citizenship in a rural municipality of Swedish-dominant Ostrobothnia. The paper asks: What is their stance to two official languages – Finnish and Swedish – and how are their manifested in their language practices? The paper is based on a multisited team ethnography Jag bor i Oravais (2015-2018), which focused on everyday lives of people seeking asylum at a reception centre and other local venues in a rural municipality in Swedish Ostrobothnia. It also analysed the significance of Swedish and Finnish in research participants’ lives and discussed lived experiences of (non)belonging that are embedded within wider cultural and political contexts and social structures. The paper focuses on two individuals: a tailor Fareed and a civil servant Fatema, who both fled from Iraq in 2015. The data consists of ethnographic interviews and written & visual field notes. 


WS 7. Mobile family lives and local-global complexity  

On-site Workshop – Working language / English 
Workshop Conveners: 
Laura Assmuth, University of Eastern Finland, laura.assmuth[@] 
Pihla Siim, University of Tartu, pihla.siim[@] 
Olga Tkach, University of Helsinki, olga.tkach[@] 
6 abstracts 

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2 

ROOM: Metria M303

WS7 Home in Finland – Work in Norway. The transnational everyday life of some Finnish nurses  
Katja Laakkonen, University of Eastern Finland 

This presentation is based on my doctoral research about Finnish nurses, who have families and homes in Finland, but who commute to work in Norway. I shed light on this long-distance commuting in a female dominated labor sector with middle-aged and highly skilled women as active participants in the Nordic care market. My analysis is based on ethnographic data, and theoretically the research draws from the global care chain research. The data are collected via thematic interviews and participatory observations. Nurse mobility creates transnational families by putting physical distance between family members. My research participants have developed everyday practices to deal with the challenges of multilocal everyday lives, even if transnational lifestyle is sometimes stigmatised as a family form. Transnational lifestyles require negotiations of everyday practices: transnational space is not only a personal space of a mobile nurse, but it also concerns family and friends. Transnational mothering can contribute to negative assessments, such as to suffering related to mother-child separation, and to a risk of becoming blamed.  However, two separate everyday lives can also be defined as a relief from many mundane responsibilities. In this presentation I will discuss one aspect of my ethnographic study: How to live everyday life in the context of a transnational family? 

WS7 Tensioned Family Responsibilities – ‘Babushkas’ Attending a Voluntary Sector Meeting Place  
Anastasia Asikainen, University of Helsinki 

This paper focuses on family responsibilities of older Russian-speaking migrant women in the context of a voluntary organised meeting place in the capital area of Finland. The concept of family responsibilities is used to explore how family membership and family support are given tensioned meanings in the meeting place. The women have migrated in later life, most have family living in Finland, and are settled there on a permanent basis. The meeting place had become a central venue in their everyday lives to spend time, attend hobbies and receive assistance in Russian language. The findings suggest that there persist images of stronger family support networks for the heterogeneous category of ‘Russian-speakers’ in Finland. The older migrants are discussed more as receivers of support, however, temporal aspects connected to not only their own age, but the age of their grandchildren strongly influence the dynamics of attending the meeting place and their family responsibilities. Therefore, I suggest that dimensions of family responsibilities are temporal, and are not given meanings only in the family, but in the context of the meeting place. The paper draws from qualitative data: interviews (N=27) with the attendees and organisers of the meeting place, participant observations in the meeting place over the course of one year (2018-2019, approx. 150 hours), documents produced by the meeting place, complimented by a follow-up group discussion (N=12). 

WS7 Diasporic home and affective proximity to asylum struggles. Home accommodation of asylum seekers in Finland
Paula Merikoski, University of Helsinki 

This paper discusses home accommodation of asylum seekers in Finland, a solidarity mobilisation that emerged as a response to the so-called asylum ‘crisis’ in 2015. Drawing from feminist understanding of home, this paper understands private and public speheres of agency as intertwined (Blunt & Dowling 2006). Home is usually conceptualised as opposed to what is ‘not-home’, outside and strange (Johansson & Saarikangas 2009). However, home is always in interaction with and shaped by the outside (Massey 1994). This paper examines how the affective experience of home changes when the outside and far-away is part of everyday domestic life. This research is based on interviews with local hosts who have shared their homes with asylum seekers. Living together transforms the hosts’ domestic life and they often form a family-like relationship as a result. The domestic life of the host gets entangled with the asylum process of the new inhabitant and the hosts feel personally affected by it. This paper reveals how home turns into a diasporic space as mediatised (news media, video calls) sensorial connection to war and loved-ones back home become part of the shared everyday life. Asylum seekers may live years in a liminal in-between time/space, often physically separated from the rest of the society, and local non-migrant people are rarely close to that liminality. In home accommodation, the asylum seekers’ past and present struggles are inseparably intertwined with the affective home experience of the host, and the struggle for asylum becomes a shared mission. 

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3 

ROOM: Metria M303

WS7 Vulnerability of transnational everyday family life of Russian speakers in Finnish-Russian border region
Pirjo Pöllänen, University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute 
Olga Davydova-Minguet, University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute 
Lauri Havukainen, University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute 

Transnational mobility changes the dynamics of people’s everyday lives and customary family roles. Changing policies of the welfare state also influence these transitions. In this presentation, the family roles of Russian-speaking migrants in the Finnish border region in North Karelia are investigated. The presentation is based on the fieldwork conducted in the region of North Karelia during the MATILDE-project (“Migration Impact Assessment to Enhance Integration and Local Development in European Rural and Mountain Areas”, MATILDE is a 3-year project funded by EU Horizon 2020, focusing on the impact of migration on the local development of rural and mountain regions). The aim of the presentation is to analyse transnational familyhood and transnational everyday life of Russian speakers in the border region. Due to the dramatic geo-political change in Europe, the presentation concentrates on analyses of the lived everyday of Russian-speaking immigrants, Russians, in the Finnish border region. The data collected for the purposes of this study is based on interviews conducted in the Matilde project before Russia started the war in Ukraine, but the data is completed by ethnographic observations and unrecorded discussions after the war started. Even when border regimes are ruptured, and geopolitical situations are the most extreme in terms of war, transnational families build their familyhood in their transnational everyday life. 

WS7 Dialectical tensions in immigrant family members’ meaning-making negotiations of media use  
Ilkhom Khalimzoda, University of Jyvaskyla 
Lotta Kokkonen, University of Jyvaskyla 
Margarethe Olbertz-Siitonen, University of Jyvaskyla 
Marko Siitonen, University of Jyvaskyla 

The news and media landscape of families with an immigrant background is often glocal, multilingual and multicultural. How media is used and how it is talked about within the family can both strengthen family cohesion and increase its internal tensions (Elias, 2013). Tensions may be created when children resist the guidance of their caretaker(s), and want to use the media in ways that suit their own purposes (Rydin & Sjöberg, 2008). Young people’s media use is also driven by transnationally operating social media and friendships and trends that cross national borders (Maasilta et al., 2008). This study looks into the meaning-making negotiations related to media use in families where there are teenage-aged children and where at least one of the caretakers (or the only one) has moved to Finland during adulthood. Our preliminary analysis of family group interviews collected in 2022 shows how families both build a shared relationship with media and simultaneously recognize individual family members’ varying interests and ways of using media. We draw on Baxter and Montgomery’s (1996) relational dialectics as a theoretical lens in the study. The approach, which is based on Bakhtin’s (1981) dialectics, emphasizes the dynamism, multidimensionality and contradictions evident in close interpersonal relationships. It has long been used to explain so-called intercultural or multicultural interaction relationships (Martin & Nakayama, 1999). The presentation is based on the ongoing research project titled Immigrant families as consumers of news and media. 

WS7 Mobile families in times of global crises: Translocal lifelines in the Nordic and Baltic regions  
Laura Assmuth, University of Eastern Finland 
Pihla Maria Siim, University of Tartu 
In this paper we discuss how the crises of Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine have changed meanings and patterns of family mobility and migration in the Nordic and Baltic regions of Europe. Our discussion is based on research carried out for the project “Inequalities of Mobility: Relatedness and Belonging of Transnational Families in the Nordic Migration Space” (Academy of Finland, 2015– 2019), and other long-term research collaboration of the two authors in studying family mobility between Estonia and Finland. We discuss the concepts and methodologies developed in our research as they can be put to use to understand the current migration situation, during the overlapping crises, and also perhaps to provide some clues towards the future directions. Our core concept ‘lifelines’, in the context of migration, makes it possible to see and understand more clearly how material, social, structural and emotional aspects of translocal family life are connected and intertwined, yet in diverse ways as well as changing over the life course. Aspiring to well-being, work, and education, translocal families, as individuals and as units, pave their lifelines between different places and across borders. Such in-betweenness creates both difficulties and opportunities and is especially challenging in times of global crises.  Translocal families are particularly sensitive to geopolitical and economic fluctuations, but the women, men and children in mobile families also actively shape and sustain their own versions of translocal familyhood. 


WS 9b. Migration at European borders 

Online Workshop – Working language / English * 
Workshop Convener: 
Saara Koikkalainen, University of Eastern Finland, saara.koikkalainen[@] 
5 abstracts   

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3 

ROOM: Metria M302

WS9b Local-Global Complexity: Migration from Syria to Europe 
Fatemeh Shayan, University of Isfahan 
Hossein Harsij, University of Isfahan 

This paper investigates the way in which the Syrian public were threatened by the terrorist group Daesh, and how large number of them emigrated to European countries. The war in Syria has been examined through multiple lenses including: the role of the US and Saudi Arabia, Daesh terrorist acts in Syria, proxy wars and the role of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Yet, the threat Saudi Arabia and Daesh pose to the Syrian public and their emigration to Europe, alongside problems faced by emigrants when entering the European countries, remain insufficiently explored. These issues are explored within this chapter and the discussions utilize Barry Buzan’s and Ole Weaver’s securitization theoretical framework. This chapter focuses on narrations of Europe’s leaders on the threat Daesh posed to the oppressed people of Syria. It further details the dangers of emigrating to European countries and the way in which several European countries banned these emigrants. The findings on Daesh, their threat to the public and on emigration to European countries reveal that after the 2003 Iraq War in 2003, emigration to European countries increased. This resulted in stricter rules on emigration in European countries. Many emigrant children and elderly people’s health was jeopardized. The United Nations and Amnesty International made serious efforts to allow them entry to European countries, despite the resistance. 

WS9b Kinopolitics and the Myth of Borders: How Ukraine Shapes Lebanon’s Refugee Landscape 
Jasmin Lilian Diab, Lebanese American University 

Prior to the invasion, Russia and Ukraine provided a large portion of the world’s food. According to the World Food Program (WFP), the two countries alone account for nearly 30 percent of the world’s exports of wheat and barley, 20 percent of all corn and 76 percent of the world’s sunflower oil. The war in Ukraine continues to have severe consequences for millions of people in the Middle East, Africa and Asia – with refugees ultimately hit the hardest. By May 2022, the WFP already had to reduce the amount of food provided to refugees and other vulnerable people across East Africa and the Middle East. According to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Russia’s war in Ukraine is driving refugees in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan into deeper poverty. The UN agency has also stated that the conflict has led to severe funding shortfalls in many of its core programs – as it received only 13.5 percent of a total of the USD 365 million requested. As Lebanon imports close to 60 percent of its wheat from Ukraine, refugees who are already struggling to get by will face heightened shortages moving forward. Palestinian refugees from Syria who have since settled in Lebanon are among the worst affected. Almost 70 percent have had their meals cut, according to UNRWA. This oral presentation will explore these complexities further, as an end to the Russian war on Ukraine (and the dire situation in Lebanon for refugees) persists. 

WS9b Border experiences dealing with a re-bordered Europe: the case of Upper Susa Valley 
Martina Pasqualetto, Universitat de Barcelona 

Triggered by both the “refugee crisis” and the COVID-19 pandemic-related containment measures, the re-bordering process of internal EU borders represents a key issue to shed light on the contemporary border experience within the European context. Taking as case study the Upper Susa Valley, at the border between Italy and France, this work aims first to explore to what extent global phenomena have been favoring its reconfiguration in terms of border polisemy and mobility differentiation. Then, thanks to an extended 9-month ethnographic research, it looks on the local effects in terms of border experience by local communities, whose daily lives are affected by the transit of undocumented people from the Balkans and Africa to continental Europe, and by the re-materialisation of the border as a result of anti-COVID measures. 

WS9b The governance of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the EU: The case of Greece 
Thalyta Santos, European Public Law Organization 

As internal conflicts in the Middle East, Asian and African countries, mainly in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya escalated since 2015, the European Union (EU) Member-States faced an unprecedented influx of migrants and displaced people seeking international protection. The Common European Asylum System (CEAS) in force at the time faced multiple challenges due to migratory pressures. At the same time, European solidarity was questioned while the EU Member-States showed dissimilar responses and actions in addressing the humanitarian needs and administrative gaps at national levels. This reception crisis led to the transferring of responsibility of the management and the handling of the needs of people on the move to countries at the periphery of the EU while others built barbed wire fences, blocked the “Balkan corridor”, or imposed quotas. In this context, this presentation analyzes the migration governance of the EU and Greece regarding the reception, management, and integration of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Greece, along with Italy and Spain, was one of the frontline countries that received the most migrants in 2015. The analysis of the positive and negative aspects of policies, regulations, and actions since the 2015 migration flows is of utmost importance regarding the effectiveness of the EU migration and refugee policy as it offers invaluable lessons for better management of individuals seeking refuge. 

WS9b Reality Gaps: Examining Climate Coloniality
Jonalyn Paz, Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University

Dominant climate narratives revolve around the hegemonic discourse of environmental determinisms and continue to attribute the realities of climate change to the totalizing construct of the anthropocene. This provides the intellectual space and political refuge where the centuries of economic plunder and oppression, especially among indigenous communities and people of color are concealed and hidden. For instance, although the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report placed great emphasis on the deep entanglement of climate systems and human society, it failed to take into account the colossal contribution of the Global North in greenhouse gas emissions. Within this framework, the Global South is expected to suffer an array of climate impacts, including a tremendous loss of human lives and massive displacement. Climate claims and predictions, however, rest in some projected future scenarios and gives no regard to the fact that, in formerly colonized regions of the world, catastrophes have already fallen. This opens the need to critically investigate and challenge mainstream debates governing climate change in general and human (in)securities in particular. Moored in the Philippines, this study examines the constitution of climate crises and contends that it is not only insufficient to capture the political nuances of climate reality; it also provides the political vehicle that enable and naturalize climate coloniality.


WS 11. Religious complexities and diversities 

On-site Workshop – Working language / English, Finnish, and Swedish 
Workshop Convener:  
Tuomas Martikainen, University of Eastern Finland, tuomas.martikainen[@] 
4 abstracts 

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2 

ROOM: Metria M305

WS11 Complexities in the classroom – Instructors of Finnish education for adult migrants on religion(s)  
Miitta Järvinen, University of Turku 

The role of religion in education for adult migrants, including integration training, basic education, and liberal education, seems open to question. Such educational institutions have long been regarded as public, secular spaces in Finland. Among other factors, transnational migration has made religious phenomena more visible, also within secular settings. Thus, migration workers, including the instructors of migrant education, come across religion and adjacent activities in their daily working life. In my doctoral research, I study how the instructors of education for adult migrants perceive, negotiate, and conceptualize the diversity that occurs in their classrooms. I include religious complexity as a component of that overall diversity. With an intersectional approach, I examine the ways the instructors define the category of religion, its intersections with other significant categories of difference (e.g. gender, education, labor status, age), and the effects religious complexities have both on the contents and interactions that take place in instruction. Based on my analysis of the interview material, my paper will cover some of the following themes concerning the instructor’s speech on diversity and religious complexities: 
 – The perceived mismatch between students’ practice of religion and the labor market-oriented principles of immigrant integration; 
– Framing of religion as private and refraining from discussing religion “too much”; 
– The conflict-prone nature of religion and the possibility of confrontations between different religions, or differing interpretations of the same faith; 
– Evangelical Lutheran Christianity as a culturalized model for religion and a key constituent of the representation of Finnish culture. 

WS11 Identitetsmotiv och livsval hos nuvarande och före detta gammallaestadianska migranter från Finland 
Anoo Niskanen, Åbo Akademi 

Studien fokuserar på migranter från Finland med gammallaestadiansk bakgrund som kom till Sverige i samband med den omfattande arbetskraftsinvandringen under 1960- och 70-talet. Identitetsmotiv och livsval undersöks hos nuvarande och före detta medlemmar i en fridsförening som bildades i Sverige på 1970-talet av några av dessa migranter. Syftet är att se vad som påverkar deltagarnas subjektiva uppfattningar om religion och andlighet och vilka identitetsmotiv som har påverkat deltagarnas val i livet vad gäller religiös tillhörighet eller icke-tillhörighet. Ett annat syfte är att undersöka vad det finns för upplevelser av minoritetsskap hos deltagarna som kan påverka identitetsprocesser. I studien deltar både första, andra och tredje generationens migranter från Finland. Identitetsmotiv bland nuvarande och före detta medlemmar i fridsföreningen har analyserats med hjälp av främst identitetsprocessteori (Identity Process Theory, IPT), för att få en fördjupad förståelse för deltagarnas identitetsprocesser och livsval. Livsberättelseintervjuer i kombination med Faith Q-sort har varit huvudsakliga datainsamlingsmetoder. Syftet med att använda blandade undersökningsmetoder har varit att kunna ge en holistisk bild av identitetsprocesser hos deltagarna i denna fallstudie. Studien har ett minoritetsfokus, då sverigefinnar är en nationell minoritet i Sverige. Resultatet från både Faith Q-sorteringar och livsberättelseintervjuer visar att det finns familjemönster. Familjemedlemmars uppfattningar om religion och andlighet tycks påverka deltagarnas subjektiva uppfattningar mer än ålder och könstillhörighet. Kontinuitetsmotivet och samhörighetsmotivet är några av de motiv som har påverkat deltagarnas livsval. I studien har totalt 30 personer ingått, varav 26 har gjort Faith Q-sort. Samtliga är nuvarande eller före detta medlemmar i samma fridsförening i Sverige. 

WS11 “Jewish by Faith, Georgian by Origin”: Multiple Belongings of Migrants from the Former USSR and reconfigurations of community after emigration in Germany  
Nino Aivazishvili-Gehne, University of Vienna / RECET 

The aim of this paper is to examine the phenomenon of multiple perceptions and ascriptions of identities in circles of migrants from the former USSR in Germany. Main focus thereby is on Jews from Georgia and special emphasis lays on formation of community after emigration. I discuss what new arrangements of belonging are formed among those affected and why; How the experiences of living and growing up in a diverse ethnic and religious settings influences the perception of one’s own belonging.  Based on 4 months intensive ethnographic fieldwork from July to September 2021 and March 2022, I argue, that the persons affiliation and belonging to a certain group (in this case of “diaspora nationality”: Jews from UdSSR) is to be reflected due to post-soviet transformation and global changes.  To show in which contexts and why exactly certain configurations of belonging emerge, I will analyse everyday relationships in one particular community in Osnabrück. While this community is officially known as “Georgian”, on closer inspection it becomes clear that the use of this term involves a much broader context of identification and members have multiple affiliations.  I approach current arrangements of identities, with their complex interpretations and translations, through the notion of hybridity. I look for contexts of how precisely hybridity is “used”. Therefore, I focus on a phenomena which Anthias calls “translocational positionality” (ibid., 633). 

WS11 Reinterpreting the Turkish-Islamic Synthesis in the Transnational Field: 1980 Coup D’état and DITIB in Germany  
Batıkan Bulut, İzmir University of Economics 

This research argues that Turkey’s Turkish Islamic Synthesis (TIS) and state-centric Islamic interpretation were re-produced in Germany through DITIB, established by the Presidency for Religious Affairs (Diyanet). The TIS, indoctrinated by the Intellectuals’ Heart in the 1970s and acted as a glue for the Turkish right-wing politics, was obtained by the military junta and became one of the essential ideological tools for the regime. It examines the impact of Turkish-Islamic organizations on Turkish society in Germany before the establishment of DITIB and claims that the organization profoundly changed the socialization of Turkish-originated migrants in Germany by collaborating with the Turkish state’s institutions. Thus, by diminishing the impact of existing mosque associations in Germany, DITIB has raised through the Turkish Diyanet’s monopolization around local mosque associations, Qur’anic courses, and the Ministry of National Education to access Turks in Germany to institutionalize the Turkish way of laicism in the diaspora. In doing so, the outcomes of archival forces put forward that DITIB reflects the TIS in the diaspora through monopolization of religious services as conducted in Turkey, but at the same time competes with other religious ‘institutions’ which has not been institutionalized due to the prohibition in Turkey. So, the study pursues to figure out the dissemination of DITIB via its point of view toward other Turkish-Islamic communities. Additionally, since the junta strongly endorsed Diyanet as a state-led religious institution to diffuse and control public life in Turkey, DITIB’s institutionalization reveals a similar trend in the transnational field. To sum up, this research expects to build up an alternative explanation of religious diversity in the Turkish diaspora by rejecting the statement that DITIB is a mere “Turkey’s long arm”. Conversely, it perceives DITIB as an institution, a natural outcome of ‘historical debates on religion and society in Turkey. It will examine this hypothesis by engaging in Diyanet’s published materials, newspapers such as Cumhuriyet, Milliyet, Die Welt, and Der Spiegel, and the autobiography of Tayyar Altıkulaç, the President of Diyanet between 1978-1986, to conduct a transnational inquiry over the 1980 military intervention. 


WS 12. The war in Ukraine: humanitarian, political, and social consequences of the crisis 

On-site Workshop – Working language(s) / English and Finnish 
Workshop Conveners: 
Saara Koikkalainen, University of Eastern Finland, saara.koikkalainen[@] 
Tapio Nykänen, University of Lapland, tapio.nykanen[@] 
Tiina Seppälä, University of Lapland, tiina.seppala[@] 
5 abstracts

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1 

ROOM: Metria M108

WS12 Weaponization of Migration in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine   
Joni Virkkunen, University of Eastern Finland 
Kristiina Silvan, Finnish Institute of International Affairs   
Minna Piipponen, University of Eastern Finland

Thousands of asylum seekers sought to cross the border to Europe via the ‘Arctic route’ from Russia to Norway and Finland in 2015-2016 and through Belarus in 2021. Five years later, the Lukashenka government in Belarus went further in its attempt to destabilize individual EU member states and the EU as a whole by promoting Belarus as a fast and safe gateway to Europe, pushing asylum seekers to the border, and denying them the possibility to turn back once they realized that Belarus’ European neighbours would keep their borders shut. These two ‘border crises’ encapsulated the geopolitical and weaponizing potential of global migration in authoritarian illiberal states. In this presentation, we discuss Kelly Greenhill’s (2016, 2010) weaponization of migration concept, and how that encapsulates the two post-Soviet authoritarian states intentionally instrumentalized global migration for their benefit. Despite strong criticism to the concept, that captures the ways the states shape and take advantage of migration and its informal features such as corruption, human smuggling and criminal networks, while exerting only partial control over migration. In the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, we would like to ask: How does Greenhill’s metaphor ‘weaponization of migration’ work in the context of the war in Ukraine? Does the metaphor explain the ways Russia by military force created forced migration and used it as a ‘weapon’ against the Ukrainian nation and statehood on one hand, and against European security and stability on the other hand? 

WS12 The impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on collective memory in Estonia  
Tetiana Nahirniak, University of Eastern Finland 

The paper focuses on the Ukraine war’s impact on providing the cohesive function of collective memory in Estonian society. The hypothesis presumes that public reflection on current events of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is interrelated with the collective memory paradigms existing in Estonia and may demonstrate the actual impact of the memory policy on social cohesion between different societal groups. The present official collective memory paradigm in Estonia aims to integrate certain social groups/minorities based on the common narrative of the past, focusing on the condemnation of the ‘Soviet occupation and the regime´s crimes. Thus, the common ‘correct’ vision of the past is supposed to substitute the paradigm that gradually existed in the Soviet period, which still significantly impacted certain social groups, creating additional barriers to their integration into modern Estonian society. Active promotion of revisionism of the Soviet past by Russia and even utilization of it as a basis for military aggression against Ukraine (referring to the ‘decommunization’ policy in Ukraine as a claim for ‘denazification’) can be considered a challenge to memory paradigms promoted in post-communist countries, including Estonia, given that Russian approach to Soviet past may influence certain societal groups there. The cohesion via ‘collective memory’ promoted in such countries may deteriorate in case the target societal groups are not sufficiently involved in the policy formation, being more affected by the Russian narrative. In contrast, an efficient and inclusive ‘memory policy’ is expected to motivate them to find common ground with the rest of Estonian society 

WS12 Volunteerism and The War in Ukraine  
Saara Koikkalainen, University of Eastern Finland 

The Russian invasion and the following war in Ukraine have been widely condemned in the international community. Ukraine has received humanitarian and military aid from abroad and extensive sanctions have been imposed against Russia by a coalition of states. Many large non-governmental organizations (such as the International Red Cross, UNICEF and Doctors without Borders) have also collected donations and provided aid to Ukraine.  In addition to these forms of assistance, there have also been numerous bottom-up initiatives set up by individuals in different countries. These include arranging for refugee transportation from Ukraine, housing refugees in private homes, sending shipments of humanitarian aid, creating art exhibitions to raise awareness, and using social media to share up-to-date information on the situation in Ukraine, for example. This presentation includes preliminary results from a research project that focuses on the volunteering activities of ordinary Finnish people in reaction to the war. It examines how and why these individuals have decided to spend their time in support of the Ukrainian cause. Volunteerism is understood as a form of activism and citizen participation – at times even civil disobedience – in various grass-root-level efforts to provide humanitarian aid, spread awareness, or help Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in some other way. 

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2 

ROOM: Metria M108

WS12 Media photographs of Ukrainian and non-European refugees – A visual rhetoric approach 
Jari Martikainen, University of Eastern Finland 

In this presentation, I discuss media photographs of refugees published in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. More concretely, I elaborate the visual rhetorical strategies used in photographs of non-European refugees during European refugee crisis in 2015-2016 and Ukrainian refugees in spring 2022. Whereas non-European refugees were often/mostly depicted as cultural Others (outgroup) threatening the European wellbeing, Ukrainian refugees were often/mostly depicted as fellow-Europeans (ingroup) in need of help and protection. The implications of media imagery on public opinion and refugees’ attempts to settle in new cultural environment are discussed in the frame of social representations theory.  

WS12 Debates about ethnicity in Russia’s war in Ukraine 
Paul Fryer, University of Eastern Finland 

The humanitarian, political and economic impacts of Russia’s current war in Ukraine are discussed widely. However, the conflict also has revived questions of nationality and ethnicity that are being hotly debated in both Ukraine and Russia. President Putin has suggested that ethnic Russians in Ukraine have been subjected to genocide as justification for his war and has questioned the legitimacy of a separate Ukrainian ethnic identity; while the unprovoked attack on the country has strengthened Ukrainian ethnicity and unity and led many Russian-speakers in the country to reject a pan-Russian identity. Perhaps unexpectedly, within Russia many have questioned how the military campaign has affected ethnic minorities disproportionately. Unofficial evidence coming out of Russia indicates that many troops sent to the war originate from Russia’s ethnic regions, which are often poor and left with few other employment opportunities. This in turn has resulted in high casualty rates among the ethnic minorities, many of which have been numerically in decline for years due to Russian assimilatory policies. This reality has caused great concern about the future of the minorities and led to many questions – are the Russian central authorities disproportionately mobilising minorities in the war as they are more expendable than ‘real’ ethnic Russians? Why are minorities being sent to fight in a ‘Russian’ war? Should the minorities be fighting one another in Russia’s neo-colonial war? This paper reflects upon these questions of ethnicity in Russia and how they affect the developing conflict. 


WS13 Transnational death: migration, everyday, crises

On-site Workshop – Working language(s) / English  
Workshop Conveners: 
Olga Davydova-Minguet, Karelian Institute, UEF, olga.davydova-minguet[@] 
Ismo Björn, Karelian Institute, UEF, ismo.bjorn[@] 
Pirjo Pöllänen, Karelian Institute, UEF, pirjo.pollanen[@] 
Teemu Oivo, Karelian Institute, UEF, teemu.oivo[@] 
Oleg Reut, Karelian Institute, UEF, oleg.reut[@] 
Pekka Metso, School of Theology, UEF, pekka.metso[@] 
5 abstracts 

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1 

ROOM: Metria M110

WS13 The Curtained Mirror of Media Representation. A Case of Obituary Notes in Russian Social Media 
Oleg Reut, University of Eastern Finland 

This paper deals with the representations of death in the obituaries appearing in Russian social media from the point of view of memorial discourse analysis. It aims to point out how death is told and expressed in the obituaries: death is showed as a split between the dead and the living. The analysis highlights a number of discursive processes and schemata of interpretation that characterize the discourse of glorification. It demonstrates that this subject is situated between the staging of a notice of a death on the one hand, and a comprehensive reflection on heroism on the other, the latter notably concerning the issue of the tanatopolitics and, in particular, that of collective grief.  

WS13 Repatriation in Coffins: An Unrepresentable, yet Presented Event 
Teemu Oivo, University of Eastern Finland 

There is a peculiar history with accommodating and commemorating the excess death in Russia. For example, there is a lack of information about the faiths of people in wars and prison camps, which is juxtaposed with a notable acknowledgement of the military casualties from 1941–1945. The Russian invasion of Ukraine starting in February 2022 has continued the legacy of excessively regulated information about life and death. The repatriation of dead bodies from Ukraine to their home regions is a prevalent example of the localising consequences of the unrepresentable event abroad. While it is in the interest of authorities to have these events strictly dictated through Russia, it is difficult to manage the representations arrival and burials of thousands of bodies through the several regions. In this paper I present my ongoing research where I examine regional representation of the repatriation of Russian casualties from Ukraine with the example region of Republic of Karelia. I present background for the theoretical assumptions regarding public presentation of war casualties. More specifically, the empirics include official announcements from the head of the republic, news reports from a prominent regional news platform and the online discussion that these representations stirred. 

WS13 Universal and individual feelings of death 
Pirjo Pöllänen, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland 

Feelings and emotions are always individual, personal, and ambivalent. In addition, feelings are also learnt and culturally constructed and to some extent they are even universal. Death is one of the most affectional, emotional issues in the human life course. Death is loaded with emotions and affects. According to the discussion of affects, it is often defined as something which is before feelings and connected to bodily reactions (shaking, laughing, mimics etc.). Affect is also understood as something which is more permanent than feelings and emotions (~ affective condition). In this presentation, I firstly try to ponder the relationship between affects and emotions, and on the other hand, I try to understand how the feelings and affects of death are universal, personal, and culturally constructed. However, this topic is highly porous, fragile, and blurring. The data used in the presentation is diverse ethnographic data (interviews, observations, and diverse cultural products). The aim of the presentation is to create new questions, and new hesitations, pure answers will not be found in this presentation.

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3 

ROOM: Metria M110

WS13 The memory, the cemetery and the war 
Ismo Björn, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland 

Overturning an individual statue is a political act. The community strives to let go of the past and destroys misinterpreted monuments in public places. At the same time, it denies a part of its own history. These kinds of acts serve as the community´s cleaning element. During the war in Ukraine, the increased desire to tear down monuments which tell the Soviet Union or Russia is also a way to vent frustration. This is how the war has led to a decrease in cultural polyphony. The cemetery is a mixture of private and public space. In cemeteries, the victors of wars have not usually interfered with hero statues or monuments, although memorials of wars and battles are not allowed in other public spaces. The respect for death and the status of the grave have protected the preservation of the monuments in cemeteries. The importance of cemeteries as a place of private and collective remembrance is emphasized in times of crisis. How are the current war and conflicting emotional atmosphere, the time of anger and bitterness during the period of violence? Are grave monuments under threat? This theme is approached through the history of cemeteries, studying the practices that produce and maintain different meanings of monuments. Presentation is part of broader questions about how the structures of the funeral service and especially the cemetery have adapted to immigration and the changing needs of society, and how multiculturalism has been taken into account in the cemetery.

WS13 Meanings of narratives of the Great Patriotic war among Russian-speaking immigrants in Finland and France 
Olga Davydova-Minguet, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland 

With the beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, the position of Russian-speaking immigrants in European / Western countries has become more strained in many respects. The new war reverberates with national memories and narratives of the Second World war, both among Russian-speaking immigrants and among local populations. The associations with the narratives on “the holy struggle against Fascism” or on the “everlasting Russian imperialism” lay on the surface and have been explored and exploited in transnationally spreading discourses. In my presentation, I attempt to ponder how public places and spaces of European countries, and the memory politics that they display and convey, are felt by Russian-speaking immigrants through the lenses of the memory of WWII. As case studies, I present my research made in Grenoble, France, and in North Karelia in Finland. Through analysis of interviews with Russian-speaking immigrants in different national and local contexts, I try to depict different meanings of immigrants’ narratives about the Great Patriotic war, and how they are connected with the public memories of WWII. My ultimate aim is also to think about the inclusiveness of public places and spaces in contemporary European democratic societies and the ways to “embrace the war” in Andrei Zvyagintsev’s words.     


WS 14. Whiteness and national belonging in Finland 

 On-site Workshop – Working language(s) / English and Finnish 
Workshop Conveners: 
Tuomas Järvenpää, School of Humanities, University of Eastern Finland, tuomas.jarvenpaa[@] 
Jaana Vuori, School of Humanities, University of Eastern Finland, jaana.vuori[@] 
11 abstracts 

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1

ROOM: Metria M109

WS14 “For Their Own Good”: Identifying “Gentle” Colonialism and Racial Exceptionalism Within the Historiography of Finnish Residential Schools 
Lindsay Doran, UEF, Dept. of Geographical and Historical Studies 

The historiography of Indigenous residential school systems is lengthy, fraught with cultural trauma, and currently receiving renewed worldwide attention, due to the numerous discoveries of mass child graves upon identified boarding school sites in the United States and Canada. Though Indigenous residential schools existed in many countries across the globe, Finland’s historiographical treatment of Saami students in government-run residential school systems in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is uniquely situated in the overall historiography of Indigenous education experiences. The Saami population can be found in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Russia, and the majority of these countries have made specific acknowledgements or apologies regarding the treatment of the Saami within government-run school systems. However, a number of Finnish historians appear to reject ideas depicting Finland in the role of colonizer to the Saami people through educational cultural hegemony. Saami historians, former residential school students, politicians, and community members present different, conflicting accounts of Saami experiences within Finnish boarding schools. This article analyzes the past and present historiographical timelines of Indigenous residential school experiences in Finland, explores concepts and implications of Finnish racial exceptionalism and white innocence, and finally, predicts future historiographical trends in a field increasingly moving towards the decolonization of Indigenous cultural memory. 

WS14 Shock as Maintenance of Whiteness 
Dionysia Kang, Åbo Akademi University 

Food systems in Finland, mirroring global patterns, are sustained by racially minoritised and migrant workers performing precarious labour. In recent years, there is a proliferation of journalistic ‘exposés’ on poor labour conditions in café and fast-food chains, greenhouses, and restaurants across Finland, on top of the berry-picking industry. I observed that one common reaction towards these exposés is shock/surprise/disbelief. These emotions, accompanied by calls for more exposés to ‘uncover’ labour exploitation in local food systems, indicate a form of unknowing. Using the epistemology of ignorance and white innocence (e.g. Sullivan & Tuana, 2007; Wekker, 2016) that argues that whiteness operates through ignorance, I interrogate this ‘shock’ as active unknowing (Swan, 2017). Whiteness is understood not as an individual white person, but a collective benefitting from white supremacy (Mills, 2007). The unknowing is symptomatic of whiteness, associated with Finnish exceptionalism. The ‘shock’ follows the selective knowing of Finnish history in relation to colonialism, wilful refusal to listen to minorities and acknowledge racist social structures (Rastas, 2012). This shock towards exploitative labour is a persistent and patterned ignorance that reproduces an essentialised idea of an inclusive and equal Finland – marked by the Nordic welfare model, every man’s right, and world’s happiest country – where exploitation is out of the norm. The food systems depending on workers not racialised as both White and Finnish shows that it is an important, yet underlooked context to uncover what is underneath: ‘whiteness’ maintained by racial capitalism, borders, and discourses of national belonging. 

WS14 Yliopistoihmiset ja tulkin tarvitsijat – asiakkaiden kategorisointi neuvolan hoitajien puheessa 
Päivi Iikkanen, University of Jyväskylä 

Haastattelin väitöskirjaani varten neuvolan terveydenhoitajia ja kyselin heiltä, miten heitä on ohjeistettu toimimaan sellaisten asiakkaiden kanssa, jotka eivät puhu Suomea äidinkielenään. Vastauksista kävi ilmi, että terveydenhoitajilla vaikutti olevan melko vahvoja stereotyyppisiä ennakkokäsityksiä asiakkaiden englannin kielen taidon tasosta. Nämä käsitykset liittyivät erityisesti asiakkaiden lähtömaahan, oletettuun koulutustasoon sekä maahanmuuttostatukseen. Länsimaista lähtöisin olevat ”englanninkieliset” asiakkaat eivät ole hoitajien mielestä olleet ollenkaan ”kuormittava asiakaskunta”, heillä on ”perusasiat hyvin” ja ” Englannista tai Euroopasta tulevilla on jotenkin ”eri lähtökohat, kun sitten joistain muista maista tulleilla”. Näiden asiakkaiden kanssa asiointi onnistui englanniksi. Muiden asiakkaiden kanssa pyrittiin käyttämään tulkkia, jotta varmistettaisiin molemminpuolinen ymmärtäminen. Oman lisänsä yhtälöön toivat lisäksi kuntien taloushaasteet, joista johtuen hoitajia oli rohkaistu mahdollisuuksien mukaan käyttämään englantia sellaisten asiakkaiden kanssa, jotka eivät puhuneet äidinkielenään suomea. Terveydenhoitaja Annea lainatakseni: ”Pääsääntösesti pyritään käyttämään tulkkia käynneillä, vallankin kun, kun riippuu tietysti mistä maasta, mistä maasta tullaan, Afrikka, Iran, Irak, Thaimaa – tyyppiset, niin aina mietitään se, että mikä on se perheen englannin kielen taito, voi olla Euroopan maista tulijoita, joilla on hyvä englanti ja he toivovat sillä englannilla sitä asiointia.” Hoitajat olivat myös kehittäneet yllä mainitulle asiakasryhmälle uudenlaisen identiteettikategorian: yliopistoihmiset. Mielestäni näissä haastatteluissa kaikuu vahvasti valkoihoisuuden sekä kyvykkyyden yhdistäminen. Ne kertovat hieman karuakin kieltä siitä, miten oletettua kielitaidon puutetta käytetään asiakkaiden eriarvoisen kohtelun perusteena. Tällaiset käsitykset siirtyvät seuraaville sukupolville tehokkaimmin koulutuksen kautta, joten kouluissa olisi erityisen tärkeää edistää ylipäänsä erilaisten kielimuotojen hyväksyttävyyttä.

WS14 Viileä valkoinen kohtaa estyneen ja kuumana käyvän kotoutujan 
Jaana Vuori, University of Eastern Finland 

Analysoin esitelmässäni videomateriaaleja, jotka on tuotettu ammattilaisten tueksi kotouttamistyöhön. Videot ovat näyteltyjä, ja niissä esitetään tilanteita, joissa suomalainen, valkoiseen valtaväestöön kuuluva sosiaali- ja terveysalan työntekijä ottaa esille erilaisia seksuaalisuuteen liittyviä kysymyksiä kohdatessaan maahanmuuttajataustaisen mies- ja naisasiakkaan. Miten sukupuoli, seksuaalisuus, uskonto ja etnisyys kietoutuvat yhteen, kun maahanmuuttajataustaisia asiakkaita ohjataan suomalaisen yhteiskunnan normeihin? Miten erityisesti vuorovaikutus ja siinä nousevat affektit esitetään tavalla, jota voi pitää rodullistavana? Pohdin, mitä mahdollisuuksia valkoisuuden käsite avaa analyysille, ja millä tavalla se mahdollisesti vie analyysia pulmalliseen suuntaan. 

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2

ROOM: Metria M109

WS14 Colonial whiteness in Finnish asylum decisions for queer applicants 
Inka Söderström, University of Helsinki 

In my presentation, I discuss how whiteness, coloniality and heteronormativity play a role in the asylum decisions by Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). As part of my doctoral dissertation work, I have analyzed 49 asylum decisions made between 2017–2019 on applications based on sexual or gender minority status. The analysis reveals that the most central reason for Migri to decline the asylum claim is that they do not believe the applicant truly belonging to sexual or gender minority. Many migration researchers in Europe (eg. Akin, 2015, 2019; Danisi et al., 2021) and elsewhere in the Global North (eg. Murray, 2015; Shakhsari, 2014) have argued that this is because the understandings of queerness among asylum authorities are based on white, Western paradigm. My qualitative analysis reveals how the same colonial power structure works in the Finnish asylum system. Drawing on my empirical analysis, I examine what kind of ideas about the nature of (homo)sexuality and about the preferred lifestyle of a non-heterosexual person the Finnish asylum decisions convey, and what kind of barriers this creates for queer asylum applicants. Many of these cultural ideas about (homo)sexuality derive from the culture of white supremacy and hetero/homonormativity. They reflect a colonial mindset about the superiority of the Western ways to understand (homo)sexuality and willingness to impose them on all people. The asylum processes are one manifestation of Finnish culture of white supremacy, and the result is violent exclusion of people who fail to translate their queerness in white narrative language. 

 WS14 Finnish national belonging through military service 
Ilona Bontenbal, Puolustusvoimat 
Jarkko Kosonen, Puolustusvoimat 

Finland has retained conscript service among the whole age cohort of young men and on average 70-75 % of each male age cohort complete their mandatory conscript service, which lasts between 6 and 12 months. Conscripts can choose between military service and non-military civil service. (Finnish Defence Forces Statistics 2018.) Among youngsters there is a strong socio-normative pressure to choose and accomplish military conscript service at call-up age (Kosonen et al. 2019) and only about 6 % conduct non-military civil service. Conscript service is also compulsory for male migrants or those with a foreign background if they have Finnish nationality. Now that the number of migrants in Finland has grown and there are more and more people with different backgrounds, it becomes important to consider what such diversity means for Finnish defence and military service, as well as the belonging and integration of migrants. Military service has for example been found to be tightly connected to identity building and conscript services is considered an important part of the maturation process and of Finnish national belonging (Ahlbäck 2014; Kosonen et al. 2019). In our study, we want to analyse the role that military conscript service has on the sense of belonging of migrants and those with a foreign background (national belonging as well as belonging to the army), and whether conscript service functions as a way of inclusion/exclusion of migrants from the Finnish national narratives, through interviews with young migrants before call-up age, conscripts, and reservists. 

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3  

ROOM: Metria M109

WS14 Struggles over the meaning of (anti-)racism in Finnish mainstream media and the relationship between anti-racist activists and media 
Aino Nevalainen, CEREN, University of Helsinki 

So-called postethnic activism of young people has increased in Finland in recent years and brought forth the political activities and views of youth racialized as non-white or other. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations of the summer of 2020 can be considered the culmination of the visibility of this activism. In connection with these demonstrations, which acted as a watershed moment in the mainstreaming of anti-racism, discussion on racism surfaced again in mainstream media in an unprecedented way – as building on and focalizing the activism of racialized minorities. The media visibility reached by the BLM demonstrations and by the public discussions on (anti-)racism they incited, however, hasn’t taken place solely on the terms of activists. The logics, practices, and framings of mainstream media have shaped the media space utilized by activists, its operational modes and representations as well as normatively defined “good” activism and its legitimate forms. My doctoral research examines the current public struggles over the meaning of (anti-)racism, and how mainstream media constructs and shapes these struggles. In addition to anti-racist framings advanced by activists, I also examine framings disputing anti-racism. I explore to what extent and with what kind of consequences colorblind discourses and discourses interpretable as postracialism are mobilized in challenging anti-racist framings in Finnish mainstream media, and how the Nordic context impacts these discussions. I also map how anti-racist activists view the significance, roles and policies of mainstream media in struggles over meaning, and how social media effects the relationship between activists and media. 

WS14 Jews in the Finnish press before the Second World War 
Sanna Ryynänen, University of Jyväskylä 

The Finns are accustomed to seeing themselves as outsiders in the history of European racism. Just like there is a tendency to exclude ourselves of the colonial past, there is a tendency to exclude ourselves of the European antisemitism. The notion of a Finland practically devoid of antisemitism has been notably challenged only during the last twenty years. Yet, research on antisemitism in the pre-war media content has continued to be extremely scarce and mostly unable to detect antisemitism in its less blatant forms – thus stating that antisemitism was marginal and limited to the far-right groups. My recent study of newspaper and magazine texts published in Finland during the years 1821–1936 challenges this view. It shows that the Finnish media discourse on Jews and Judaism had a strong negative bias, and that antisemitic ideas were common. Even though the Jewish minority in Finland was small and, until 1917, highly limited in its rights, the stereotypical threats and claims familiar from Central European antisemitism were also adopted to the Finnish media discourse. 

WS14 Researching whiteness in the city 
Mélodine Sommier, University of Jyväskylä 

In this presentation I will address the relevance of focusing on racial landscapes–that is the way discourses about race and racism materialize in everyday surroundings (James et al., 2016)–to examine the (re)production of whiteness in urban settings. Working at the level of the city makes it possible to grasp the concrete, complex and multifaceted ways in which whiteness as well as experiences stemming from it play out in everyday lives. Such an approach is helpful to understand the meanings of racial whiteness in the Finnish context. Exploring whiteness and the racing of whites is meant ‘to dislodge them/us from the position of power’ (Dyer, 2017, p. 2), while investigating racial landscapes highlights the way race and racism are embedded in ‘the archite(x)ture of European space’ despite being constructed as ‘a problem everywhere else but Europe’ (Goldberg, 2006, pp. 340-41). Thus, focusing on the way whiteness materializes and is (re)produced in everyday urban surroundings offers a double-edged lens to dissect the claimed normalcy, invisibility, and centeredness of whiteness. Some key concepts are particularly useful to investigate the (re)production of whiteness in cities such as white gaze – tightly connected to colonial gaze (Yancy 2008) – and white space (Anderson, 2015). During this presentation, I will (1) explain the connections between racial landscapes, whiteness and the concepts mentioned previously, (2) present methodological tools that can be associated with such a theoretical lens, and (3) discuss what this conceptual and methodological framework can bring to research on whiteness and racial ideologies in Finland. 

WS14 (Un)Becomings of Finnish whiteness in LGBTIQ+ break-ups 
Annukka Lahti, University of Eastern Finland 

In this presentation, I analyse Finnish whiteness in the context of LGBTIQ+ break-ups. To highlight the importance of context, my project explores LGBTIQ+ break-ups in two different cultural locations: Finland and the UK, keeping in mind that both countries are varied, multicultural sites where multiple histories and temporalities are layered and active. The data consists of 58 multisensory interviews of separated LGBTIQ+ people. Interestingly, the data sets from Finland and UK were formed differently: While there is some diversity in the Finnish data in terms of gender identity and sexual trajectories, the largest group consist of white, well-educated bi/lesbian cis-women, men being in the minority. The UK data is more diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity and education, the largest group consisting of black gay/bi cis-men. In my interview data, what appears first as a silence around Finnish whiteness and racialized power relations, start to emerge as I analyse how different kinds of racialising assemblages emerge and contextualise another. White privilege and other racialised (power) relations emerge not only as intersection of certain fixed racialized, gendered and sexualized positions, but rather through entanglements of human, material, non-human and discoursive elements: length, rhythm and contents of interviewees speech, their taking/not-taking space in the interviews, allowing and blocking of certain senses such as sight from the interview and the materiality of the zoom/in-person interviews. In this presentation I explore what can this affective-material knowledge reveal of (Finnish) whiteness in the context of LGBTIQ+ break-ups? 

WS14 Valkoisuus, vähemmistöt ja historian oppikirjat Suomessa 
Tanja Kohvakka, Åbo Akademi 

Historian oppikirjat heijastavat ja tuottavat vallalla olevaa kuvaa Suomen ja sen väestön historiasta. Ne ovat yksi historianopettajan tärkeimmistä työkaluista ja siten niiden sisältö vaikuttaa suuresti historianopetuksen painotuksiin. Suomessa historian oppikirjat liittävät Suomen historian osaksi eurooppalaista historiallista kertomusta, ja tämä näkyy niin oppikirjojen painotuksissa kuin oppikirjojen tavassa kertoa ei-eurooppalaisista alueista ja ihmisistä. Lisäksi ne osaltaan tuottavat lapsille ja nuorille jaettavaa tietoa siitä, ketkä ovat osa suomalaisia tai eurooppalaisia. Historian oppikirjoja kirjoittaa moninainen joukko historiadidaktiikan ja historiantutkimuksen ammattilaisia, minkä vuoksi historian oppikirjoissa voi esiintyä merkittäviäkin eroavaisuuksia. Näitä oppikirjoja kuitenkin yhdistää niiden käyttö julkisissa kouluissa sekä niiden pohjautuminen Opetushallituksen sinetöimään opetussuunnitelmaan, jolloin niiden sisältö ja jakaminen on valtiollisen toimijan hyväksymää. Tässä esitelmässä pohdin peruskoulussa käytettävien historian oppikirjojen tuottamaa tietoa vähemmistöistä ja valkoisuudesta Suomessa. Esitelmäni pohjautuu parhaillaan käynnissä olevaan väitöskirjatutkimukseeni vähemmistöjen representaatioista suomen- ja ruotsinkielisissä historian oppikirjoissa. Tarkastelen tutkimuksessani tekstien lisäksi oppikirjoissa esiintyviä kuvia, jotka toisinaan kertovat monia asioita oppikirjojen välittämistä arvoista ja asenteista. Esitelmässäni tuon esiin sekä oppikirjoihin liittyvää teoreettista keskustelua että tärkeimpiä tutkimuksestani nousseita teemoja. Kiinnitän esitelmässäni erityisesti huomiota oppikirjoihin diskursseina: sitä, kuinka ne toisaalta kertovat ympäristömme arvoista ja asenteista sekä toisaalta sitä, kuinka ne itsessään tuottavat todellisuutta sekä käsitystämme ”objektiivisesta tiedosta”. Esitelmässäni en keskity mihinkään tiettyyn vähemmistöön vaan tarkastelen sitä, keiden historia otetaan osaksi Suomen historiaa ja ketkä mielletään menneisyyden, nykyisyyden ja tulevaisuuden suomalaisiksi. 


WS 15. New Directions in Ethnic and Migration Research  (a, b, c)

Hybrid Workshop – Working language(s) / English  
Workshop Conveners: 
Working Group a. Tiina Sotkasiira, University of Eastern Finland, tiina.sotkasiira [@] 
Working Group b. Iiris Lehto, University of Eastern Finland, iiris.lehto[@] 
Working Group c. Anni Rannikko, University of Eastern Finland, anni.rannikko [@]
11 abstracts 

WS 15a New Directions in Ethnic and Migration Research: Theoretical and methodological advances 

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1 

ROOM: Metria M107

WS15 Active Reflexivity: Negotiating with the Researcher’s Positionality and Power Relations
Morsaline Mojid, University of Hawaii at Manoa 

My paper deals with the question, how does a researcher, especially in refugee research tackles the complexities of positionality? Drawing on my experience of conducting fieldwork in Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, I shed light on how I respond to and recognize the complexities of positionality. Specifically, how I was constantly positioned as a member of the host community and how my scholastic understanding frequently collided with the “lived actualities” of refugees and local people. Using Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology as an analytical guide, I propose developing an “active reflexivity” approach to negotiate the complexities of positionality. In so doing, I discuss how building a “conscious apprehension” can identify both the objective and subjective nuances of social behavior. Reflecting on my fieldwork experience, I outline a two-strand framework to develop an “active reflexivity” approach. The first strand responds to the complexity of researcher’s social space by “knowing the epistemic ambivalence” and the second refers to the “ideological baggage” that often originates from the researchers’ scholastic experience. Foregrounding my fieldwork experiences, this paper revisits the researcher’s ideological biases in fieldwork. 

WS15 Flying Cats and Dogs: Empathy and Care in shaping More-than-human Mobility 
Lucia Gräschke, University of Eastern Finland 

The mobility of domesticated animals is increasing globally, and carrying companion animals by air has grown into an international business involving approved vets, pet travel agencies, airlines, and animal terminals. Companion dogs and cats are transported by air to accompany their caregivers on vacations and hiatuses or when they relocate internationally. This study investigates how the experience of air transportation is shaped and draws theoretically on an approach of more-than-human mobility. In detail, I approach mobility through relationality, empathy, and care by considering air transportation as an anthropocentric way of animal movement. Movement, including the specific conditions used to carry companion animals, displays a source of affect to influence the experience of mobility, triggering multispecies empathy and caring activities. Empirical accounts provide 16 online interviews with cat and dog caregivers analyzed with qualitative content analysis. The interviewees shared transportation experiences in the aircraft cabin, in the hold, or when carrying animals as cargo. The analysis reveals that caregivers and companion animals experience air transportation relationally. Caregivers empathetically participate in the situation of their companion animals and employ caring practices to comfort them. Reversely, a separation of caregivers and companion animals causes negative transport experiences. 

WS15 (De-)bordering by laughter. What can different kinds of laughter reveal about the experiences of everyday bordering among asylum seekers and refugees?  
Tiina Sotkasiira, UEF Department of Social Sciences 

This presentation is based on the work of Breaking Borders collective, which has conducted drifts with civic activists and people from asylum-seeker and refugee backgrounds. This paper is a joint effort by two scholars, Tiina Sotkasiira and Sanna Ryynänen. Together we propose a novel approach for analyzing the experiences of everyday bordering among people who have arrived in Finland as asylum seekers or refugees. Drawing on critical border studies, the study of laughter and the methodology of drifting, we conceptualize laughter as indicative of, and contributing to, the practices of bordering and de-bordering in the domain of everyday encounters. We ask, what different types of laughter reveal about the borders and bordering practices within Finnish society and in which ways laughter functions in the processes of (de-)bordering. We identify five types of laughter that make visible and challenge the borders that prevail in the lives of asylum seekers and refugees. These are softening, distancing, buzzling, criticizing and connecting laughter. We argue that placing focus on the non-verbal cues of laughter helps to identify new perspectives on bordering practices and suggest novel ways in which to research and analyze these as activist scholars. (Note to organisers, if needed I can change my submission to WR on rural migrations. 

WS 15b New Directions in Ethnic and Migration Research: Borders and mobilities 

THURSDAY 24.11. 17.00-18.30 Working Groups 2 

ROOM: Metria M107

WS15 Human rights and local level: the hotspots in the Mediterranean at the North and Southeastern Aegean
Maria-Artemis Kolliniati, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens  

This paper will address human rights in Reception and Identification Centers (RICs) for asylum seekers it the Mediterranean Greek islands: Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesvos and Samos, both empirically and normatively. In this research qualitative research methods have been used including guided interviews and document analysis. Human rights are placed at the local level (i.e. islands-hotspots), rather than at the state level; it is shared the view that, in the context of ´Hotspot approach´, Greek islands in particular, not states in general, are the sites par excellence where human rights are gained or lost. Thus, it is examined what is the perception of local actors about the role of human rights in the context of specific islands/hotspots? In this way particular human rights violations and the duty bearers are identified in local actors´ narratives. From this inquiry a new question derives which is related to a gap of duties at the local political level. In local politicians’ perspectives, a paradox prevails. On the one hand, they point out that the islands are highly negatively affected from the RICs. On the other hand, they underline that they cannot do anything to alter this situation and to protect the human rights of the locals and of the asylum seekers. In this context, a question remains open: if the local level does not have any substantial obligation at the RICs, which are the normative foundations of human rights that could indicate local actors as duty-bearers, creating them moral obligations towards asylum seekers and islanders? 

WS15 Discussing the complexities to implementation of continental open-border migration in Africa 
Khushal Naik, Åbo Akademi University 

As migration continues to be a topic of significant discourse across the African continent, the implementation of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 and Migration Policy Framework have emerged as frameworks towards the visa-free movement of people across the continent. The creation of the ‘African Union passport’ in 2016 and the ‘Free Movement of People’ are the two flagship projects under Agenda 2063’s initial ten-year implementation plan and are seen as the first steps towards borderless continental migration. The ambitious goal of a continent without borders is in many ways an attempt towards mirroring the successes of the European Union and the Schengen area, resulting in the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021, whereupon the AU further highlights the significance of economic integration and the benefits and role of labour migration. With these initial steps already in place, the dream of a continent without borders appears to be within reach. However, despite the rhetoric and continental agreements, there remain significant barriers to actualising the goal of continental visa-free migration; such as local insecurities and animosities towards migration, and regional failures to implementing AU protocols, to name but a few. This paper explores the key hindrances to the implementation of AU protocols on migration, that have seen only a handful of states ratify the agreements thus far, and discusses the feasibility of the ten-year implementation plan as a result. 

WS15 Veganism as a way to both subvert and reconstruct whiteness – an example from Finland 
Freja Högback, Åbo Akademi 

In this paper, which will form a chapter in my doctoral dissertation on veganism in Finland, I analyze how white vegan men challenge some aspects of hegemonic masculinity in a Finnish context. This relates in particular to the fact that meat-eating as a norm has connotations of power and killing especially for white patriarchal masculinity in Western Europe (Adams 1990, Simonsen 2012) and so also in Finland. I also discuss other aspects of whiteness in relation to veganism, especially to the concept of white innocence (Wekker 2016). It is of interest for me to examine white supremacy, as one of the main ideologies that structure Finnish society, together with hetero-patriarchy, and relate this to veganism in my research. Wekker (2016) writes that we must articulate whiteness, as a racial category that is usually not mentioned but invisible, in order to deconstruct this position of power. In a dualist and hierarchical world view, whiteness is often defined in contrast to blackness, and whiteness is often presented as unproblematic and innocent. I therefore examine veganism in relation to the hegemony of whiteness in Finland, to be able to articulate it adequately. 

WS15 The Dreaming Bog 
Robert Aitken, Robert Aitken Filmproduktion 
Alison Stewart, Robert Aitken Filmproduktion 

THE DREAMING BOG is an ecopoetic film on Climate Change told through the history and mythology of the Peatbogs of Northern Scotland and the Mires of Finland. The significance of these Climate resilient landscapes now places the Bogs at a crossing point on the global energy debate and our future as species. The Bog is not only a depository of Carbon it is a repository of human collective history and of memory; ecosystems and evolution – these aspects are played out with the Bogs as guardians of the planet in the midst of a Climate and Biodiversity crises. THE DREAMING BOG is a coming together of scientific testimony and artistic observation. From fields such as; social science, research, heritage, archaeology and ethnology. You will hear comment and heartfelt words from those who live and work in these fragile environments; as well as a beckoning of consciousness where image, poetic voice and music garner ideas of creation, formation and humanity focussing on the Peatlands and Mires as a locus of civilisation. What are our dreams – portent or paradigm? THE DREAMING BOG is a conduit between science & imagination, physical & metaphysical and people & landscape – all echoing the emerging Anthropocene; an exploration of meanings in the concepts of what human-nature relationships are and can be. These are the borders the human species must now ultimately cross to have any chance to continue its journey. 

WS 15c New Directions in Ethnic and Migration Research: Rethinking migration and ethnicity  

FRIDAY 25.11. 9.00-10.45 Working Groups 3

ROOM: Metria M107

WS15 Exploring the Migration Process of Iranian Asylum Seekers in Europe: A Case of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina  
Faranak Gholampour, ELTE University    

Understanding the irregular migrants’ motivations for leaving their country of origin and their experiences in the host country have always been seen as an important topic in the field of migration studies. However, there is currently a gap in the literature on this subject area especially in the case of Iranian asylum seekers in Europe. Therefore, the current paper serves as a preliminary study for more comprehensive research that explores the migration process of Iranian asylum seekers in two main European transit countries based on semi-structured interviews. In total, there were 17 Iranian asylum seekers (M age = 36) recruited from Serbia (n=8) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (n=9). It explored their motivations for leaving Iran and the greatest difficulties they faced on their way to Europe. We found that the main motivations of Iranian asylum seekers for leaving Iran were due to the lack of job security, lack of social freedom, economic and political issues, family issues, and religious persecution respectively. All interviewees claimed that they did not have any idea about the difficulties faced by irregular migration when they were planning to leave Iran irregularly to Europe. 

WS15 Life Entrapment or Trampoline? Understanding existential life experiences of Iranian rejected asylum seekers in Copenhagen’s open drug scene  
Arash Setoodeh, University of Copenhagen 

Based on the literature in relation to the time, the place and the mental state in which the declined forced migrants are stuck, this article examines how the existing realities both in the Danish asylum system and the open drug scene contribute to shaping the irregular lives of Iranian rejected asylum seekers in central Copenhagen, Vesterbro. The empirical data is a result of three months of field work gathered through participant observation, interviewing drug users and the social workers. In exploring the patterns of these experiences, I focus on the role of drugs and the drug scene on one hand as a means of rescue from temporal and spatial stuckness with which the rejected migrants are confronted, and on the other hand as a means of empowerment providing chances of social recognition, cultural integration and economic involvement. Beyond an open drug market, Vesterbro is a social meeting space where ‘life’ is happening actively compared to the trapped life in the Danish deportation centers, where passive waiting for an unknown future never ends. It is demonstrated throughout this paper how aspirations for life possibilities outweigh the risks of entrapment and mobilize Iranian rejected asylum seekers to Copenhagen’s open drug scene; entering a grey zone that potentially puts their basic human rights into question. The contextualized findings of this research point at the importance of recognizing the needs and protecting the rights of vulnerable undocumented migrants, as well as the necessity of finding a durable solution for their lives in limbo.  

WS15 Racialized identity and sense of belonging among Kurdish migrants 
Zana Balikci, The Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki 

This paper examines Kurdish migrants’ construction of identity and sense of belonging in the post-2015 context, Finland and the UK. Political developments that occurred in the Middle East, such as the Syrian civil war, the rise of ISIS, the Rojava Revolution and the Kobane siege in the Kurdish region in Syria, the failure of the peace process in Turkey, and the Turkish state’s increasing oppression in the Kurdish areas, have all had a significant impact on the Kurdish identity construction in the diaspora. Especially, during Finland’s NATO membership, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses Finland of harboring “terrorists” that he claims to threaten his country’s security, in particular the Kurds from Turkey. This directly affects the identity and belonging of Kurds living in Finland and the UK. How do first and second-generation Kurds construct and maintain their identity in Finland and the UK in the post-2015 context? How do their identity constructions reflect their lived experiences of racialization both in the society of origin, the society of settlement, and the transnational space? The analysis is based on qualitative material (interviews, observation) from first-second-generation members in Finland and the UK (2022-2026). Therefore, I argue that to better understand first-second-generation Kurds, we need to move beyond the political claims by politicians and social media, and examine how the Kurdish diaspora has been affected by political developments that occurred in the Middle East and host countries. 

What does transnational life and distance family mean during the Pandemic?
 Judit Vegh ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
 Lan Anh Nguyen Luu
, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
 Andrea Dúll,
ELTE Eötvös Loránd University

This three-phase longitudinal study aimed to examine transnational families’ experience and communication patterns within their distance families using qualitative research methods. The first phase of the study was conducted before the pandemic, exploring how transnational families’ members can best support each other during their continuous translocation in order to reach the best adaptation each time they move. The study was conducted with transnational families living in Malaysia. In concluding the first phase of the research, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and has had a significant impact on transnational life. Following up on the original study group’s experience, the specific objective of the second part of the study was to explore how the concept of distance family had changed, how the communication with extended families had changed, and what kind of patterns could be observed. The second part of the research was conducted in two phases: at the beginning of the pandemic during the lockdown and at the end of 2020. Using reflective thematic analyses, preliminary key findings indicate that the significance and the concept of distance family had changed, and new priorities evolved. According to extended family relations, new communication patterns had appeared.

DISCUSSION EVENT: Anchoring European migration research to social justice

THURSDAY 24.11. 14.00-15.30 Working Groups 1

ROOM: Metria M303

Facilitators: Ali Delphi, Ulla Laukkanen, and Inka Söderström
Contactperson: Inka Söderström, University of Helsinki,

We welcome researchers, environmental activists, students, and everyone else interested to come together and discuss the role of European migration researchers in promoting social justice and dismantling global white supremacy in the time of ecological crisis.

The effects of white supremacy on the current ecological crisis can be seen in the numbers of cumulative emissions. During the years of 1751–2017, countries with white majority population in Global North were responsible for two thirds of all global emissions. Now the ecological crisis is accelerating and causing more and more damage, most extremely in the Global South. At the same time, European borders are being guarded all the time tighter and applying for an asylum in Finland via legal routes has been made almost impossible. This contradiction is a form of European environmental racism. The situation in Iraq is one concrete example of this: the two rivers of Iraq are completely drying out because of huge dams built by Turkey to answer to European demands for green energy, posing a severe risk for the lives of local people and forcing millions of Iraqi farmers to flee. The lack of European responsibility is reflected in the lack of laws: the UN refugee law is unable to respond to the migration brought on by the climate crisis.

What is the responsibility of European migration researchers to answer this paradox? How can researchers affect shifting the narrative on migration to one that highlights Finland’s responsibilities as a country that seeks justice? How does the rise of ecofascism in Finland and Europe affect researchers’ responsibility as political actors in society?

The discussion event is facilitated by a group of researchers and activists, and everyone is welcome to join. The purpose of the discussion is to build connections between participants and to bring the discussion from the level of theories to concrete justice work. The discussion starts with an introduction by the facilitators, after which everyone moves into smaller groups to reflect on the topic and our own work. After that, we will have a summarizing discussion all together. The general discussion will be in English, but in the small groups you can discuss either in English, Finnish, or Swedish. You don’t need to prepare for the discussion, other than think about your own work from the point of view of social justice and come with an open mind.


Printable version of the Etmu Days 2022 Workshops & Abstracts