Saskia Geisler, FernUniversität in Hagen, Lehrgebiet für Geschichte der Europäischen Moderne
Abstract: Die Grenzregion Karelien im Lichte finnischer Bauprojekte in der Sowjetunion
With the presentation of her dissertational thesis Saskia Geisler would like to introduce a case study on East-West interactions. Using, amongst others, the concept of “multilevel interaction” (Sari Autio-Sarasmo and Katalin Miklóssy) the project deals with construction projects realised by the Finnish syndicate Finn-Stroi which was founded especially for the Soviet market.
The paper will focus on the region of Karelia. Karelia is a mythical area to Finnish nationalism – the songs of the national epos „Kalevala“ were collected here and it was one of the goals in the Continuation War (1941-1944) to unite the whole Karelia with Finland. However, the peace with the Soviet Union led to rather harsh losses of territory – most parts of Karelia were lost, thousands of Finnish and Karelian citizens evacuated.
By comparing Finnish construction projects in Soviet Karelia with a construction project in Noril’sk the presentation will ponder on the advantages of a translocal rather than a transnational approach when dealing with cross-border interactions.