University of Oulu

Ridanpää, Juha (2019) Postcolonial critique and the north in geographical imaginations. In: Maija Mäkikalli, Ysanne Holt, Tuija Hautala-Hirvioja (eds.), (pp. 123-137), Rovaniemi: Lapland University Press.

Postcolonial critique and the North in geographical imaginations

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Author: Ridanpää, Juha1
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Lapland University Press, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-01-16


This essey discusses the interconnections between art, human imagination and postcolonial critique in the context of northern Finland. The ‘North’ is conceived here as an imaginative region, a myth, characterized by the stereotypes attached to nature and non-civilization, constructed through various socio-cultural institutions, both in art and science. In the case of Finland, the stereotype of the ‘North’ is a cold, snowy wilderness with reindeer herding Saami people and blazing northern lights. For several centuries, various forms and types of art have functioned in order to mystify, exoticize and legitimize the hegemonic understanding about the ‘North’ as a periphery. However, during recent years several northern artists have started to contest prevailing conceptions and challenge the stereotypes and myths attached to northernness. What follows introduces examples from various forms of northern culture — including literature, design, music, paintings and films — through which the ‘North’ as a myth has been constructed, but also contested.

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ISBN Print: 978-952-310-931-5
Pages: 123 - 137
Host publication: North as a meaning : in design and art
Host publication editor: Mäkikalli, Maija
Holt, Ysanne
Hautala-Hirvioja, Tuija
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 6132 Visual arts and design
Copyright information: © 2019 Juha Ridanpää and Lapland University Press.