University of Oulu

Jouhki, E., & Vehkalahti, K. (2020). Reconstructed Landscapes of Northern Youth : Reading the Autobiographies of Finnish Youth, 1945–1960. In Marja Tuominen, Timothy G. Ashplant & Tiina Harjumaa (eds.) Reconstructing Minds and Landscapes : Silent Post-War Memory in the Margins of History (pp. 131–149). Routledge.

Reconstructed landscapes of northern youth : reading the autobiographies of Finnish youth, 1945–1960

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Author: Vehkalahti, Kaisa; Jouhki, Essi
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Taylor & Francis, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-06-30


This chapter explores how growing up environments and landscapes are remembered, described and depicted in autobiographies written by people who experienced the reconstruction era in northern Finland in their childhood and youth. The article is based on a collection of submissions to the essay called “Generations of Youth” in 2010 and archived in the Finnish Folklore Archives. The texts provide an interesting opportunity to investigate the cultural meanings attached to growing up environments, mindscapes, and places of childhood and youth in post-war Finland. The chapter combines approaches from the fields of history as well as humanistic geography. It addresses the question of how children and youth of the 1950s and 1960s built and reconstructed their identities and memories through different environments, places, and landscapes. The narratives depict the rural landscape and northern nature as particularly emotional sites, ones through which memories and emotions attached to childhood are articulated. The rural landscape becomes emblematic of safety, tranquillity, and happiness, even though rural life is also described in terms of poverty, shortages, and hardship.

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ISBN: 978-1-003-03247-2
ISBN Print: 978-0-367-46981-8
Pages: 131 - 149
DOI: 10.4324/9781003032472-9
Host publication: Reconstructing minds and landscapes : silent post-war memory in the margins of history
Host publication editor: Tuominen, Marja
Ashplant, T. G.
Harjumaa, Tiina
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © The Authors. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Reconstructing Minds and Landscapes on 31 December 2020, available online: