University of Oulu

Autti, O. (2022). Environmental Trauma in the Narratives of Postwar Reconstruction: The Loss of Place and Identity in Northern Finland After World War II. In: Kivimäki, V., Leese, P. (eds) Trauma, Experience and Narrative in Europe after World War II. Palgrave Studies in the History of Experience. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Environmental trauma in the narratives of postwar reconstruction : the loss of place and identity in Northern Finland after World War II

Saved in:
Author: Autti, Outi1
Organizations: 1School of Architecture, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-12-04


This chapter discusses environmental trauma caused by sudden changes in the everyday physical environment. For example, various development projects altering the environment can activate trauma processes similar to war-related trauma. The origin of environmental trauma is an event that changes the physical environment, but it easily extends to other areas of life. The study is based on qualitative interviews, and the data is analyzed leaning on human-environment and place-attachment theories. The interviewees had experienced dramatic changes in their environment caused by the Lapland War and postwar hydropower construction in Northern Finland. The change in the environment destabilized the wellbeing of local people, causing depression and anxiety. Environmental trauma is characterized by disconnections, silences and delays. Although trauma can be repressed for decades, it can still be passed on in a socially mediated process.

see all

Series: Palgrave studies in the history of experience
ISSN: 2524-8960
ISSN-E: 2524-8979
ISSN-L: 2524-8960
ISBN: 978-3-030-84663-3
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-84662-6
Pages: 267 - 297
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-84663-3_10
Host publication: Trauma, experience and narrative in Europe after World War II
Host publication editor: Kivimäki, Ville
Leese, Peter
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 5141 Sociology
616 Other humanities
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This work has been supported by the Academy of Finland (grant number 310855).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 310855
Detailed Information: 310855 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG