If the Borders Could Tell: The Hybrid Identity of the Border in the Karelian Borderland

Authors

  • Saija Kaskinen University of Eastern Finland, Finland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.1525.14611183

Keywords:

Border, identity, hybrid, reflective knowledge, private knowledge

Abstract

This paper analyses the nature of the border. The paper poses the question of whether a border, in this case the national border between Finland and Russia in the Finnish Karelian border region, can have its own distinctive identity[ies], and if so, could the border itself be or become a hybrid – a border subject. To examine the hybridization process of the border, this paper draws on individual experiences of the border that are illustrated using interview material. In addition, by analysing historical documents, literature and historiography, the paper shows how the border has affected people’s relationship with the border itself and also their perception of regional landscapes, regional memories and identity. On the other hand, this process can be reversed by exploring how people have changed and embodied the border. The paper utilises the framework of John Perry’s theory of “reflective knowledge”, where both conscious experience and the knowledge it yields differ from physical knowledge that is explicitly characterized in terms of empirical facts. Exploring these relationships enhances our understanding of the role of “private knowledge” and its contribution to the understanding of borders.

References

Research materials

Research materials include personal comments from and interviews of the following anonymized informants:

Aili, 2013, pers.comm., 20 August

Eeva, 2013, pers. Comm., 6 August

Enni, 2013, pers.comm., 6 August

Frank, 2013, pers.comm., May 27

Heikki, 2013, pers.comm., 23 August

Kaisa, 2013, pers.comm., 26 August

Liisa, 2013, pers.comm., May 25

Pekka, 2013, pers.comm., 20 August

Pirkko, 2013, pers.comm., 6 August

Tauno, 2013, pers.comm., 22 August and 2014, 13 October.

The material is in author’s possession.

Literature

Anderson, Benedict (2003): Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London, New York: Verso.

Anzaldúa, Gloria (1987): Borderlands/la Frontera: The New Mestiza, San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.

Bhabha, Homi (1994): The Location of Culture, London and New York: Routledge.

Billig, Michael (1995): Banal Nationalism, London: Sage.

Eker, Mark & Henk Van Houtum (2008): Grensland / Borderland: History and Future of the Borderlandscapes, Wageningen: Blauwdruk.

Flynn, Donna K. (1997): “We Are the Border: Identity, Exchange, and the State along Benin-Nigeria Border”, American Ethnologist, 24:2, 311–330. DOI: 10.1525/ae.1997.24.2.311

Green, Graham (1971): Lawless Roads,Hammondsworth: PenguinClassics, (1st edition 1939).

Guehenno, Jean-Marie (1995): The End of the Nation (trans. Victoria Eliot), Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.

Haapanen, Atso (2013): Viholliset keskellämme: Desantit Suomessa 1939–1944, Helsinki: Minerva.

Harley, John B. (1988): “Silences and Secrecy: The Hidden Agenda of Cartography in Early Modern Europe”, Imago Mundi, 40, 57–76. DOI: 10.1080/03085698808592639

Hicks, Emily (1991): Border Writing: The Multidimensional Text, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Hirsch, Marianne & Nancy K. Miller (eds) (2011): Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and the Politics of Memory, New York: Columbia University Press.

Holsti, Kal (1986): “Politics in Command: Foreign Trade as National Security Policy”, International Organization, 40:3, 643– 671. DOI: 10.1017/S0020818300027302

Juvonen, Jaana (1996): Parikkalan historia, Parikkala: Parikkalan kunta.

Karsh, Efraim (1986): “Finland: Adaptation and Conflict”, International Affairs, Spring 1986, 265–278. DOI: 10.2307/2618365

Kailas, Uuno (1932): Runoja, Helsinki: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö.

Kapchan, Deborah A. & Strong, Pauline Turner (1999): “Theorizing the hybrid”, Journal of American Folklore, 112: 445, 239–253. DOI: 10.2307/541360

Krosby, H. Peter (1960): “The Communist Power Bid in Finland in 1948”, Political Science Quarterly, 75:2, 229–243. DOI: 10.2307/2146156

Lenz, Carola (2003): “This is Ghanaian Territory: Land Conflicts on a West African Border”, American Ethnologist, 30:2, 273–289. DOI: 10.1525/ae.2003.30.2.273

Novak, Amy (2004): “Textual Hauntings: Narrating History, Memory, and Silence in ‘the English Patient’“, Studies in the Novel, 36:2, 206–231.

Ohmae, Kenichi (1995): The End of the Nation-state: The Rise of Regional Economies, New York: Simon and Schuster Inc.

Paasi, Anssi & Prokkola, Eeva-Kaisa (2008): “Territorial Dynamics, Cross-border Work and Everyday Life in the Finnish-Swedish Border Area”, Space and Polity, 12:1, 13–29. DOI: 10.1080/13562570801969366

Paasikivi, Juho K (1985): J. K. Paasikiven päiväkirjat 1944–1956. Ensimmäinen osa, Helsinki: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö.

Perry, John (2001): Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness, Cambridge: Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Perttu, Arvi (2011): Skumbria, Helsinki: Like Kustannus Oy.

Schack, Michael (2000): “On the Multicontextual Character of Border Regions”, Martin van der Velde & Henk van Houtum (eds): In Borders, Regions and People, London: Pion, 202–219.

Schimanski, Johan & Wolfe, Stephen (2010): “Cultural Production and Negotiation of Borders: Introduction to Dossier”, Journal of Borderland Studies, 25:1, 39–49. DOI: 10.1080/08865655.2010.9695749

Singelton, Fred (1981): “The Myth of Finlandisation”, International Affairs, 57:2, 270–285. DOI: 10.2307/2619164

Singelton, Fred & Anthony Upton (1998): A Short History of Finland, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511608087

Spencer, Arthur (1958): “Finland Maintains Democracy”, Foreign Affairs, 31:2, 301–309. DOI: 10.2307/20030962

Struken, Marita (2011): “Pilgrimages, Reenactment, and Souvenirs: Modes of Memory Tourism”, Marianne Hirch & Nancy K. Miller (eds): Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and Politics of Memory, New York: Columbia University Press, 280–293.

Talvi, Jussi (1959): Elän Venäjän varjossa, Helsinki: Otava.

Treverton, Gregory F. (1982): “Complicated Coexistence”, The Atlantic Monthly, December, 1982, 10–13.

Törngren, Ralf (1961): “The Neutrality of Finland”, Foreign Affairs, 39:4, 610–621. DOI: 10.2307/20029514

Wilson, Thomas & Hastings Donnan (1998). “Nation, State and Identity at International Borders”, Thomas M. Wilson and Hastings Donnan (eds): Border Identities: Nation and State at International Frontiers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511607813

Wuorinen, John (1954): “Finland Stands Guard”, Foreign Affairs, 32:4, 651–660. DOI: 10.2307/20031063

Vertoveck, Steven (1999): “Conceiving and Researching Transnationalism”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22:2, 447–462. DOI: 10.1080/014198799329558

”Viisumivapaus ja raja-asema tukevat toisiaan” 2013, Parikkalan-Rautjärven Sanomat, 8/7/2013.

Zimmerbauer, Kaj (2011): “Conceptualizing Borders in Cross-Border Regions: Case Studies of the Barents and Ireland-Wales Supranational Regions”, Regional Studies, 47:1, 89–103. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2011.644236

Zartman, William (2010): “Identity, Movement, and Response”, William Zartman (ed.): Understanding Life in the Borderlands: Boundaries in Depth and in Motion, Athens & London: The University of Georgia Press.

Downloads

Published

2014-12-15

Issue

Section

Part 3: Hybrid identities and borders