Chapter 8. The politics of identity and visuality

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During World War II, Finland evacuated 70 000 to 80 000 children to other Nordic countries. This forced displacement has had long-standing effects on individuals’ and communities’ sense of belonging. In my article, I ask how the spatial trauma of the early childhood displacement becomes visualised. What kind of embodied practices and visual narratives of displacement are found among Finnish war children? Embodied spatial experiences are sought in war child Pekka Suokas’s childhood drawings from the years 1944–1945. The collective dimension of spatial belonging is analysed in the visual narratives and practices of war children. I conclude by discussing how the visual representations aim to challenge the hegemonic national identity discourse of the Finnish war.


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