Transnational Death: Practices of Death and Remembrance in the Transnational Everyday Life on the Finnish-Russian Border

The Transnational Death: Practices of Death and Remembrance in the Transnational Everyday on the Finnish-Russian Border is a multidisciplinary research project, which studies death practices, routines, and remembrance in Finnish and Russian border territories through transnational lenses. We are interested in how transnational connections between populations of border territories affect death, and how death constitutes or breaks everyday transnationalism. The themes of the study consist of rituals, bureaucracy, and remembrance in cemeteries as well as on memory sites. The data has been compiled in the research group through ethnographic “wondering and wandering”, wandering together and separately, both in cemeteries and in other places where death and the encounters with death are strongly present. Wandering, which is an ethnographic observation in time and space, has been a long-term working method of our research group. Other applied approaches in our project include interviewing experts and ordinary dwellers of border areas, as well as media analysis and online ethnography that help explore the death discourse in the information and communications technology-mediated Finnish-Russian context.

This project is funded by the Academy of Finland, and will be running from 2021 to 2025.

Team: Leader Olga Davydova-Minguet (Karelia Institute, University of East Finland), Ismo Björn, Pekka Metso, Pirjo Pöllänen, Teemu Oivo and Oleg Reut (Karelia Institute, University of East Finland).

Recent publications

Davydova-Minguet, O., Pöllänen, P., Björn, I., Oivo, T. & Reut, O. (2022) ‘Hautausmaat ylirajaisuuden tiloina’ [Cemeteries as transcendent (transnational) places], Idäntutkimus, 29:3, 21-38.

Davydova-Minguet & Pöllänen, P. (2023) ‘Long farewell: bureaucracy of transnational death in (post)-mortal practices of Russian-speaking immigrants in Finland’, Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales (2023): 53-76.