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Exhibition: “Whose History is it Anyway?” demolishes history

Who writes our national history? Whose voice does it have? Who are visible and who not?
Photo by Mikko Raskinen.

"Exploring Historical and Theoretical Roots" is an Aalto University's Visual Culture and Contemporary Art Master's program ViCCA's annual course. The purpose of the course is to examine memorials and memorial rituals through which historical stories are actualized. The exhibition “Whose history is it anyway?” is open for a couple of more days in the Harald Herlin Learning Center.

"The task of the students was to demolish the national stories and to question the simplicity of the existing history writing. The course also aimed at highlighting alternative historical perspectives and giving voice to the marginalized and silent ones", explains lecturer Minna Henriksson.

The work started with analysing the functioning and structure of hegemonic discourses and systems of representation. The course participants discussed how meaning and "national unity" are constructed through culture, language and landscape.

They had a look at politics of commemoration, discussed reflective approaches, counter-monuments and struggles around memory since the 1990s. Some things have changed for better or worse, some haven't. While criticality became part of the debate, nationalism has also taken on a central role in the hegemonic memory culture in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

During the course, the students designed and implemented as teamwork their own art works, which in some way commented and brought new perspectives to the culture of remembering. The results are video and print art works, 3D prints and installations. The course was led by Minna Henriksson, Marko Karo and Nora Sternfeld.

Date: Jan 25–Feb 9, 2018

Venue: Harald Herlin Learning Centre, Otaniementie 9, Espoo

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