3. Deportations and deportability in Finland
Convenors: Päivi Pirkkalainen, University of Jyväskylä; Saara Pellander and Eveliina Lyytinen, Migration Institute of Finland
Contact: paivi.m.pirkkalainen (at) jyu.fi
Session 3.1: Thursday 2.12.2021 at 17.00-18.30
Session 3.2: Friday 3.12.2021 at 12.30-14.30
Presentation order and abstracts:
SESSION 3.1 Thursday 2.12.2021 at 17.00-18.30
Soviet Deportations, Internal Exile and Stigma that Followed: Oral Histories of Deported and Silenced Ingrian Finns
Anni Reuter, University of Helsinki
This paper focuses on what happened after the forced migration from the viewpoint of the Finnish minority in Russia. I discuss the experiences of ethnic deportations, stigma, and enforced silence of being Finnish in the Soviet during Stalin’s time and after his death (1953). I will analyze 30 oral histories of deported Ingrian Finn. From the year 1935 onwards, mass deportations of Finns from historical Ingria located around St. Peterburg (Leningrad) and the border areas in the Soviet Union became ethnically rather than socially motivated.
The majority of Ingrian Finns lived decades in internal exile under strict surveillance and regular pass control even later of NKVD (later KGB), which organized the Gulag administration and political terror. Over 50 years survivors experienced various problems if they talked about their experiences in public or revealed that they were Finnish/deportees. Oral histories of living in the Gulag as a Finnish deportee were shared only among the most trusted persons. Ingrian Finnish culture was a hidden memory culture until perestroika and 1990s.
Ingrian Finnish deportation narratives were often counter-narratives, including tragic histories, but even jokes and oral poetry, against the Soviet power. Sharing painful and often traumatic narratives with the researcher and other Finns deported gave hope for recognition of their history and healing from the traumatic past.
Legal geographies of the Finnish deportation machinery
Eveliina Lyytinen, Migration Institute of Finland
In this article, I propose the application of legal geographies framework to better understand the official deportation policies and practices, and the counter-actions in Finland. I analyse how the Finnish ‘deportation machinery’ that entails the laws, policies and official practices of deportation, functions, and how it is challenged in regard to space and time. In other words, I examine how people, laws and spaces of deportability are intertwined in the temporal construction of the deportation machinery. My interest is on questions of where, when, by whom and how law is implemented, challenged and resisted during deportations.
My aim in this article is to introduce the application of legal geographies approach for the better understanding of the spatio-temporal-legal dynamics involved in the deportations and the related negotiations. I propose that the most useful legal geographical concept for the analysis of deportations is that of nomosphere developed by David Delaney. He suggests that displacements, including forced migration, deportations and detention, could be understood as nomospheres. According to Delaney (2015a: 99) “distinctive legal practices are… involved in ‘making up’ the kinds of persons and non-persons (citizens…, refugees…) who live in our world, and these makings manifest themselves in nomospheres. The concept of nomosphere (like splice and lawscape) can be seen as “instances or moments where legally informed decisions and actions take place…” (Bennett & Layard 2015: 410).
I demonstrate in this article how examining both the discursive and embodied practices and relationships between and amongst nomospheric figures, guardians and technicians are essential to unravel the ever-changing, fluid spatio-temporal-legal dynamics of forced removals. I argue that the nomospheric figures, guardians and technicians all put law in practice and demonstrate how this practicing of law always takes place not only in space but also in time. Furthermore, implementation of law is never straightforward, and my interest in this article is to shed light on how deportation orders are implemented in practise and how they can be challenged with various discursive and practical techniques by others, such as the figures and the technicians of nomosphere. All these various actors shape the actual practice of the law and what is of interest in here are the attempts to implement, resist or transform the law.
SESSION 3.2 Friday 3.12.2021 at 12.30-14.30
Resisting deportation live –Affective responses to Aino Pennanen’s live stream of civil disobedience
Noora Kotilainen, University of Helsinki/University of Jyväskylä
On a Finnair flight to Berlin July 31th 2018, a Finnish lawyer Aino Pennanen saw a man escorted by the police and cuffed to his seat. She realized a deportation was taking place, pleaded the pilot not to fly, refused to sit down and decided to live stream the events to FaceBook Live. The deportation protest became a top news story in Finland, arousing strong emotional reactions pro and contra both the practise of deportation as well as the act of livestreaming the act of civil disobedience.
Recently, in addition to broadcaster media’s live television footage, the practise of making sudden event violent events such as terror attacks visible and mobilizing publics by using social media based live stream technology, has thrived. (Van Es, 2016) In the aftermath of the 2015-2016 so called European refugee crisis, protesting enfolding deportation situations by live streaming at the spot of the events, became new form of mediated resistance to deportations. (Khattab, 2020) Hybrid media enabled novel forms of mediatized deportation protests and the ways in which protests are reacted to, vividly demonstrate how deportations not only affect the deportees, but forcefully shape the society that deports, arousing manifold affective reactions from mobilization of solidarity and will to help to hateful and aggressive condemnation of the protests.
In this paper I look at how the affectiveness of live streaming an enfolding deportation protest shaped the reception and reactions of national audiences. I look at the affective visual features of Pennanen’s live stream video and analyse the emotional reactions and societal discussion the mediatized protest generated in the Finnish media.
Affective practices in Protestant activism against deportations: Christian converts and the controversy over faith in Finland
Päivi Pirkkalainen and Karina Horsti, University of Jyväskylä
The next proposed contribution examines the reactions of Protestant congregations in Finland and how they have responded to state authorities’ negative decisions on conversion-based asylum appeals. Finland tightened its criteria for international protection after 2015, the year of the ‘refugee reception crisis’, and this resulted in an increase in the percentage of asylum applications rejected and the number of deportation orders issued. Conversion from Islam to Christianity as grounds for asylum became a matter of heated public debate and was framed as a migration strategy. Analysis of documents, public appeals, Christian media materials, and interviews with key actors in the asylum and appeal processes of converts to Christianity shows the ways in which immigration authorities’ and courts’ suspicion that the faith may not be ‘real’ affects not only asylum-seekers but also Finnish Christian communities. It exerts this influence at a fundamental level whereby the individuals’ and the community’s trust in the state gets called into question along with the genuineness of their right to freedom of religion. Emotions of fear and frustration, even anger, are shared within the religious communities and more publicly in the ecumenical religious domain. Affective practices of performing and articulating emotions in the public arena become a means of resisting both deportations and the perceived violation of the right to define one’s faith. This type of resistance can, however, end up transformed into exclusionary practices exacerbating divisions between ‘us’ (Christians) and ‘them’ (Muslims).