A1 Journal article (refereed)
Material Memories : Narrating and Reconstructing Experiences about Displaced Childhood during World War II (2022)

Koskinen-Koivisto, E. (2022). Material Memories : Narrating and Reconstructing Experiences about Displaced Childhood during World War II. Narrative Culture, 9(1), 109-128. https://doi.org/10.1353/ncu.2022.0005

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKoskinen-Koivisto, Eerika

Journal or seriesNarrative Culture



Publication year2022


Issue number1

Pages range109-128

PublisherWayne State University Press

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access


During World War II, about 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden and other Nordic countries to stay in foster homes to ease the situation of Finnish families. In this article, I analyze narratives of a former Finnish child evacuee who was evacuated to Sweden and who lived in Swedish foster homes during two different periods. I scrutinize her experiences, stories, and personal documents about evacuation and everyday life in foster homes from the perspective of affective and material memories. I approach the retrospective reminiscence of displacement as a mixture of a child’s perspective and an adult’s reflection. During the interview, the narrator read letters she had written to her mother, which bring out everyday life experiences in the midst of conflict that anchor in the material world. The written documents, as well as the sensory and material elements of the oral storytelling, function as keys for rendering complex affective experiences. In this text, I analyze the process of reconstructing narratives of displaced childhood and transnational family history as part of personal memory work.

Keywordswar childrenchildhoodevacuationfoster homesreminiscingexperiences (knowledge)personal narrativereconstructionmaterialitylettersphotographs

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:06