In this multidisciplinary research project, five researchers are investigating the historical, cultural, bodily, spatial, and affective aspects of memories. The memories comprise about 500 pages of text written by 91 persons – patients, friends and relatives of patients, and hospital staff and their children. The oldest memory dates from the 1930s and the most recent date from the 2010s. The material was collected and archived by the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) in 2014–2015.
Kirsi Heimonen (Uniarts Helsinki) is focusing on on the way in which patients were attached to the material and immaterial characteristics of mental hospitals, to different atmospheres, which she has sought to relate to through a corporeal approach guided by a somatic movement method, the Skinner Releasing Technique in her artistic research. Other researchers are from the University of Jyväskylä: Saara Jäntti (PI), Sari Kuuva, Karoliina Maanmieli and Anu Rissanen, and they approach the same material from cultural and literary perspectives in the context of psychiatric history.
The research project is funded by Kone Foundation (2017–2020).
Contact information for the project
- University Researcher, Taiteellisen tutkimuksen tk CfAR, University of the Arts Helsinki
Visiting researcher, Tutkimus Teatterikorkeakoulu, Theatre Academy
Engraved in the Body: Ways of reading Finnish people’s memories from mental hospitals
University of Jyväskylä