The Voionmaa Institute

The Voionmaa Institute logo

The Voionmaa Institute is a private non-profit educational institute in Finland focusing on media in the field of film, photography and print & www journalism.

In the Voionmaa Institute there are about 135 students. About 40 of them are studying photography, 35 film making, 20 journalism, 20 radio- and TV-journalism and about 20 acting. They came from all parts of Finland and most of them are aged between 20 and 27, but there also some 50+ students. Our basic courses last 10 months but we have also courses of professional film making and professional photography which last 18 months. Regionally we collaborate mostly with different media at the Pirkanmaa region.

Furthermore we have peripheral projects with other studying groups in the nearby Pirkanmaa region, a.o. one project in the former municipality of Viljakkala. There have been from the year 2010 a senior citizen group studying the local narrations of past. Participants of this group are mostly aged between 65 and 85.

Civil war 1918

Our topic in the concept of conflicts is people´s memories about the civil war in Finland 1918. The front line was very near the Viljakkala municipality but surprising was that in this municipality no one of the local people was killed by other locals. That was very extraordinary because in the whole Finland more than 30 000 people were killed, most of them in very rude ways. Why this conflict was in Viljakkala so "mild" although people had the same dividing opinions than in the other parts of Finland?

We try to get answers to the following questions through our videos, photos and documents all focused to Viljakkala:
Have there been guilty ones and innocent ones in the memories of 1918 or just equal victims in the avalanche of incidents? 
Was the memory of 1918 dividing people in later decades? And if it was, in which ways?
Why there were no local victims killed by locals in this municipality?
How the memory of 1918 is seen in nowadays?

All the interviewed people are members of the senior group from Viljakkala – except the last eyewitness of the war who was 105-year-old and living at home for the elderly in Viljakkala during the interview 2012.

Let us see the Viljakkala story of the civil war 1918.