Voionmaa Institute and work at the local level

On the behalf of the Voionmaa Institute there were no problems to carry out this learning partnership project.

As I mentioned in our application we have already one coherent senior group at the municipality of Viljakkala. This group has been dealing with the stories, memories and impacts of conflicts at micro level already from the year 2010, especially the civil war 1918 which we decided be the conflict we dealed with in this learning partnership project.
We also committed our young adult students to collect those memories and impacts with filming, photographing and recording - and also they made for example during the interviews and meetings important questions about conflict history and narrations to the senior citizens.

Two our final videos were made totally by our students, four of them in cooperation with teaching staff of the institute.
Our aim was to do one quite long “digidocument” based on video interviews of seniors and their personal documents (as photos and written documents) in local micro level and then connect this micro level to the macro level of Finland and how this civil war is still very strongly on the agenda in Finland.

Instead of that we made as our local outcome six different and shorter digidocuments:
The first is the main document as an umbrella and titled Remembering the Finnish Civil War of 1918. The second is an introduction to the Viljakkala municipality at local spatial level and to the inviduals who formed the senior group in Viljakkala, all together there were 13 persons. This video is titled Viljakkala senior group, a short introduction 2012.

Five other were advanced videos giving more specific and detailed point of view about the main video: mostly personal experience.

Goals and aims fulfilled
I affirm that all the goals and aims mentioned in our application which we signed in the year 2012 were fulfilled on our behalf.
In the applications goals and aims were expressed with following mainlines:
The role of the Voionmaa Institute in this learning partnership is first of all to

1. create documentary methods dealing with the main tasks of understanding the features of conflict narrations in all cultures. With all our capacity and resources we will try together with other partners to dialogue on: how talking about conflicts from the past and actual conflicts, how to learn from this knowledge, being aware of each other´s history and learning from it to build up more European citizenship.

Making six different digidocuments as video format in cooperation of our teaching staff, our students of filming, photography and Radio & TV work and the senior group of Viljakkala. Also there have been all the time and in all meetings methodological discussion in dialogue with our learning partnership partners, especially at the Voionmaa meeting where we had also a special video course for other partners. Process off making these videos has been a dialogue talking about conflicts from the past and actual conflicts and how to learn from this knowledge, in intergenerational level: our young students, our middle aged staff and our 65+ senior group.

As a global level we were showing how the wounds of civil war were visible in a small community for many decades. Also we made visible in our digidocuments that in individual life histories there were many different points of view which showed that the impact of conflict was hitting some people in very hard ways, some people not. Understanding the reasons of civil wars in general was not our aim; our aim was just to understand that it a local conflict is also possible in a small local community. But also it is not so extremely hard and cruel for local people in static logic agricultural communities: for example no one of local people in Viljakkala were killed during the time of civil war battles in Viljakkala. Maybe the outcome in global level is: in tight social networks conflict is not so extreme than in communities with large number of immigration and emigration and with loose social networks.

2. The Voionmaa Institute will make a in a participatory process a documentary program on 'War-live-stories", a documentary with interviews, pictures, film and multimedia presentation.

Six different digidocuments as video format with filmed interviews, photos as picture material (both from present and past), all outcome as a video with still filmed clips and voice overs.

In spe, outcomes in use
Our videos can be material for intergenerational discussion between senior citizens and for example youg students of local elementary schools.

In global level our outcomes can spread understanding about the character of civil wars and how they might be avoided making strong social and intergenerational networks in local level, in local communities, but making a greater network as understanding people as European citizens.