Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies (Jan 2018)

Vyborg Castle as a Symbol of Power Institutions

  • Jani Karhu,
  • Chloe Wells

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18


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In this article we focus on a remembered and imagined border: the changed border between Finland and Russia. We take as a case study the formerly Finnish now Russian town of Vyborg and its castle. The centuries-old castle has marked the limits of power in the Karelia region of the Swedish and Russian empires, the Finnish state, the Soviet Union and now Russia. We argue, based on our empirical studies that, for older generations of Finns, the castle can be the “symbol of everything”, whereas for today's Finnish teens the castle is a meaningless image. Thus this article also looks at the boundaries between social generations in their understandings of Finnish history and territory.