The role of Finnish leftists in Soviet-Finnish artistic exchanges during the late socialist period
Mikkonen, S. (2020). The role of Finnish leftists in Soviet-Finnish artistic exchanges during the late socialist period. Scandinavian Journal of History, 45(4), 527-546. https://doi.org/10.1080/03468755.2019.1632738
Published inScandinavian Journal of History
© 2019 the Historical Associations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden
The article examines artistic exchanges between the USSR and Finland from the viewpoint of the Finnish left. After WWII, Finland was in a difficult geopolitical position; although not occupied by the USSR, it received little support from the West and so remained an independent capitalist democracy, with little foreign leverage. The Soviet influence was felt in many areas, and throughout the Cold War, Finland received many more world-class Soviet artists than any other Western country. This was in part a consequence of Finland’s proximity to the USSR, but the Finnish Communist Party, a major domestic political force, also played a role. Immediately after the war, organizations associated with the Finnish Communist Party enjoyed a virtual monopoly over such exchanges, but this began to change in the mid-1950s. Around that time, the USSR began to allow Finnish artists to train and perform at its world-class arenas, and many of those Finnish students had links with the political left. Based on interviews and supported by archival material from Finland and Russia, the article explores the role of the Finnish left in these artistic exchanges. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Research Council for Culture and Society of the Academy of Finland [funding decision 276486].
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