Visiting Research Fellow: January-April 2024
Tiia Sahrakorpi is an Academy of Finland postdoctoral fellow at Aalto University, Finland. She is working on a history of Finnish energy that is focused on collective memory of energy transitions and how societies remember power plant building. She completed her PhD at University College London, which analysed Hitler Youth memoirs and how these memoirs represent the Nazi past. In addition to working on historical research, she works also in energy research on projects concerning energy access for all (SDG 7), sustainability, and women’s productive use of energy in the Global South. Overall, her work combines themes of modern cultural history, memory studies, gender studies, and energy.
I will be working on an article for my Academy of Finland project ‘The Finnish Technological Sublime: Perceptions, imagination, and self-representations of large-scale energy projects, 1928-2020’, which broadly focuses on how societies collectively remember power plant building during a time of sustainable transition. During the visit, I will be working on an article comparing Kemijoki, a river system in Northern Finland, along which six hydropower plants were built and Imatra, the site of Finland’s first hydropower project. It combines oral history, court cases, company correspondence, and government documents to assess the projects. The article will analyse the history of acceptance surrounding renewable energy projects, provide new insights into the history of renewable energy and energy transitions through comparative analysis.