Olga Juutistenaho


  • born 1991 in Tampere, Finland
  • since 2022 Research Associate, DFG Research Training Group “Identity and Heritage”, TU Berlin
  • 2018-2022 Master’s degree in Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2020-2022 Assistant Editor, The Finnish Journal of Urban Studies (Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu)
  • 2017-2021 Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture, Aalto University
  • 2018-2019 Exchange studies, Urban Design, TU Berlin
  • 2014-2017 Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture, Aalto University
  • 2011-2014 Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden


Technische Universität Berlin
Faculty VI – Planning Building Environment
Institute of Urban and Regional Planning
Chair of Heritage Conservation
DFG Research Training Group 2227 “Identity and Heritage”
D-10623 Berlin

Office: Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1 | BH-A 339
D-10587 Berlin

Mapping Finnish post-war memory culture and history politics in the cityscape of Helsinki

Wars, conflicts, and disasters are an integral part of European collective memory. In particular, the Second World War is a shared trauma for many European nations and identities. However, in each context the interpretations differ. In Finland, the war is often perceived through a heroic narrative of protecting a small nation’s independence and democracy next to the hostile neighbouring Soviet Union, combined with a bitter trauma of lost regions and large-scale evacuations. Meanwhile, less attention has been paid to a contested military alliance with Nazi Germany. 

In my research, I wish to find out how the trauma and the memory of the war have been tackled spatially in Helsinki. The capital city spatializes and materializes the collective identity and the history politics of the nation state Finland, constructing and reinforcing an authorized perspective of the past. Due to its location between the East and the West, the self-identification and self-positioning of Finland is multifaceted and somewhat controversial from an international viewpoint. I aim to present a critical analysis that defines a spatial framework of memory culture and history politics in the Finnish capital, as well as to place the Finnish context in an international comparison. 

Presentations (Selection)

“German World War II military cemeteries in Finland at the intersection of national and transnational memory cultures”. ASEN Conference 2024 Nationalism and Memory. University of Edinburgh, 9 April 2024.

“The German war cemetery Honkanummi in Vantaa, Finland as uncomfortable and neglected heritage”. Spring School Uncomfortable Heritage in the Baltic Sea Region and beyond. University of Szczecin, 11 March 2024.

“The end of (spatialized) Finlandization? The fate of Soviet statues in Finland in 2022”. 
War on monuments: Debates over Russian/Soviet heritage in Eastern and Central Europe since 2022. 
Estonian Academy of Arts (online), 16 May 2023.

“Kiveen hakattuja tulkintoja – suomalaisen kaupunkitilan menneisyyden narratiivit”. 
(”Interpretations etched in stone – narratives of the past in Finnish public space”).
Kaupunkitutkimuksen päivät, Urban Studies Conference. University of Turku, 5 May 2023.

“Making amends with the past – approaching cultural trauma through built heritage”. 
ATUT, 14th Symposium of Architectural Research. Tampere University, 20 October 2022.