Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Lotta Svärd on Screen (seminar)

Lottia valkokankaalla -seminaari. Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 23 Nov 2009
Moderator: Tiina Suutala
Tiina Kinnunen (docent, Joensuu University): The Lotta in Finnish Cinema from the 1940s till the 1980s - the years of disregard
Taru Mäkelä (film director): The Lotta in the 1990s Fiction and Documentary - the rehabilitation
Irmeli Lemberg (the chair of the Lotta Svärd Institute): The Origins of the Lotta Movie The Promise
Ilkka Vanne (film director): The Promise - A Journey Into My Own History - his mother was a Lotta, and his father, a career officer
Imbi Paju (film director): The Sisterhood of the Estonian and Finnish Lottas Before the War and the Political Silence After the War - the collaboration of Lotta Svärd and Naiskodukaitse
Movie: Imbi Paju: Suomenlahden sisaret (2009)
The seminar, part of our Lotta Svärd film retrospective, both curated by Tiina Suutala, was a powerful experience of psycho-history on big topics that have been not discussed enough. The Lotta Svärd was essential during the three wars Finland suffered in 1939-1945, and without it Finland would not have survived.

Lotta Svärd and other women's wartime service organizations contributed in a central way to health care, catering, supplies, communication, maintenance and field service (front nurses, front canteens, front communications). They did not carry weapons.

After the wars, the organization was banned and its importance in some circumstances disregarded. Mainly, however, in my experience, it was always highly respected. In my family, for instance. The Lotta Svärd emblem is on the gravestones of my paternal grandmother and my godmother. My maternal grandmother was a Lotta already in the Civil War, and also in WWII, and my mother and her sisters were Lottas or Little Lottas.

No comments: