My name is Tiina Suopajärvi, and I’m cultural anthropologist from northern Finland. My main research interests lie in the intersections of age, gender and place. In my current study I’m studying ageing as lived experience and as socio-cultural phenomenon in the city of Oulu. This includes both the place-making practices of +65-year-old city dwellers and the processes of public service design with senior citizens. In this study, I combine the ethnographic methodology of walk-along and participatory action research.
Theoretically I’m inspired by feminist technoscience studies, mainly the human–non-human entanglements and power relations in our everyday lives. Recently I have started to explore the methodology of sensory ethnography in the study of public urban places and the methodology of design anthropology. Previously I have studied, for instance, gender, expertise and human-nature relations of Finnish forestry professionals; the design of the smart city centre of Oulu; and the ICT practices of senior citizens.
Due to my family history, I’m also interested in the mobility caused by the II World War, namely the evacuations from Petsamo, the north-east corner of Finland that was given to Russia as a consequence of the peace treaty. I’m particularly interested in oral histories and how through reminiscing about the evacuations people construct their own pasts and identities. I look at oral histories as a form of place-making.