Did you come to Finland as a refugee or as an asylum seeker? Write about your experiences when you had to flee your home country. In recent years, refugees’ and asylum seekers’ journeys to Europe have been frequently in the media, but not many refugees have been able to tell their own story. We want to collect and save these stories so that they will not be forgotten.
We would like to receive stories from people who have been on a refugee journey at different ages and in different periods of time. Your journey may have taken some hours or many years – we welcome all kinds of stories. You can write your story in your own language.
The following questions might help in the writing process:
- When did you arrive in Finland? How old were you?
- When did you start your journey, and what were the circumstances when you left? Did you have to leave in a hurry, or did you have time to plan your journey? What did you take with you when you left? Did you travel with other people? What time of the day and year was it when you left?
- What were your feelings and thoughts when you left your home?
- When did you know that you would end up in Finland? What kinds of impressions, expectations or information did you have about Finland?
- What route did your journey take? What modes of transport did you use on your way? What kind of people did you meet, or what kinds of relationships did your form during the journey?
- How long did your journey take? Are there any phases, situations, places or experiences that you remember particularly clearly?
- What kinds of memories do you have about your arrival in Finland?
- How has the journey experience affected you and your life?
- What do you consider your home today?
The collection is organised by the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) and the project Refugee Journeys: Narratives of Forced Mobilities (University of Oulu) funded by the Academy of Finland.
SKS collects, preserves, and makes accessible versatile cultural heritage, and we would like to include your story in our collections. Read more about SKS (www.finlit.fi).
The main prize of the writing contest is EUR 500. In addition, there are three special recognition awards of EUR 200 each. The winners will be contacted and the results announced in autumn 2021.
Please write in your own language and style. The length of the texts is not restricted. We also accept photographs, recordings, videos, previous memoirs and interviews. Please only send material if you have the right and/or permission to send such material. We ask you to give consent for archiving the material in the SKS archive and for its use in accordance with the rules of the archive.
Please submit your text by 15 May 2021
- using the form below or
- by post to the following address: Finnish Literature Society (SKS), archive, P.O. Box 259, FI-00171 Helsinki.
- Please, mark the envelope with “Pakolaismatkat”.
- Include your consent for archiving the material in the SKS archive under your name or pen name, as well as your contact and background information. You can use the attached form.