Imagining and re-narrating regional identities


  • Juha Ridanpää University of Oulu, Department of geography


Human imagination, with all its institutional elements, is an integral part of regional identity construction. Considering regions ‘imaginative’ is not about underscoring the essence of fictiveness, but rather about emphasizing the relevance of the man’s power to imagine and narrate history in one’s own terms. This paper discusses the role of literature, especially literary humour, in the process of re-narrativizing regional identities, within the theoretical frameworks of Edward Said and Anssi Paasi. Through the analysis of Mikael Niemi’s breakthrough novel Popularmusik från Vittula, it is illustrated how the narrative identities of regions, in this case the region of Tornedalen in northern Sweden, can be contested, re-formed and complexified. Tornedalen is approached here as an imaginative region, with its own colonial history, while humour represents a unique textual method through which the ‘othered’ regional identity becomes re-negotiated.

How to Cite

Ridanpää, J. (2015). Imagining and re-narrating regional identities. Nordia Geographical Publications, 44(4), 65–73. Retrieved from