Transnationalist Reading of Visual and Verbal Representations of Immigrant Identities

By Anniina Suominen Guyas and Paula Toiviainen.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The presented interdisciplinary study examines socially and culturally constructed individual and communal identities through visual representations and personal narratives to inform a diversity model for art education. All participants are students and recent immigrants, many of them refugees, to Finland pursuing preparatory degrees in health and social sciences. The article first describes the focus, context, structure, and participants of the study as well as provide a brief ‘initial inventory’ of the submitted and shared visual, written, and verbal materials followed by a discussion of the conceptual framework of transnationalism as it relates to our project. The studied material indicates continuous negotiation of complex socio-cultural, individual, and communal identities through everyday interactions that do not readily lend themselves to context and location but require a more complex understanding of self.

Keywords: Art and (Trans)Nationalism, Visual Representation, Transnational Identities, The Arts and Collective Memory, Sense-making, Connecting the Arts to Everyday Life, Photography and Video in Research

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.357-368. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.256MB).

Dr. Anniina Suominen Guyas

Assistant Professor, Department of Art Education, College of Visuals Arts, Theatre and Dance, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

I received my combined undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Arts and Design Helsinki, Finland. I completed my Ph.D. in art education at The Ohio State University, taught at Kent State University for five years and then relocated in Tallahassee to work for the Department of Art Education at the Florida State University. I am interested in alternative forms of qualitative research, arts-based educational research, a/r/tography, artistic inquiry, and narrative research. The concepts that I study are contextual and socio-cultural identities, gendered identities, transnationalism, nation and national identities, and the integration of arts, research and education.

Paula Toiviainen

Lecturer, Helsinki City College of Social and Health Care, Helsinki, Finland


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