“Women Power”. Establishment of women in natural and cultural heritage preservation in Finland and Slovenia since 1918

bilateral project
Basic Info


The aim of the bilateral project is to carry out a comparative research into the establishing, representation and contribution of women to an integral preservation of natural and cultural heritage in Finland and Slovenia since 1918 until today. The project will achieve this by considering wider social and political frames, such as position of both countries in the Cold war, development of monument protection doctrine and environmental politics, and by analysing case studies of conservation projects that present 1) a comprehensive preservation of natural and cultural heritage, including the aspects of landscape architecture and environment protection, 2) show the leadership of women, and 3) were carried out either in Finland or Slovenia between 1918 and today. The necessity of a partnership between researchers from both countries is visible, above all, from the state of research, which shows numerous gaps and from research interest of both institutes. Strategic interest of the cooperation, as well as the expected impact of the proposed project, is to set a larger international research project, which will address the issue implied here in-depth by expanding research questions to other, thus far scarcely researched areas of northern, eastern and southern Europe. The added value of the proposed bilateral project thus lies in 1) connecting humanities and environmental sciences, 2) the research approach that connects studies of a comprehensive preservation of natural and cultural heritage with women studies, 3) the introduction of a comparative historical perspective between two countries, which has not yet been addressed in the context proposed by the project and which simultaneously presents a methodological challenge as well as a novelty, 4) the promotion of collaboration between researchers, which will be enabled by the exchange of knowledge, experiences and the establishment of future joint research challenges. 
The bilateral collaboration is being executed in the following ways: study visits of the chosen conservation projects, which were led by women and which include natural and/or cultural heritage in both countries, study visits of the chosen heritage institutions in both countries (institutions for monument protection, museums, archives, libraries etc.) and joint workshops, intended for the exchange of knowledge and experiences. In Slovenia, case studies focus on conservation projects that were led by women conservators: medieval castles Branik and Kostel, the former Cistercian monastery Kostanjevica na Krki, Roman necropolis in Šempeter, and the marketplace in Ljubljana. In Finland case studies focus on the cultural heritage of multiple-use forests, such as Giant’s Church enclosures in Ostrobothnia, and Seidas (places of worship) for Sámi people, cultural heritage projects in which female professionals have been well represented.


Project steps

  • Workshop in Helsinki (2021)
  • Workshop in Ljubljana (2022)