I am Fire but my Environment is the Lighter. A Study on Locality, Mobility, and Youth Engagement in the Barents Region

Tomi Kiilakoski
ISBN: 978-952-7175-07-1
ISSN: 1799-9227

You can download the PDF free of charge here.

The book version is available for purchasing via this link.


The pressing issues that young people face appear different when seen from the perspective of urban centres or far-flung rural locations. This study focuses on the very north of the Barents Region, examining the conditions, youth cultures, and the everyday life of the young residents in three locations in Finland, Norway, and Russia. 

The issues of locality, mobility, and engagement are examined by analysing artworks produced by the youth of the region. The study reveals that for the local young people mobility is not only a possibility, it is a social imperative as well. There is a dual task of learning to leave and to be mobile, whilst at the same time understanding the value of their surroundings and community.

The study provides an insight on how the young people themselves see their lives in the Barents Region and analyses the youth policy implications of these experiences. It offers a counter-narrative to the existing ways of understanding what it is like to grow up in contemporary Europe.