Niina Oisalo profile picture
Doctoral Student, Art History, Musicology and Media Studies
SELMA, Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory (


Kaivokatu 12

Areas of expertise

documentary film
film studies
Nordic cinema
cultural memory studies
audiovisual analysis


Before beginning my doctoral studies in Turku, I graduated from the Documentary Film Practice program at the Brunel University London (UK), and received Master of Arts degree in 2010. My graduation film project, Kingdom of Freedom (2010, FI, UK, SE), was shot in Sweden, in a nun convent protecting asylum seekers who have been deported from the country. 

In 2005, I graduated from the University of Tampere, where I studied International Relations and Journalism. My Master's thesis was a critical discourse analysis on the reportage of immigration in the Spanish media, framed through the concepts of symbolic violence and biopower (Foucault & Agamben), practiced in Europe against the figure of ‘illegal’ migrant. 

I have also worked as a journalist, copy editor, cinematographer and writing coach. 


University of Turku:

- lectures on various topics in film studies (2014-)

- course: Poetics and Politics of Contemporary Nordic Documentary, Autumn 2017 

- Practice-based workshop on documentary filmmaking, Autumn 2017 

- SELMA writing circle: Dimensions of Humanistic Writing, Autumn 2018

- course on film aesthetics: Näkökulmia elokuvan estetiikkaan, Autumn 2019

Turku Arts Academy:

- course on documentary film history, 2012-2013


In my article-based PhD project, with the working title Documentary Imagination: Performing Memory in the Contemporary Nordic Documentary Film, I explore the mnemonic operations in documentary films. As my primary material, I investigate seven Nordic documentaries produced after year 2000 as a sphere of imagination, where forms of life can be experimented and from where new forms of memory can emerge. 

I am particularly interested in the shadows of Nordic societies where the hegemonic national narratives are challenged, in relation to the Second World war, Nordic colonialism and displacement. The transdisciplinary research is situated in the crossroads between documentary film studies, memory studies and postcolonial studies. Documentary film is seen here as a site for encounters, translations and transformations of memory, where aesthetic and ethical potential of the film medium itself can be examined closer.


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Pohjoista päin (2020)

Kaisa Hiltunen, Niina Oisalo
(Kirjoitus tai data-artikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä (B1))

Lähikuva 4/2016 (2016)

Kaisa Hiltunen, Niina Oisalo
(Toimitustyö tieteelliselle lehdelle, kokoomateokselle tai konferenssijulkaisulle (C2))