2016 - 2017
Right from the start of my travel through the night, as I was going towards that farm in a seventy-seven inhabitants’ village, Lohiniva, I couldn’t ignore it anymore: Lapland is a land of prophets.
Those I managed to meet, Juuka, Oiva, Teuvos, Jouka and many others have that common feature: they bring light. Princes of the candle, they indicate a path that only them know of. At the doors of libertarianism, life doesn’t have to be about movement or unfaithful departures; to own freedom, it’s enough to keep it alive. And they have never ceased to use it.
A sentence from Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet echoed in me:
“Because I am the size of what I see
And not the size of my own stature.”
Generation after generation, the people who live in this land took the form of its landscape. Large and eternal, they are like trees in motion and each wrinkle makes them more immortal. Serfs of Nature only, these princes consume themselves by fidelity to their own land. In this kingdom of time, rootedness allows survival.
And this is what attracted me. Because in this rootedness, it’s the daily grind that keeps life going. Repeated action, relentlessly, day after day, winter after winter, in the majesty of the ordinary.
Its inhabitants do not live in extreme poverty. They experience, rather, a poverty of landowners. Their survival depends on them only. The need for money is reduced to a minimum. Destitution is everywhere. Malice and corruption seem to evaporate at the exit of the farm’s sauna. A form of purity remains – an ancient innocence.
“The nocturnal glory of being great without being anything!”, exclaimed Pessoa.
For these reasons, light deserted Lapland.
It is to these nocturnal and glorious beings that I wanted to bring attention to: telling their stories to make them eternal once and for all.