Tuhon Tiellä

Oona Oikkonen

2020 - Ongoing

Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland; Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium; Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland; Outokumpu, North Karelia, Finland; Muonio, Lapland, Finland; Almere Stad, Flevoland, Netherlands

“Tuhon Tiellä" investigates the power of nature and focuses on environmental issues and activism. “Tuhon Tiellä” means “On the path of destruction” and in Finnish this sentence has a double meaning; we can be in the way of destruction or we can block the way to the destruction. Destruction and hope hand in hand. Humanity has lost the brakes and gone mad in speed and growth, and is no longer politically able to stop devolution. Sea levels are rising, heat waves are occurring and ecosystems are collapsing. Youth, climate activists, and scientists are giving us hope in a way that there’s still people willing to fight for our future. If people can destroy the Earth, they can also help to rebuild it.

I started to photographing the series in Lapland, Finland in February 2020 and continued to work on it in Helsinki and Antwerp. In the beginning stillness, loneliness and emptiness were clearly present. During Autumn 2020 I started photographing climate activists and together we explored and questioned the surroundings and we sought new ways of seeing the world in which we stand. I collected texts from these young climate activists, and being inspired by them, I continued photographing the “Tuhon Tiellä” series.

I went beyond the simple use of the camera as a recording device and used different colours in the storytelling. I went through extraordinary ways of rethinking images and trying to offer the viewer new ways of seeing in the hopes of hinting at new ways of being in the world. I want the viewing experience of the work to be one of the multiple images and the relationships that are being formed between them.

I try to capture light through colours and seek to blur boundaries within our perception. Each colour on its own, as different tones in a chord.

I am planning to make a trilogy of this series. First and second chapters were “Great Future Behind Us” and “Tuhon Tiellä”. I want to continue photographing the third chapter during this Autumn and upcoming year.

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