Are We There

The project tells about a performative journey to an old village in Brazil, where I try to build a connection with the past by reconstructing and reimagining it.

In 1929 a group of Finns left the icy hills and lakes of the industrial Tampere, and set out to Brazil to build a utopian community in the tropics. My great grandparents and their children were among these historical migrants, whose mission was to live in harmony with nature, separated from the capitalist society and to lead a life based on vegetarianism. They settled on abandoned mountainous land in the state of Rio de Janeiro and founded the village called Penedo, that despite its practical difficulties became one of the most famous examples of Finnish utopia migration during the 20th century. Today the village is surrounded by the memory of the utopian era as well as the highly biodiverse but endangered Atlantic rainforest.

'Are We There' investigates migration, memory and the connection between human and nature. It tells about the reflection of history in today’s world, as well as about the concept of utopia and longing for something distant as a catalyst for human action. Archival photos from my family's album are turned into risographs and connect to colourful leaks on film, alluding to the material origin of a photograph and to the constructed and illusory nature of representations.

At the core of the work lies a performative journey to the old village, where I try to build a connection with the past by re-imagining and reconstructing it. Like with the original settlers, the work stems from a primitive desire to connect with the earth and the non-human world. Through rituals that immerse the human body in its environment, I explore the questions of origin, belonging and coexistence.

During the Landskrona residency period I would work on a new body of work that I'm shooting during 2022. The work deals with the material connections of human body and the landscape and how these work as each other's extensions. The project is autobiographical and meditates on the effect of the landscape on identity and the sense of belonging.