Photographers

2017

Asunción Molinos Gordo

HUNGER – A MAN-MADE OBJECT

What laws govern the world’s food production and trade? Who has the power to decide the cost of food and the producer’s share?

Asunción Molinos Gordo‘s multi-part work Hunger – A Man-made Object (2014) is an installation comprising photographs and objects. In her work, Molinos Gordo highlights phenomena in global trade, such as price speculation in grain, small-scale farmers running into debt, and the concentration of power in large multinational companies.

The problems of agriculture most severely affect small and medium-sized producers in developing countries, as they cannot rely on any societal support systems and have no chance of negotiating a more advantageous position for themselves on the grain, seed and fertiliser market dominated by a handful of major corporations.

Molinos Gordo emphasises that it is not only the livelihood of small farmers that is threatened, but also the cultures and communities that they represent. They have in their possession tradition, know-how and expertise, which are at risk of disappearing, as food production is concentrated into increasingly large units.

Asunción Molinos Gordo (born 1979) is a Spanish artist who lives in Spain and Egypt.

Asunción Molinos Gordo ‘s series HUNGER – A MAN-MADE OBJECT are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

THE NON-EGYPTIAN RESTAURANT
(EL MATAM EL MISH MASRY)

In 2012, Asunción Molinos Gordo converted a Cairo gallery space into a restaurant for one month. The restaurant worked as an instrument for common critical analysis, to help understand the reasons behind Egyptians diminishing access to food.

During the first week, the restaurant served dishes made from the best Egyptian ingredients, which are not available to the locals under normal circumstances. During the second week, the restaurant was taken over by four local women, who worked with a budget that corresponded to the average food expenses of families living in the area.

During the third week, Molinos Gordo scoured the area around the restaurant to find food grown in the blocks nearby. What she found was inedible. In the last week, she and a group of archaeologists excavated in the backyard of the restaurant to find signs of a period when the area was cultivated.
Egypt’s agricultural policy has led to a situation in which high-quality vegetables are produced for export, while most local people can only afford the cheapest imported food products with poor nutritional value.
Asunción Molinos Gordo (born 1979) is a Spanish artist, who lives in Spain and Egypt.

Asunción Molinos Gordo ‘s series THE NON-EGYPTIAN RESTAURANT is exhibited at Stoa . The exhibition is open 3.3.-30.3.2017
Exhibition opening is on Friday 3rd February 2017, 5-7 pm

  • Photo: Asuncion Molinos Gordo

Filippo Zambon

Into the Bin

Into the bin is the first part of an ongoing project about the effects of waste on society and the environment. The project aims to expose and criticize the consumerist attitude of a part of society and the mentality of the business market, which consider profit as the only achievement.

The first part of the project is about food waste. The photographs depict the contents of supermarket trash bins. The images represent waste food as beautiful “nature morte” that aesthetically contrasts with the policy of immediately disposing of expired or almost-expired items.
Most of the food disposed of by grocery stores is still perfectly edible. Not even the store workers are allowed to take the food home.

In Finland, dumpster diving has become a very popular practice among some people with very different backgrounds. What used to be a common practice for students and the unemployed has started to attract people who do it for reasons other than saving money. Dumpster diving has become for many a kind of activism to fight the materialistic mentality at the core of the consumeristic market system.

The pictures were taken in the winter 2014–2015 in the trash bins of supermarkets around Helsinki.

www.filippozambon.com

Filippo Zambon’s works are exhibited at the Virka gallery as part of the Food Waste exhibition. The exhibition is open 22.2.-28.5.2017

  • Photo: Filippo Zambon

Freya Najade

Strawberries in Winter

Agriculture and the rural landscape have changed more in the last 40 years than in the last 400 years. Freya Najade‘s series of photographs Strawberries in Winter (2011−2013) takes us to greenhouses, in which increasingly high-yielding crops are grown regardless of location, time of year, and the laws of nature.

Consumers have learned to demand products that are affordable, homogeneous and available throughout the year. By using the latest technology farmers can produce more vegetables in enclosed rooms without natural light or air. The time of year and time of day become irrelevant, and people decide the shape, colour and taste of fruits and vegetables. Consumers are rarely aware of how intensive agriculture works and what it looks like, even though everyone contributes to the changes in the food industry. Through her project, Najade wanted to understand how agriculture responds to the growing needs and demands of retailers and consumers.

Freya Najade’s series Strawberries in Winter are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

Misfits

Nowadays, fruits and vegetables have to meet specific aesthetic standards set by supermarkets before they can be sold in their stores. Guidelines establish the exact size, shape and colour each variety should comply with.

In ‘Misfits’ I photograph fruits and vegetables that failed to meet these specifications and as a result, got either thrown away or processed into juice or soup. The marks, shape and colour for which these varieties were deselected didn’t have any impact on their taste. Growers got about five per cent of the price they would have received for a product that met the standards.

Freya Najade’s series Misfits are exhibited at the Virka gallery as part of the Food Waste exhibition. The exhibition is open 22.2.-28.5.2017

Freya Najade (born 1977) is a German-born photographer who works in London.

  • Photo: Freya Najade from series Strawberries in Winter

Henk Wildchut

Food

Henk Wildschut has, in his series of photographs Food (2011–2013), documented Dutch food production facilities. He is trying to understand the realities of the modern food industry.

Originally when planning the series, Wildschut wanted to shed light on the dark side of the food industry. The reality, however, was not black and white. According to the photographic artist, technologically advanced, intensive food production can, at its best, lead to energy savings, better control, and improvements in the well-being of animals in the food industry.

In his series, Wildschut focused especially on production facilities that have taken advantage of the latest technological innovations to solve problems in food production. Wildschut wants to steer clear of romanticising or demonising topics related to the food industry, because he feels that the polarised debate may constitute an obstacle to discovering vital new solutions.

Henk Wildschut (born 1967) is a Dutch photographic artist living in Amsterdam.

Henk Wildschut’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Henk Wildchut / Maatschap Stroo, Slootdorp, July 2012 Feaces. After three weeks in the Patio module the chicks – now a full 700 grams – are carried by conveyor belt to the ‘ground floor’, where within three weeks they will grow to 2.5 kilos. After each cycle, the two levels are washed and disinfected. Once the manure is removed, the whole is cleaned with a detergent and later thoroughly disinfected with a sprinkler. The process of cleaning takes three days for the Patio module and two days for the ground floor

Jo-Anne McArthur

The photojournalist, activist and author Jo-Anne McArthur has, through her photography project, We Animals, fought for animal rights for over a decade. In Finland, the organisations Oikeutta eläimille (‘Justice for Animals’) and Animalia have taken part in the same fight both according to their own principles.

Organisations defending animal rights have, with their photographs, tried to bring the violence experienced by farmed animals and laboratory animals to people’s consciousness. It is not easy to make a stir with images that are difficult to watch. When we feel that our lifestyle choices, values or beliefs are being criticised, the initial response is to take a defensive stance.

Animals cannot speak on their own behalf. Photography seeks to give voice to objectified animals.

Jo-Anne McArthur’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017 Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur

Jošt Franko

Farming on the Frontline

“Farming was the only source of livelihood for these people. Food was one of the few things that they themselves were able to control.” – Jošt Franko

In 2013–2014, the Slovenian photographer Jošt Franko documented the life of the farmers who got sucked into the whirlpool of international conflict in the Gaza Strip. In 2007, Israel and Egypt began a blockade of the Gaza Strip to oppose the Hamas government. Restrictions were placed on the quantity and quality of products imported to the area. The blockade led to the collapse of the economy in Gaza. In 2014, the conflict escalated into a full-blown land war, as Israel attacked the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Especially after the blockade had begun, Franko felt that it was important to highlight the plight of the farmers in Gaza. The farmers were forced to live and work at the midle of the conflict, so that they could feed their families and survive. They were trapped between the Israel army, the border fence, and the Palestinian militants.

Jošt Franko (born 1993) is a Slovenian photographer.

Jošt Franko’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Jošt Franko

Kukka Ranta

Robbed Sea

Kukka Ranta‘s seven-year research project in Europe, West Africa, the Arctic sea, South-East Asia, and Finland is a story about people facing major changes.

In spring 2010, Kukka Ranta woke up to the high number of undocumented immigrants in Barcelona. She started taking photographs of and interviewing street vendors, many of whom told her that they had previously worked as fishermen in West Africa. They had travelled to Europe, fleeing poverty, after the collapse of fish stocks as a result of overfishing and illegal fishing practised by European and Asian fishing vessels.
The most valuable fish end up in the world’s biggest fish market of Europe and Asia. More than 70 per cent of the fish consumed in the EU is imported. It is estimated that half of the imported fish is caught illegally. At worst, fishing and fish production are linked to the use of slave labour, as in Thailand.
Even as it is, the decline of fish stocks means a food security crisis for millions of the world’s people. In many countries with rapid population growth, fish is the most important source of animal protein. Fishing is one of the world’s biggest employers. The depletion of natural marine resources increases unemployment by the millions, and undermines regional economic development.
The mass poverty caused by the environmental crisis may force people into crime or piracy, or into risking their lives by becoming migrants.

Kukka Ranta (born 1982) is an investigative journalist, author and photographer.

Kukka Ranta’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Kukka Ranta

Laura Cuch

Spiritual Flavours

The film Spiritual Flavours (2016) interweaves biographical narratives and spiritual accounts from three Londoners: Betty, Aziz and Ossie with the experiences of cooking in their homes. They are members of a Catholic church, a mosque and a liberal synagogue, respectively. The chosen recipes thread the narratives of past, present and future aspirations, spirituality and the everyday. The commonalities and differences between them are expressed through visual and sonic synchronies and asynchronies. At the end of the film, Betty, Aziz and Ossie meet, cook and eat together.

This film is part of a collaborative arts project with members of seven different faith communities in the areas of Ealing and Hanwell in West London, who contribute recipes that they relate to their spirituality and religious practices. Through interviews and cooking sessions, the project pays attention to food, as a vehicle to discuss spirituality, tradition and the relationship between home and religion.

In addition to the film, this exhibition provides a foretaste of a ‘multi-faith’ photographic cookbook that Laura Cuch is currently working on, as part of the Spiritual Flavours project.

The recipes for the dishes made by Betty, Aziz and Ossie, can be found at spiritualflavours.com.

Laura Cuch (born 1979 in Spain) is a photographic artist based in London.

Laura Cuch’s works are exhibited at Stoa. The exhibition is open 4.2.-30.3.2017
Exhibition opening on Friday 3rd February 2017, 5-7 pm

  • Photo: Laura Cuch

Pablo Ernesto Piovano

The Human Cost of Agrotoxins

“If major corporations have control over seeds and food production, they also have control over our health and our freedom.” Pablo Piovano

In 1996, the Argentinian government gave the Monsanto company permission for the large-scale growing of genetically modified soybean and for the use of the herbicide glyphosate. The government relied on the research presented by Monsanto on the safety of genetically modified crops and the herbicide.

At the turn of the millennium, doctors drew attention to increased cancers, miscarriages and malformations among people who lived close to these farms. Today, numerous studies show the dangers of glyphosate, but the operations of agricultural corporations continue uncontrolled. Because mainstream media have not reported on this, Piovano felt that it was his duty to draw attention to the problem.

Argentina is the world’s third largest producer of genetically modified soybeans. The extensive use of chemicals enables crops to be grown over huge areas with very low labour costs. In Argentina, the per capita use of glyphosate is higher than anywhere else in the world. Over two decades, 13.4 million Argentinians, one third of the country’s population, have been directly or indirectly exposed to dangerous chemicals.

Pablo Ernesto Piovano (born 1981) is an Argentinian press photographer.

Pablo Ernesto Piovano’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Pablo Ernesto Piovano / 12-11-2014, Fracrán, province of Misiones. In the Province of Misiones, five in a thousand children are born with myelomeningocele (MMC), a severe malformation of the central nervous system in which children are born with the spinal cord open and left with urinary and fecal incontinence and problems in their lower limbs. The misuse of agrotoxins causes contamination of precious resources such as water and soil. The pollution is more severe in the areas where agrotoxins are more widely used (in the localities of Aristóbulo del Valle, San Vicente and Colonia Aurora, in the center of the province). It is estimated that nearly 13 percent of their population has some form of disability, doubling the national average.

Paula Humberg

Causes of Death

Causes of Death (2016–) deals with the human-induced threats to two endangered mammals, the Harbour porpoise (the Baltic Sea subpopulation) and the Saimaa ringed seal, through necropsy conducted on these animals.

The Harbour porpoise population in the Baltic Sea has plummeted for a number of reasons. The most significant threat is being caught as by-catch: every year, thousands of porpoises die globally in fishing gear. In addition, it seems that the stress caused by environmental disturbance and toxins in the Baltic Sea shortens the life expectancy of porpoises.
The most common human-induced cause of death of the Saimaa ringed seal is drowning in fishing gear. The other threats are early melting of snow caused by climate change, environmental disturbance, loss of genetic diversity, and environmental toxins. The Saimaa ringed seal population is recovering, but fishing and climate change are constant concerns.

“The most important thing in conservation, whether of Harbour porpoises, Saimaa ringed seals, or other species, is forethought. Conservation measures will typically not be taken until a species or a population is already on the brink of extinction. At this stage, conservation requires a lot of resources, and a large part of the genetic diversity will have been lost.” – Paula Humberg

Paula Humberg (born 1983) is a Finnish photographic artist and a biology student.

Paula Humberg’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Paula Humberg, from the series Causes of Death 2016–2017

Tim Franco

Metamorpolis

“I felt that Chongqing encapsulated the transformation that was underway across China – albeit as a more intense city-size simulation.” – Tim Franco

Tim Franco documented the change in the Chongqing area of western China over a period of five years in his series Metamorpolis. On every visit, changes had taken place in the area. Patches of the rural land that has been buried under the development of the metropolis can still be seen in the green strips and banks of soil.

China is undergoing the largest urbanisation process in world history. Most growth is seen in metropolises of more than 5 million inhabitants. Authoritarian bureaucracy, evictions and the forced displacement of rural populations to cities have been measures used by the Chinese government to accelerate urbanisation.

The change in the Chongqing area has been so rapid that many of the people relocated to the city are still trying to cope by farming. The older generation, in particular, is struggling to find new jobs in the city. They continue farming by the side of motorways and next to skyscrapers.

Tim Franco (born 1982) is a French photographer who has lived in Shanghai for many years.

Tim Franco’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-30.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Tim Franco, from the series Metamorpolis, 2010−2015

to kosie

trash

When does food become trash? Is it the moment when it is thrown into the trash bin? to kosie’s video work titled ’trash’ was inspired by her experiences as a waiter working breakfast shifts at various hotels in Helsinki. to kosie couldn’t believe the amount of food she was throwing away after hotel guests had finished their buffet-style breakfasts. Taking home the perfectly edible and untouched food was forbidden, so in the evenings in order to save money, to kosie would go dumpster diving and take food from supermarket trash bins.
Using a spy camera, to kosie decided to record the two opposite actions she was practicing almost daily. She hid the camera under a collar of her shirt and recorded food going straight out of her hands into the trash bin, and then in turn being picked up from bins during dumpster diving excursions. Through the two parallel videos compiled of the recorded material, to kosie’s ‘trash’ sheds light on the complexity and secretive nature of the food waste issue.

to kosie’s works are exhibited at the Virka gallery as part of the Food Waste exhibition. The exhibition is open 22.2.-28.5.2017

  • Photo: to kosie

Yann Mingard

Deposit

Yann Mingard‘s work Deposit (2014) documents attempts to store the genetic ancestry of our planet’s animals and plants.

We are currently living in a geological epoch for which the proposed term is the Anthropocene. The term describes how, in our time, human activity has left an observable and lasting imprint on nature. Environmental disasters and mass extinctions of species have, justly, raised fears about the permanent loss of our biological world heritage. Around the world, obscure vaults have been built to store huge quantities of seeds, DNA and information, with which we can rebuild the lost paradise, if necessary.

For example, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is designed to preserve the seeds of each crop known to mankind. Collections of this kind can become helpful in the event of the mass destruction of different crop species, such as in the case of the banana, and thus provide solutions for future food disasters.
“Behind all this, major corporations are salivating at the prospect of owning a seed bank and making a huge profit in the future”, says Mingard.

Semen samples collected from animals are, in turn, preserved and used for artificial insemination. They could be used for eugenic purposes, to achieve desired traits for farmed animals.

Yann Mingard (born 1973) is a Swiss photographic artist.

Yann Mingard’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition.
The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Yann Mingard, Courtesy Robert Morat galerie

Oikeutta eläimille (‘Justice for Animals’) and Animalia

The photojournalist, activist and author Jo-Anne McArthur has, through her photography project, We Animals, fought for animal rights for over a decade. In Finland, the organisations Oikeutta eläimille (‘Justice for Animals’) and Animalia have taken part in the same fight both according to their own principles.

Organisations defending animal rights have, with their photographs, tried to bring the violence experienced by farmed animals and laboratory animals to people’s consciousness. It is not easy to make a stir with images that are difficult to watch. When we feel that our lifestyle choices, values or beliefs are being criticised, the initial response is to take a defensive stance.

Animals cannot speak on their own behalf. Photography seeks to give voice to objectified animals.

  • Photo: Kristo Muurimaa

Greenpeace

Marine ecosystems at risk

The photographs and videos produced by Greenpeace reveal the Arctic marine ecosystems commonly perceived to be clean, actually are at risk. The material has been shot at the Barents Sea, Greenland and the Arctic regions of Canada.

As the ice in Barents Sea has retreated due to global warming, fishing boats have increasingly headed towards one of the last remaining large, intact marine ecosystems in Europe. Fishing takes place in the form of bottom trawling, in which the fishing gear scrapes along the seafloor, destroying the life forms in its path.

Meanwhile in the Arctic region of Canada, a small Inuit community in Clyde River is fighting for the preservation of its native environment and its ancient relationship with nature. The vulnerable marine environment is threatened by seismic blasting commissioned by international oil companies. Seismic blasting refers to the practice of blasting the seafloor with airguns in order to find oil. The blasting repels animals and is a danger to the community as it disrupts hunting fishing, the most important sources of food for the Inuits.

Greenpeace’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Post-Food exhibition. The exhibition is open 3.2.-29.4.2017
Exhibition opening on Thursday 2nd February 2017, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Greenpeace / The M/V Akademik Shatskiy operated by Norwegian company TGS Nopec conducts seismic blasting off North-East Greenland. The air guns emit 259 decibel blasts towards the seabed in order to find possible oil reservoirs. Above water, this sound intensity would be perceived by humans as approximately eight times louder than a jet engine taking off. Global oil companies including BP, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell all own drilling rights in the Greenland Sea and are the likely customers for the data uncovered by the seismic testing company. A Greenpeace expedition onboard the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise is currently documenting the seismic testing fleet, which plans to complete 7,000km of ‘survey lines’ of the seabed in the high Arctic, between 75 and 80 degrees north. According to a new scientific review, seismic blasting is ‘alarming’ and could seriously injure whales and other marine life in the Arctic.

Foodtube

The Post-Food exhibition of The Festival of Political Photography includes a series of food-themed YouTube videos, curated by video journalist Jaakko Keso with Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger and Laura Porola.

Youtube videos by
Amppurulaa
Dahn Kim
Helka H.
Huupper
Juuso Simpanen Ⓥ
Kontulan Hassan
Laura Pehkuri
markoboy87
Pasi Viheraho
PS olen vegaani
Ruben A. Kosberg
Saara-Sofia Sirén
Soikkuu
Timo Wilderness
Tume

Jaakko Keso tells about his findings:

One of my favorites is a video titled ’Kasvissyönti ei kannata’ (Vegetarianism is not worth it). In the blurry clip, a long-haired heavy metal dude is sitting in a dark room, eating a carrot and apparently chokes on it and dies. Then, with the help of the fade effect tool of an editing software, the man transforms into a ghost, picks up a sausage, rolls a cigarette, and snorts at the apparent healthiness of vegetables. I am the 315th viewer.

The video is an excellent example of the confusing abundance of material found on YouTube, that often begs the question – why? I guess there are as many answers as there are videos, and I think that it is fascinating. All of the people making the videos have a need to be heard, to express themselves and to take a stand.

This series is edited to include only a microscopic sampling of the extent of the Finnish YouTube scene, from bodybuilding tips, sampling catfood, politics to video art.

2016

Miia Autio

‘I am interested in the connection between landscape and identity and in the idea of landscape as a component of national feeling. Therefore, I approached the theme of political refugees through landscapes. I wanted to choose as the main theme of my project something that everyone had a personal relationship with and could understand.’ — Miia Autio

Photographer Miia Autio’s series tells about Rwandan refugees who have escaped to Europe and about the memories of the homeland they have left behind. Autio has photographed Rwandans in several European countries and the landscapes in Rwanda they have described.

Autio’s portraits, landscapes, and interviews with the people form a cohesive entity that considers the relationship between homeland, landscape, and identity, recognising the subjectivity of memories.

Miia Autio (b. 1986) lives and works in Bielefeld. She is a graduate of the Institute of Design and Fine Arts at Lahti University of Applied Sciences.

Miia Autio’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Miia Autio

Laura Böök

‘I’m interested in the possibilities of documentary photography as a way to tell about broader social changes through personal stories.’ — Laura Böök

For more than two years, Laura Böök photographed the lives of Congolese families who have moved to Pudasjärvi. These families have settled in this small northern Finnish town after spending nearly 15 years in refugee camps. The flow of the Congo River has given way to the flow of the Ii River.

Böök has closely followed and documented the integration of Congolese people in Finland. Simultaneously, she has followed the changing life in Pudasjärvi, which suffers from negative net migration. The exhibition also includes studio photographs from the 1970s, taken in Congo by local photographer Flavien Boukono, who has lived in Pudasjärvi.
Most of the families photographed by Böök have moved to larger cities, for the reasons cited by other Pudasjärvi residents: work, studies, friends, or social networks. A new home has been found, and life now carries them forward.

Laura Böök (b. 1986) graduated in 2014 from the University of South Wales. She currently lives and works in Helsinki and is studying for a master’s degree in photography at Aalto University.

Laura Böök’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Annonciata is taking a break from work at the local heritage museum of Pudasjärvi. She is doing a work placement at the museum as part of her Finnish language training. Pudasjärvi, Finland 24.7.2013. Photo: Laura Böök

Maria Gruzdeva

‘Territory is something so earthy and solid, yet abstract at the same time. Like the borders themselves – they exist and limit us, but they are not material or tangible.’ — Maria Gruzdeva

At 17 million square kilometres, Russia is the largest country in the world. Maria Gruzdeva, a Russian photographer who lives outside Russian borders, began to ponder her native country’s current identity and how history is manifested in it. Gruzdeva wanted to know what it feels like to live on the borders of such a vast country, far away from the ideological centre while still belonging to the country called Russia.

Russian Borders is a journey through Russia carried out in 2011–2015. This ethnographic journey shows how cultural symbols are used to delineate and limit areas and simultaneously to build a collective identity.

Gruzdeva kept photo journals on her journey, in which she recorded the thoughts, feelings, and stories that people had shared with her. The journals became an important and touching collection of what is happening at the borders and how the people there live.

Maria Gruzdeva (b. 1989) lives and works in London. She has a degree from Central Saint Martins School of Art. The project is supported by IdeasTap & Magnum Photos.

Maria Gruzdeva’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Maria Gruzdeva

Nicoló Degiorgis

‘Hidden Islam series shows that our cultural environment is changing more rapidly than we thought. The current wave of refugees is a reminder that we must be prepared for a number of changes in European societies.’ — Nicoló Degiorgis

For Hidden Islam series, Italian photographer Nicoló Degiorgis (b. 1985) has photographed spaces that Italian Muslims use temporarily for worship. Islam does not have official status in Italy, even though it is the country’s second or third largest religion, with 1.1–1.4 million practising Muslims. Officially, there are fewer than 10 mosques in Italy. Degiorgis turned his lens on the topic because of the Muslim population in his locale in northern Italy. Anthropological examination of the topic supported the photographic work.

The images from Hidden Islam series have also been published in a photography book, whose pages at first reveal only the façades of the buildings: sports halls, garages, storage buildings, and others housing makeshift mosques. Folding open each gatefold spread reveals a hidden reality of worshipers assembled in the building.

Nicoló Degiorgis’ Hidden Islam series is exhibited at Stoa. The exhibition is open 20.2.-24.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Friday 19th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Nicoló Degiorgis

Mattia Insolera

‘The Mediterranean area is the frontier between the North and the South of the world, the bastions around Fortress Europe. A new Iron Curtain that contains people on one side, whilst goods travel freely. Goods travel without restriction in colorful iron boxes, piled over floating iron cities, marked with a code that tells their past and their destiny and works as a permission of free circulation.’
— Mattia Insolera, 6th Continent

Mattia Insolera‘s series of photographs shows what is happening right now in the Mediterranean region, but it also serves as a reminder of the time when the Mediterranean was not a moat surrounding Europe but a path of flowing knowledge and skills. The Mediterranean united the surrounding civilisations and made the people arriving in this region residents of the Mediterranean, ‘the sixth continent’.

The 6th Continent series is divided into four parts, which Insolera has named ‘Iron’, ‘Land’, ‘Wood’, and ‘Stone’. The ‘Iron’ images examine the relationship between industry and humans. ‘Land’, in turn, focuses on migration and the search for a space to make a living and prosper. ‘Wood’ examines the Mediterranean’s remaining lifestyles in which the lines between producers, middlemen, and consumers are not strictly defined. These photographs feature, for example, wooden ships, men fishing for swordfish by using traditional wooden harpoons, and a Turkish female fishing community. In the ‘Stone’ part of the series, the stones modified by man and nature build stories that are thousands of years old, serving as reminders of the forces of nature, the shifting laws of religions and civilisations, moving borders, and a common history.

Mattia Insolera’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Alexandria shipyard. Photo: Mattia Insolera/Luzphoto

Oksana Yushko

Graduates (2012-2014)

‘Many journalists come here just to ask about the terrorist attack. They report about us and that we still live here, as heroes after the attack, somehow managing to find happiness in life. They always talk about the same thing. But anyone would be able to continue to live. Life goes on, and we cannot change what happened to us. On the contrary, now it’s an even greater pleasure to look at how we laugh, have fun, and enjoy life.’ — Fariza, from Beslan

In early September 2004, terrorists took more than 1,100 schoolchildren, teachers, and parents in Beslan, Russia, hostage. The terrorists demanded that Russia release imprisoned Chechen fighters and withdraw their troops from Chechnya. The torment that lasted for three days ended with a battle between the kidnappers and Russian special forces. In all, 334 hostages, of whom 186 were children, were killed in the tragedy.

Photographer Oksana Yushko travelled to Beslan as a volunteer a year after the terrorist attack. Ever since her first visit, she has returned to the town each year to hold workshops and to take photographs. As Yushko has followed the young students, they have in 10 years grown into young men and women. They are now graduating from school, leaving Beslan, and ready to start lives of their own. A decade after the event, many are still experiencing health problems. Nevertheless, they have grown into amazing young people who look forward to the future.

The presence of the media and clichés repeated by journalists have taught the children to take on a tragic role. Fariza, who was photographed by Yushko, says that the children who survived the Beslan school hostage crisis have over the years become used to being in the media spotlight but that they would like to be heroes because of themselves, not because of the tragedy. Yushko has sought to alter this arrangement by adopting an attitude in which she sees the children primarily as friends.

Balaklava: The Lost History (2011–2014)

Balaklava is a small town on the Crimean peninsula, on the coast of the Black Sea. In the time of Soviet rule, it was completely closed off, because the Soviets had established a base for military submarines here. For over 30 years, this ‘closed town’ did not exist to the outside world. Well-paid people who enjoyed special benefits worked at the military base. Even their families were not allowed to visit the area without a good reason. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the military equipment and Balaklava itself were divided in half between Russia and Ukraine, in 1992. The presence of two naval fleets in the town caused constant conflict.

Photographer Oksana Yushko has photographed today’s residents of Balaklava. The collapse of the Soviet Union turned previously privileged officers into despised people. They, in turn, have clung to the past. Balaklava is a place where many residents’ idea of homeland is tightly bound up with ideology. Soviet ideology is still the ‘homeland’ to many who live in Balaklava. Yushko’s photography series was completed just before the Russian invasion of Crimea, in February 2014.

Oksana Yushko (b. 1975) has been working as a photojournalist since 2007. She has studied information technology and mathematics. Yushko was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, and now lives in Moscow.

Graduates series is exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

Balaklava:The Lost History series is exhibited at Galleria Kontupiste. The exhibition is open 20.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Friday 19.2.2016, 4-6 pm

  • Viktoriya Kotsoeva is one of the children who were held hostage 10 years ago in Beslan school #1 in North Ossetia. Vika studies management in St. Petersburg. She believes all people are good. Beslan, North Ossetia, August, 2013. Photo by Oksana Yushko.

Adrian Paci

‘The fact of being at a crossroads, at the frontier of two separate identities, underlies all my work on film.’ — Adrian Paci

With his family, Adrian Paci fled to Italy from Albania’s violent unrest in 1997. Paci’s works portray people in ‘in-between spaces’ where the idea of home is found somewhere between fading memories and intangible wishes.

His video work titled ‘Centro di Permanenza Temporanea’ is a bitter metaphor for the reality of an escaping human. The title of the work refers to the Italian detention centres that house refugees and illegal immigrants. People who have illegally entered the country are exported to spaces on the periphery: camps where they wait for the return to their country of origin. Many attempt to escape from the camps, to a life without official papers.

The artist’s personal history is reflected also in the series of photographs titled ‘Back Home’ (2001). Paci took pictures of the homes his friends had left behind in Albania when moving to Italy, then painted backdrops based on the photographs. After this, he photographed the friends’ families in front of these painted backgrounds in his studio. Here, they stand in front of the past they have left behind.

Adrian Paci was born in 1969 in Albania. He now lives and works in Milan. Paci’s works have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and New York’s MoMA PS1.

Adrian Paci’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Adrian Paci

Katja Tähjä

‘People are ultimately motivated by very similar things. We each want security, meaningful work, to be able to put bread on the table, and education and a chance of a good life for our children. It’s nothing more out of the ordinary than that. If the only option for getting somewhere involves risking one’s life, that option is exercised – after all, it represents an opportunity where other opportunities do not exist.’ — Katja Tähjä

Katja Tähjä’s Undocumented Lives series tells about the lives of undocumented migrants across Europe. One of the greatest fears of undocumented migrants is to be caught and deported, sent back to their homeland. The series Deported captures the situations in which deportees find themselves. The first-person narratives and photographs taken on the subjects’ own terms portray circumstances in which one must stay silent and invisible for fear of punishment or deportation. The portrayals do not reveal individuals’ identities, and many are given pseudonyms.

Tähjä explains: ‘The reasons people are forced to live in hiding in Europe vary. One ends up paperless when her residence permit expires, another because of not being granted a residence permit or asylum to begin with. A visa obtained on the basis of family reunification can be terminated if the marriage ends in divorce, a student visa depends on earning enough study credits, and a work visa requires still holding the job. Also, many situations lie somewhere between direct forms of human trafficking and entry that complies with the terms and conditions: promises of a job and housing in Europe may lead to a reality of arrangements that leave the newcomer without a residence permit. Such people find themselves cast as outlaws, on the margins of society. They often learn of the illegality of their presence only after arriving in Europe.’

Katja Tähjä has collaborated in photojournalistic projects with journalist Kaisa Viitanen.

Katja Tähjä’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Katja Tähjä

Danila Tkachenko

‘I grew up in the heart of the city, but I’ve always been drawn to the wilderness – for me, it’s a place where I can face the real me, the real me outside social context.’ — Danila Tkachenko

With the photo series, titled ‘Escape’ (2014), Danila Tkachenko portrays people who live alone in the forests of Russia and Ukraine. The men in the pictures have consciously chosen a life outside society and, ultimately, lost their social identity. Some sought solitude for family reasons. Some had problems with the authorities.

The entire project took three years to complete, and he visited several areas in pursuit of his quest, from the Altai region to the Ural Mountains. He did groundwork for almost a full year to find people living in seclusion. He tried to trace people with the aid of local media and authorities.

There is a personal element in the photographs in the Escape series. Several years ago, Tkachenko became lost and had to spend months in the woods alone. This shattering experience led to further exploration of the relationship between human and society, along with the possibility of breaking free from social relations.

Danila Tkachenko (b. 1989) now lives in Saint Petersburg. He has received numerous awards, and the photography series Escape won first prize in the World Press Photo Contest in 2014.

Danila Tkachenko’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Danila Tkachenko

Kerttu Matinpuro & Sanni Seppo

‘I am sure for you it has been exciting to see this kind of life, how we live here in the refugee camps in the desert. You had the chance to experience and photograph it, and now you go back. I stay here. For me, this is no longer exciting. Nothing ever changes.’ — Mostafa, from Western Sahara

The Sahara, in the south-western part of Algeria, is known as the Devil’s Garden. In this desert, summers are unbearably hot and winters bitterly cold. Amidst the flatlands in the middle of the Saharan sands lie the Sahrawi refugee camps.

For these people from Western Sahara, this region was the only possible place of refuge when Moroccan forces invaded their homeland in 1975. Western Sahara had sought independence from Spanish colonial domination. War soon erupted, with Morocco, Mauritania, and the Sahrawi liberation front Polisario as the players. This led thousands of Sahrawi civilians to flee into the desert, across the Algerian border. An armistice was signed in 1991, and the United Nations took on the task of resolving the conflict peacefully.

However, it remains unresolved. Morocco still occupies Western Sahara. The rich fishing waters of Western Sahara and its abundant phosphate deposits make the area desirable. A Moroccan phosphate company recently donated a substantial sum of money to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and the EU has signed fishing agreements with Morocco pertaining to the fishing areas that belong to the Western Saharans. The Sahrawi who live in the occupied territory are continuously subjected to serious human rights violations.

Kerttu Matinpuro (b. 1992) studies journalism in Moscow. Sanni Seppo (b. 1960) is a photographic artist. For several years, they have followed the situation in Western Sahara, and they worked together at a refugee camp in spring 2015.

Kerttu Matinpuro’s and Sanni Seppo’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition. The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Photo: Sanni Seppo

Tuomo Manninen

Photographer Tuomo Manninen has photographed various communities in the Palestinian city of Ramallah: librarians, bus drivers, industrial guards and Mercedes-Benz merchants, children in refugee camps, and men at the border stations. The warm-hearted feel to these photographs of the Ramallah communities have given rise to strong opinions: ‘Where is the conflict?’ ‘Where are the fighters?’ Ramallah has been called alternately a five-star open prison and a terrorist capital. It may be either, or both, but it is also an ordinary city where the children go to school in the morning and the men gather at a local restaurant in the evening to play cards.

The We series is part of Manninen’s group photo project, which has taken him on a photographic journey to 13 countries over the last 20 years. The series featured at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and the Arles photography festival in 2008.

Tuomo Manninen’s works are exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Al-Manar Store for Roasting Nuts, Ramallah 2015. Photo: Tuomo Manninen

Project: Where Are You?

By Livia Corbò and Massimo Sestini with the contribution of Marta Cannoni

In June 2014 Italian photographer Massimo Sestini was working aboard the Bergamini frigate, to follow the Mare Nostrum rescue operation off the Libyan Coast. The operation was organized by the Italian government to rescue the people who were risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

On the 7th of June they spotted an extremely crowded boat and flew over it with a helicopter. All the people on the boat looked up at the helicopter as they immediately understood that they were safe, at last. Sestini captured that very particular moment of relief and hope. The image was selected for TIME’s Top 10 photos of 2014 and won 2015 World Press Photo Award in the category General News. Since then it has been published hundreds of times in numerous international magazines and featured in international humanitarian campaigns.

After Massimo Sestini took the photograph, he and many others began to wonder what had happened to all those people, how their lives had changed in Europe. After a person from Switzerland informed Sestini that he had recognized a relative of his in the photograph, the ’Where Are You?’ photographic project was born.

An appeal was made on social media, asking people to take a look at the photograph in the hopes that someone might recognize any of the people portrayed. A website was launched to get in touch with the people who were on the boat and to document their new lives and to tell their stories.

The goal of the project is to create a visual testimony of what has happened to this particular group of refugees and migrants after they were rescued. Those who are found are asked to share their stories through objects, images, writings and videos. The project shows what rarely makes the news nowdays: the daily life of refugees after the rescue.

The project hopes to get to know the faces of the people, to tell their individual stories, to describe and show each one of them. To help, publish the link to the photograph on your social networks, talk about the project and spread the news!

www.massimosestini.it/wru.html

The project is exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography as part of the Homeland exhibition.

The exhibition includes also the film:
Mediterranean, Our Liquid Border

Directed by Rosalba Ferba and Gabriella Guido
Photographs by Massimo Sestini
Texts by Erri De Luca
Music by Giovanni Luisi

The exhibition is open 19.2.-30.4.2016
Exhibition opening on Thursday 18th February 2016, 6-8 pm

  • Mare Nostrum by Massimo Sestini
2015
There are no team members to display