M A R I A G A L L E N - K A L L E L A

According to the Finnish folklore, Kalevala, the world was created out of the shell of a gold and iron duck egg, and the first human was born from a goddess impregnated by the wind. According to the same mythology, human life first began in a place called Kalevala, a region now known as Kainuu, situated on the East side of Finland. While Kainuu might have been the birthplace of all humanity, it is these days notorious for being the area with the highest suicide rate in Finland, as well as for its steep population decline. It is a stronghold of the patriotic True Finns political party and an area marked by the presence of mighty Russia towering intently on its side. What we found in Kainuu differed from our expectations. As a group of five photographers we have explored Kainuu and its inhabitants. The Finnish folklores have acted as our starting point whilst each member of our visual collective has pursued individual photographic methods. In our pictures, we cast light over the remains of the mythical past in contemporary, globalized Finnish society. The collective consists of five young Finnish photographers: Maria Gallen-Kallela, Aapo Huhta, Helen Korpak, Jussi Särkilahti and Juuso Westerlund.