Photographs can have magical story-telling quality, especially when they are introduced in an inviting way, and then, when they flow, in conversation with one another, allowing us to fill in the gaps and build a whole personal narrative within our own imaginations. That is the kind of magic that captured me when I picked up “Life in Death”, a photobook by Eva Persson.
"Life in Death" transported me to a very small village (named
Death) in Finland, and introduced me, in an intimate way, to the people
who live there and have lived there all of their lives. Through the seasons
of dark grey winters and bright flower-filled summers, I feel as if I
know these people — and this bit of the world — personally.
— Jim Casper
From the photographer's introduction: About Death Death is a village in Finland. I saw it for the first
time during a working trip through the back window of the taxi I was in.
As the taxi driver drove into the courtyard of a small shop and exclaimed,
“Welcome to Death!” I thought to myself: only in Finland can
a village be called Death (in Finnish, Kuolema). For me, it’s
this relationship to death that separates the Swedes from the Finns. In
Finland, you are born, then comes a long period of suffering, and then
you die. In Sweden, you are born, everything is Jätte bra! (very
good) and then you disappear. Like to Spain.
In Kuolema live two identical twin sisters who are married to two brothers.
They all live together in a house. Half of the house is their home and
the other half is a grocery store where the sisters work. The brothers
work in the family’s gravel company. They have a child per family
born within seven weeks of each others. The family name is Pitkänen.
I have with my camera followed the lives of the Pitkänen family and
their neighbours since the autumn 2002."
— Eva Persson
Life in Death / Livet i Döden / Elämää Kuolemassa
Photographs by Eva Persson
Musta Taide, 2005
Buy on Amazon
Book reviewLife in DeathDeath is the name of a small village in Finland. Swedish photographer
Eva Persson thought that was funny. So she visited
Death and its inhabitants over the course of a year to discover and
document the people and daily life there. The result — a great
Life in Death
Death is the name of a small village in Finland. Swedish photographer Eva Persson thought that was funny. So she visited Death and its inhabitants over the course of a year to discover and document the people and daily life there. The result — a great ...View Images
Life in Death
Death is the name of a small village in Finland. Swedish photographer Eva Persson thought that was funny. So she visited Death and its inhabitants over the course of a year to discover and document the people and daily life there. The result — a great photo book, and insights into contemporary rural Finnish culture.
Matti Isoketo from Ilomaki (Joy Hill) © Eva Persson
Matti Isoketo © Eva Persson
Taivasmaki (Heaven’s Hill) © Eva Persson
Aulikki’s and Kalevi’s house © Eva Persson
Arja and Airi Pitkanen © Eva Persson
Joni in the shop © Eva Persson
Viljo Lindeman © Eva Persson
Gasoline pump © Eva Persson
Arto from Tampere © Eva Persson
Pitkanen’s yard © Eva Persson
Dart board © Eva Persson
Arja’s and Kalevi’s wedding portrait © Eva Persson
Aulikki’s and Kalevi’s wedding portrait © Eva Persson
Elk meat in brown sauce with potatoes © Eva Persson
Asteri and Samuli Pitkanen © Eva Persson
Dead foxes © Eva Persson
Ari Koivusaari © Eva Persson
Gasoline pumps © Eva Persson
Kalevi practices on the porch © Eva Persson
Interior during the elk hunt © Eva Persson
The recording of ?The Bold and the Beautiful? © Eva Persson
Visit © Eva Persson
Elk meat © Eva Persson
Freshly washed tires © Eva Persson
Annika in the car © Eva Persson
Airi, before smoking the fish © Eva Persson
Keijo on the truck © Eva Persson
Bookshelf © Eva Persson
50th birthday present © Eva Persson
Annika in the bath © Eva Persson
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