Eva Persson Helsinki, Finland
Life in 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 as a Swede, 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 Jättebra! (Great!) and then you disappear. Like, to Spain.
In Kuolema village lives 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 shop where the sisters work. The brothers work in the family's gravel company. They have one child per family, born within seven weeks of each others. The family's name is Pitkänen.