Finland is a strange exception in the north. I’m not quite sure how we ended up here between the Vikings and the Russians. Our surroundings reflect our identity, which is often described as quiet and modest, and most importantly it reflects back to the people. This melancholic state of mind is our strong point, a thing that most of the Finnish people have been ashamed of. I’m proud to be Finnish although I feel I’m quite a stereotypical mute Finn. Sadly Finns have been hiding their national identity for decades. We have been wanting too much to be like the neighbours in the west. A lot of Eastern European countries are just beginning this unfortunate process. They are going into the closet like Finland did.
This project is about the nine months that Finland is closed. People are hiding in their warm nests and have abandoned the stages where they perform their holiday rituals. In many of the places where I travelled to take pictures I encountered strong emotions through the memories that these places brought to my mind. There is something really magical in bleak summer cities like Hanko or Naantali. I could still sense the presence of the tourists’ loud voices and the smell of summer. These ritual landscapes continue their life when we are away. The absence brings up memories and layers that remain alive in these deserted places, when they are on vacation.