Project Description

Did you Know?

Despite the climate change, loss of biodiversity, hunger, wars, inequality and countless other devastating phenomenons, we probably are going to be just fine.

I’ve started photographing this ”Muutos” project back in 2013. Before I started this eternal project, I felt that photographing random people was the one of the scariest things to imagine. The Initial idea was just to try and see how street photography makes me feel. Afterwards, one could say that I dove quite deep into it.

Nowadays street photography for me is one of the most exciting things to do. It’s still scary, but it’s scary and fun. The decision to start this project has led me to paths, that I never could have imagined. Back in the day, I made a plan to photograph something ”meaningful”. Something that would be somehow ”important”.

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“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

The beginning

I had seen some mind blowing photographs of a train literally full of people. This was a train in Bangladesh.  I had heard that the reason for way too many people onboard was that you could travel free, if you just wouldn’t go inside the train. Travelling free in one of the most densely lived, tropical countries was a thing that sounded interesting to a fairly introvert Finnish guy, who had moved to Lapland because there was ”too much people” in Savonia.

I felt that I had to do ”something” that all the cool photojournalist’s where doing. I googled a bunch of stuff about Bangladesh and many of things that I found, sounded quite absurd to me. What horrified me was the water problems that Bangladesh has and is still is facing.  My plan was to try to take a deeper look at the water problems of Bangladesh. 

A long story short, I was kinda denied of a visa to Bangladesh. My flight was due in five days and my passport was still in the closest embassy, in Stockholm, Sweden. Suddenly I started to feel an urge to drink a bottle of wine or two.

Execution

Few days later, I was sitting on an airport floor at Doha, Qatar. I remember thinking that there must have been bit of luck involved that I managed to change my ”unchangeable” budget flights to Kathmandu and got my passport back in time for the flight. It was a small disappointment that all my ”cool” photoshoot plans about the water problems of Bangladesh flew right out of the window. Looking backwards, this was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I decided not to google things about Nepal, I would just go and see what people are doing in Nepal. I did know a little bit about climbing in the Himalayas, but my knowledge about the actual country and its culture was slim to none.

After I got back from Nepal this ”no plans”- method stuck with me. All the countries that I’ve visited since, I’ve never have made any proper plans. I have just gone with the flow. The method is simple, you pick a country that you can afford to stay for awhile and simply go explore. Interact, talk with people and at some point you’ll find the path that you are looking for. This simple choice has taken me to  weird and beautiful places. I’ve end up in places that I’ve never knew existed and would have never found, if I would planned my travels. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many truly amazing characters and I’ve finally learnt that we all are the same.  No matter how cliché it sounds.

Everybody who has travelled a bit,  should know what I am talking about ;). 

Time changes everything

The photograph above, a Nepalese girl who is fetching water from the town well. This was my interpretation of the situation on site. Later on I’ve looked this photograph many times and its meaning to me keeps changing. Looking any images time after time,  gives you a nice experience how your own opinions and thoughts also are in a constant change.

At one point in time, this photo made me think about the water issues in Nepal and it reminded the history of this beautiful mountain village called Barpak. Other times I would ”see” the fairly adventurous motorbike ride that was necessary to get to this remote mountaintop on the foothills of Himalaya. A detail, that nobody else will be able to see in the photo. Little did anyone knew at the time, the village was going to be the epicentre of the devastating earthquake of 2015. Ninety percent of this village was destroyed in the quake.

Needles to say, but my interpretation of these Barpak photographs has changed for ever and they all seem little bit darker now. This was the first time that I realised what I actually had been photographing for the last few years. I want to create a photo catalog that spans over a long period and see how I, the World and these photographs will change as time goes by. I’ve have no idea when I will call this project finished. Most likely this is the body of work, that I will work until it is my time to kick the bucket. Working with this project has also sparked a comprehensive change in way I see the world. I’ve also managed to create a problem related to Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, some days the World seems to be only full of untaken photographs.

Our Mission

Mission & values

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Our History

Trajectory

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What I have learned on the way?

The image of the world that I had in my head was very distorted and cold. Nowadays I understand that the we humans tend to overemphasis the negative information that our brain processes. For a long time ago it was a good thing to have a strong reaction if your crops would die before the winter or a bear ate the berries that you were counting your survival on.

In twenty-twenty, our hunter-gatherer brain has some software issues, when it comes to the various stimulants of the modern world.

There is million reason why homo sapiens doesn’t fit that well between the skyscrapers. One of them is this tendency to react more strongly to threats rather than possibilities. When media utilises these biases or ”faults” in our brain, it is quite easy to paint a picture of a divided world. Unethical and distorted media can do a lot of damage.

Some people say that our brain is the most complicated thing in the Universe, which isn’t true. I know that the human brain is an amazing, complicated thing and saying that it is the most complicated thing is a good way to verbally describe its complexity. But when you think of it, already our body as whole is a more complicated thing than our brain alone. In this scale we can’t even begin to talk of the indescribable complexity of the whole Universe. I think that some of us see our world as a planet full of individual species and some of us see it as a one planet, as one life form. Some people seem to think that they understand the world, while some people understand that they aren’t capable of understanding the way this world works. We tend to think of ourselves as the kings and queens of the planet, but we have to remember that we still are just simple primates, when we are faced with “real” challenges like natural disasters. 

In my opinion and experience, the reality that we live in is multicoloured and always more complex that our primitive brain can imagine.

We’ve used to seeing the world as many individual countries, cultures, people and species. We are easily driven to thinking that everything in this planet is made for humans and it’s easy to see the Nature just as our commodity. We are eager to believe that competition is the way we can achieve better life to our individual groups. We believe that happiness comes from endless growth. A bit more is enough?

Nowadays I think that cooperation is a better solution than competition. We need start thinking that all life on Earth is equal and we have to learn to take only what we really need. We can’t fight global problems on a national scale, so the only viable option is to start thinking that we are just primates on a biological spaceship and our duty is to take care of it and everyone onboard.

There is no spare spaceship.

What I have learned on the way?

Everyday, I could be angry, ignorant and xenophobic towards many things. Alternatively, everyday I can try to love, understand and to be open-minded. I think the choice is a no-brainer. 

Life is too short to be angry and through the human history, co-operation has been the key to success and we have seen too many times where hate leads to.

Luckily, I am no one to say how someone should think or that my thoughts would be somehow relevant. I just observe life from my point of view and you make your decisions how you see world and the life on it.  I always been keen to think that the thoughts that goes in your head when you watch a photograph is called art, not my photographs.

Present

The photographs related to this project will someday be published in a book and as an exhibition. I like to think that a photograph is ready when you can hold it, before that it is just a preview, like this webpage. As this project is such a long one, I will publish it in smaller parts. These parts take a closer look at various topics that are related to the change that we all are facing.

The first publication from this project was my previous exhibition called Individi, which focused on human individuality. I have no idea what the next publication will be, but like with my photography, I don’t want to make any plans.

The swirls of life will show the way.

Series

View series

Contact

Contact

“Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is ten, or something.”

Dennis Rodman