Project Description

Did you Know?

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

I’ve started photographing Muutos project back in 2013. Before I started this long term project, I felt that photographing people was one of the scariest things to do. The Initial idea of this project was to see how street photography makes me feel. Since then I’ve learned that street photography includes unimaginable amount of different kind of challenges and obstacles. In street photography it’s like you are chasing rainbows, doomed to never fully catch them. 

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

The beginning

I had seen some mind blowing photographs of a train in Bangladesh, literally full of people. 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 for free in one of the most densely lived tropical countries was a thing that sounded interesting.

I felt that I had to do ”something” that all the cool photojournalists where doing and they seemed to focus on the negative subjects. I googled a bunch of stuff about Bangladesh and many of things that I discovered, sounded quite absurd to me. What horrified me was the water problems that Bangladesh has and is still is facing. My initial 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.

On the road

Few days later, I was sitting on an airport floor at Doha, Qatar. I remember thinking that there must have been lot 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 back in time, not being able to execute my plans was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. This event forced me to try something new and I made some changes to my workflow.

I decided not to google things about Nepal, plan was to 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, the only plan has been not to have a plan. I have just gone with the flow. The method is simple, you pick a place that you can afford to stay for awhile and simply go explore. Interact, talk with people and eventually  you’ll find the path that you are looking for. Using this method, I’ve end up in places that I’ve never knew existed and probably would have never found if I would have planned my travels. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many truly amazing characters and I’ve finally learned, 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 is fetching water from the town well. This was my interpretation of this moment on-site. Later on I’ve looked this photograph many times and its meaning to me keeps changing. Looking at images time after time can give you a nice experience with how your own opinions and thoughts are in a constant change. The photograph stays the same, but it is our personal growth that affect our interpretation. Another force to modify our views are the changes in our world.

At one point in time, this photo made me think about the water issues of Nepal and it reminded me from 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. Little did anyone knew at the time, the village was going to be the epicentre of the devastating earthquake in 2015. Ninety percent of this village was destroyed in the quake.

Needles to say, but my interpretation of these Barpak photographs has changed forever 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 of time and I want to see how I, the world and the interpretation of my photographs will change as time goes by. 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 the way I see the world. I don’t know if it is a problem or an advantage, but I’ve also managed to participate to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Some days the world seems to be full of untaken photographs.

The photograph below, a Nepalese girl is fetching water from the town well. This was my interpretation of this moment on-site. Later on I’ve looked this photograph many times and its meaning to me keeps changing. Looking at images time after time can give you a nice experience with how your own opinions and thoughts are in a constant change. The photograph stays the same, but it is our personal growth that affect our interpretation. Another force to modify our views are the changes in our world.

At one point in time, this photo made me think about the water issues of Nepal and it reminded me from 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. Little did anyone knew at the time, the village was going to be the epicentre of the devastating earthquake in 2015. Ninety percent of this village was destroyed in the quake.

Needles to say, but my interpretation of these Barpak photographs has changed forever 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 of time and I want to see how I, the world and the interpretation of my photographs will change as time goes by. 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 the way I see the world. I don’t know if it is a problem or an advantage, but I’ve also managed to participate to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Some days the world seems to be full of untaken photographs.

What I have learned on the way?

The image of the world that I previously had in my head was very distorted and cold. Nowadays I understand that the we humans tend to overemphasize the negative information that our brain processes. 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 challenges of the modern world.

There are million reasons why homo sapiens doesn’t fit that well between the skyscrapers. One of them being this sensitivity 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, maybe more than we realize. You always have some preconception of the unknown and at least in my experience, it doesn’t ever completely match with the reality. Yet we seem to make many decisions blinded by these misconceptions.

Observing people around the world has led me to 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 really works. We tend to think of ourselves as the kings and queens of the planet, but we have to remember that we are the newcomers in this ecosystem. When we are faced with natural disasters, pandemias or other “real” problems, we can see our fragility. 

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 also are easily driven to thinking that everything on this planet is made for humans and it’s easy to see the Nature just as a commodity. We westerners are eager to believe that competition is the way we can achieve better life to our individual groups. Many of us believe that happiness comes from endless growth and from certain achievements. Too often we think that a bit more is enough.

Nowadays I think that cooperation is a better solution than competition is or will ever be. Maybe we should 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 primates among other life forms, floating on a biological spaceship. Our main goal should be to take care of our shared space ship and everyone onboard. We have time to settle our internal quarrels after we have fixed our vessel. There is no spare space ship.

We have a choice.

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, cooperation has been the key to success. 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 are 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 like to think that the thoughts that go trough your head when you are watching a photograph is called art. My photographs are just the catalyst. 

The future

The photographs related to this project will be published in a book and as an exhibition. I’m keen to think that a photograph is ready only when you can hold it. Before that it is just a preview, like this website. As this project is such a long one, the plan is to publish it in several parts. These separate parts will take a closer look on various of topics, which are related to the global change that we all are facing.

The first publication from this project was my exhibition called Individi. It focused on human individuality and to the effects of our surroundings. I have no idea what the next publication will be, but as the possibilities are endless, it is way more fun to have no real plans.

The swirls of life will show the way.


“I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone’s imagination.”

Hunter S. Thompson