Where the Forest Whispers - movie

To add one more layer to the work, folk music artists Erika Hammarberg, Pauliina Syrjälä and Sanna Kurki-Suonio create songs of the images. It is an another interpretation of the told story, one which is reaching to a new audience. The songs combined with the images become a meditative installation which takes the viewer
somewhere deep in their memories.

This work is about the dialog. I need the storytellers for the material to create images, the musicians needs my images to create the songs, and we all, including you, need the stories to be able to have a future.

Time between the Dog and Wolf...Blue moment...Dusk...Dawn.... The time of the day when the shadows and colours disappear, when the stories become real and fairytales become true. If you are really quiet, you can hear the whispers in the branches, the forest speaking to you.

We are stories. If stories are not forwarded from one generation to the other, our future has no continuity. “The universe, somebody said, and I know now it is true, is made of stories, not particles; they are the wave functions of our existence. If they constitute the event horizon of our particular black hole they are also our only means of escape.” (Imaginings of Sand, Andre Brink, 1996)

Where the Forest Whispers tells the stories of the forgotten and empty houses and villages in North Karelia in Finland. Through these photographs, I give the stories a new life.

The countryside is deserting, people move into big cities and towns. For a long time, this has been the direction of migration. I grew up on the countryside, in a little village in North Karelia called Puso, right on the bottom of Koli, in a former village school. I have witnessed my neighbours dying or moving to the towns, seen houses being left to rotten as the youth grow up and move to the city. Places I grew up with do not exist anymore, the forest has taken over and only few people remember the stories. And soon also those few will be gone.

“Why demand the truth, whatever that may be, if you can have imagination?” (Imaginings of Sand, Andre Brink, 1996)