We’re proud to show the work of the following artists: Jenni Emilia Toivonen, Finland Turning Light Hidden in the city of Buenos Aires lies a green oasis called Velatropa,
We’re proud to show the work of the following artists:
Jenni Emilia Toivonen, Finland
Hidden in the city of Buenos Aires lies a green oasis called Velatropa, where being is more valuable than having. Ten years ago, a landfill was occupied by local activists who during the years turned it into a refuge full of native trees and bio constructions. The community aims to be an example of a lifestyle between urban and rural, reconnecting people in the city with nature.
On a regular basis, the community arranges interdisciplinary workshops, environmental education and festivals where the main activity is to plant trees together. The use of money is minimized with an intention to cultivate what one consumes and exchanging goods and knowledge. Placed on an occupied no man’s land, the community is in constant danger of eviction by the government and has peacefully resisted several violent attacks from the police and other people.
“Turning Light” investigates the life of the community from the inside out, from an angle that is unseen by most people. It reveals the true nature of the anarchists as vanguards of rebellion: instead of destroying, they are building something new.
Neha Hirve, India
In a light that is leaving
In the woods between Cologne and Aachen, secrets are whispered, communication is encrypted, meetings are arranged for nightfall and barricades are constantly built and destroyed at every entrance point. Here, there are no laws and it always feels like the apocalypse is about to occur. There are people living in this forest – somewhere between ten and one hundred, no one will say – and they’re waiting it out until the inevitable ‘Day X’ when they will be evicted, their treehouses destroyed by the police and the last of forest cut down forever.
Hambacher Forest in Germany is home to a group of eco-anarchists fighting against Germany’s biggest power company, RWE. The threat of the neighbouring lignite mine being expanded looms closer as more and more trees are cut down every year. The occupation is reflective of a larger ongoing political and environmental conflict over brown coal in the country. But there is no big battle scene to be found in ‘Hambi’, just the slow tedium of a constant struggle. Treehouses are built and evicted every few months. People come and go, and in between arrests and clashes, there is a lot of waiting around for the end of the world. Day X came on September 13, 2018, in one of the largest police operations in the region. There is just 10% left of the 12,000-year-old forest. Much like the rest of our planet, it’s on a critical precipice.
‘In a light that is already leaving’ is more about the story of the frustration we feel when we look at the state of the world around us and when it isn’t enough to share a Facebook link or stand in the street with a protest sign. What else do we have, if not our need to keep fighting in the face of the end of the world? And why must we wait for the end of the world to act?
‘So we wait, breeding mood, making music of decline. We sit down in the smell of the past and rise in a light that is already leaving.’ – Rita Dove, November for Beginners
August 12 (Monday) 8:00 am - September 1 (Sunday) 5:00 pm
Helsinki Photo FestivalHelsinki Photo Festival is a non-profit association created to present cutting-edge work from Nordic and international photographers to attract interest in photography and visual media in Finland and abroad. We want to present and promote these art forms in an accessible way to help artists connect with new audiences, critics and curators - and vice firstname.lastname@example.org