The Closed-down Village
Hanna Koikkalainen, photographs
Anne-Mari Kivimäki, music
The visitors of Rauma Art Museum have a chance to examine the history and present-day situation of the rural municipality of Suistamo in Russian Karelia with the photographs of Hanna Koikkalainen (born in 1980, Imatra) and the music of Anne-Mari Kivimäki (born in 1976).
The Closed-down Village is a musical photographic exhibition that deals with the thematics of leaving and abandoning a place with the help of photographs, texts, object installations and music. The exhibition combines old and new photographs from Suistamo, memories from the evacuees, extracts from archives and natural elements gathered from Suistamo. The waters of the home lake become sacred and the birch forests of Karelia are rooted into new soil.
Audio recordings by the Suistamo-based accordion player and storyteller Ilja Kotikallio are the starting point of the exhibition. Inspired by Kotikallio, the team has made excursions across the border to Suistamo, rummaged through archives and met former residents of Suistamo. The multidisciplinary collaboration of the Suistamo laboratory of tradition has resulted in a meandering visual and musical entity that explores evacuation from Karelia, wartime, leaving one’s home and the current situation of a small Russian village in a poetic manner.
Part of the exhibition at Rauma Art Museum will be the new work of Hanna Koikkalainen on the evacuation history of the residents of Rauma. This will include material for example from the villages of Koivisto and Räisälä. Migration and leaving one’s home is and will always be a topical issue. Perhaps we can see the current migrants in a different light, if we remember our own history?