30x – stories about us

Personal Art project – photography, interviews, book, exhibition

30x Book

30x installation / exhibition in Helsinki

I interviewed 30 women around the age of thirty and asked how they were doing for real. The texts they wrote are published in the book 30x – Stories About Us (30x –Tarinoita meistä). The texts are written based on questions, that deals with difficulties and life shaping experiences. By listening only thirty people I started to hear the problems of a generation but even more the problems of the society. There are strong themes that start to repeat – such as depression, loneliness, heartbreaks, lack of money, big life-changing decisions, health problems or the lost of a family member.

30x Portrait photography

With a large format camera on a black and white film

30x – Stories about us

Personal art project

30x – Stories About Us is a deep personal project about fragility, bravery, fear and honesty. I let myself to do something that doesn't try to make anyone feel cheerful, but instead, it lets people to share their feelings and experiences. The project is a reminder, that we’re not here alone experiencing things. That we don’t always have to be so perfect. And that sometimes it’s OK to speak out loud – or speak in silence. Many things that people feel and say and how they look like are captured – temporarily – in phones and social media. With this project I captured the portraits and feelings of my peers in a book form. That’s how our grandparents use to keep their few valuable photos – in a simple photo album. I captured the photos with a large format camera on a sheet film. That way, the whole photography process had a different feel to it, because only few photos were taken – sometimes only one. This time there were no perfect shots with funny filters. 30X allows to understand, co-experience and share difficult experiences – in this case from the point of view of women around the age of 30. But in the end of the day, the project is not about age. It's about growth and transformation, something that we all have to go through in different phases. It’s about the role of being a young mother, being married or divorced, being a single, being indefinite, being free or being in a cage of emotions and fears. It is a messy collection of whatever life throws in front of us and we have to pass it. It allowed women to take their mask off and show how they really felt inside. When I started this project, I felt very broken, because I had lost a person close to me. I had to grow up in one night. It pushed me forward, because I realized our time is quite limited. Surprisingly, when I asked how my peers were doing, I realized that we were all in the same boat. Almost all were dealing with big issues. There can be a big paradox in how we feel and what we show. How to get closer to a person? What is OK to say and to feel? What is OK to show? Should we show what we want or what we actually are? Can a fragility turn into strength? There is a wall that we build in front of us, just to feel safe and untouchable. But when we start to share the difficult experiences, they don’t feel so bad anymore. They become part of the growth, part of life and therefore easier to accept.

  • 30 Black and white portraits

  • 30 texts by 30 women based on an interview

  • Exhibition / Installation in Helsinki, 2012

  • Book

  • Website

  • Part of the Photobookshow C, Create Studios, Brighton, UK, 2012 / photobookshow.co.uk

  • Motto Distribution took the book for their distribution in Berlin