12/25/2015

BEING HUMAN



Hi there! I've been planning to make this video for quite some time and finally got around doing it today, as I had nothing else to do. It's made out of clips that I've gathered during the last couple of years. As the title quite clearly suggests I wanted the video to say something about human existence. The importance of human relationships, but also the necessity of spending some time alone every once in a while. The balance of these things. The joy and the pain of our existence. The spectrum of experiences, thoughts and emotions that we encounter during our short lives. Sometimes it's confusing the shit out of us. Sometimes we don't think too much about it and just go with the flow. The idea that biology can produce such a complex thing as human consciousness is puzzling to say the least. Hope you guys enjoy the video, and please do watch it in HD!

12/22/2015

LACED


Jacket - BoylyMia*,  Blouse - Gina Tricot,  Pants - H&M,  Hat - H&M

12/19/2015

HIDING



These photos were taken a couple of years ago in Antalya. Last night I was browsing old files and stumbled across them and thought "why have these never seen the light of day?". Well, I decided to correct the situation and share them with you. The blueness is just mesmerizing. Finland is, most of the time, so gray that merely looking at these photos is refreshing. Especially in this season of the year. I'm glad that it hasn't been that cold this winter here in Turku, but the complete lack of snow is actually kind of depressing, I now realize. Anyhows, I hope these photos brighten your day (or night). I've been taking a couple of days off from school work, but now I need to come out from hiding and exit the world of memories, as exciting and comforting as it is, and get back to frantic essay writing. Wish me luck. I will need it, because my mind is growing weaker with every day that passes. I'm slowly getting into my holiday mood and it certainly aint helping in terms of productivity. If you don't have anything better to do, by all means, leave me a comment below and tell me about your current mood! Peace out!

12/16/2015

SUIT UP


Shirt - H&M, Pants - H&M, Jacket - BikBok, Shoes - DinSko

Photos: Sara Nguyen

12/09/2015

SUP?


Sweater - H&M, Jacket - Zara, Jeans - BikBok, Boots - Dr.Martens, Purse - Vintage 

 Photos: Jade Than

12/04/2015

RADEK


Model: Radek Morávek
Photographer: Sara Lehtomaa
Assistant: Ellen Seppälä

I thought I should break free from my habits and ask someone of the opposite sex to model for me, and as it turned out this guy was the perfect choice. I met Radek at a sitz (for those of you who don't know a "sitz", as we call it, is a dinner with lots of drinking, singing and games, held at a student union's property - it's a Finnish and Swedish tradition at universities) as he was sitting opposite to me. We had a chat and I found out, among other things, that he was from the Czech Republic. I can't say I know a lot about his home country (even its location within Europe was a mystery to me, I ashamedly have to admit), but I did google it later on. Anyhow, based on his Facebook profile picture (in which he is shirtless) I thought he wouldn't mind standing in front of the camera, and that he might even comply if I asked. So I asked. And he was in. My friend Ellen also tagged along with us to Kakola (our shooting location), to help me out and, of course, bless us with her wonderful company (I'm by no means being sarcastic, she's awesome). Radek was really a champ for doing so well in the Finnish autumn (which is pretty damn cold). Even I was freezing in my winter jacket. So big thanks for that hardiness, as well as for acting very naturally in front of the camera. I'm seriously impressed that I didn't really have to direct him that much, and I'm very happy with the outcome.

11/28/2015

SOME NICE THINGS











A talented and incredibly wonderful team working with me to achieve what I strive for  /  Trying out new recipes with a dear friend  /  Getting flowers for props to a photoshoot  /  Randomly noticing a beautiful shadow on a surface and being compelled to capture it for later  /  Glancing up at the sky and noticing the clouds looking extra fluffy  /  Being surrounded by old fascinating things and sometimes even taking some of them home with me  /  Having something at home to care for (apart from my boyfriend)  /  Holding in my hands and seeing my printed work. It's the best  /  Finding an old portrait of my father sketched by my mother.

11/23/2015

R.I.P.


Models: Jenna, Emilia & Vilma
Photographer: Sara Lehtomaa


Something we shot together with a couple of friends just for fun in October when it was still fairly warm outside (for Finland that is). It was really exceptionally warm that day. The sun was gently warming us for the whole three hours that we spent trotting back and forth on this beautiful meadow trying out different spots. Everything was colored golden as the sun started setting. It was really refreshing to spend some time outside for a change, and take some time off from sitting in front of a computer screen doing school work. Greedily absorbing the sunlight left me feeling content and incredibly calm. I think the photos rather look like an indiepop girl band's promos (a friend of mine actually even asked me whether this was some newly emerged band, haha). In loving memory of the sun, and its warmth and light, I thought this would be a good time to share these as we just had our first snowfall here in Turku. R.I.P.

11/17/2015

PRESENTATION

Photos: Sara Lehtomaa


Which one would you rather eat? With this pair of photos I want to point out how big of an impact presentation and context has on our perception and interpretation of things. It is a good thing to acknowledge and keep in mind in everyday life in order to understand your own (as well as others') behavior, and will probably help in making better decisions in general. What I am showing in the photo is, of course, a very concrete example - the same donut (although you might notice that they are not completely identical because I had to shoot these on two different days) in a different setting, producing a completely different set of meanings.

        By the way, shooting these cockroaches was a nightmare. And only now did I realize that I actually have a bit of a phobia, it seriously took me 30 minutes to get those guys back in their box after finishing shooting (I am ashamed to admit). I was simply afraid of touching them, which is obviously ridiculous. I've never experienced this kind of "irrational fear" before (at least that I could remember), and it was kinda fascinating having these two voices in my head giving conflicting messages. But it certainly didn't help that my darling boyfriend was standing next to me shouting "retard". Thanks a lot.

11/15/2015

THE COMPLEX


Some unrelated (but I guess kinda symbolic) photos that I took a couple of weeks back at Kakola prison in Turku.


Things are not as black and white as we often like to think. Something very tragic happened and people decided to make it into a symbolic event, "a crime against the whole of humanity". But what about the countless horrible things that have happened throughout history all around the world? What makes this tragedy so much more tragic than the rest? I happened to read this article by Elie Fares called "From Beirut, This Is Paris: In A World That Doesn't Care About Arab Lives", and she contemplates:

When my people died on the streets of Beirut on November 12th, world leaders did not rise in condemnation. There were no statements expressing sympathy with the Lebanese people. There was no global outrage that innocent people whose only fault was being somewhere at the wrong place and time should never have to go that way or that their families should never be broken that way or that someone’s sect or political background should never be a hyphen before feeling horrified at how their corpses burned on cement. Obama did not issue a statement about how their death was a crime against humanity; after all what is humanity but a subjective term delineating the worth of the human being meant by it?

Humanity, in its simplest definition referring to "all people" in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Aren't muslims also part of that humanity? Such a thick wall has been established between the Western world and the Middle East. All springing from the event of British and French colonization after World War I. The Ottoman Empire was partitioned and distributed between the two powers - Britain claimed Iraq and Palestine, while France took over Syria and Lebanon. I am obviously not an expert in this subject but it would seem only natural for a society to react in some way or another when it is suddenly taken over by an outsider. In this case it has initiated a strong counter-reaction encouraging a strong sense of nationalism creating radicals who are ready to fight for their nation until death. But what people often forget is that this of course does not apply to the entire population of these countries.

        Then there is the U.S. with its obsession to intervene in everything. A person in my position with rather deficient knowledge of the seemingly complex relationship of these two parties can only try and guess what motivated the U.S. to get involved, but the most obvious answer is the thirst for power disguised as "fighting for justice at the behest of the local people". My father together with his family was among the people who had to leave their home as refugees during the civil war. He is a pretty rational guy (as well as a man of science) and I trust his judgement of the situation. He told me that in his (and many other Iraqi's) opinion the United States' intervention and removal of Saddam Hussein only left a power vacuum, which lead to chaos - a power struggle between the Shia and Sunni population. At least when there was a strict Sunni dictator there had been order (not saying that repression is a good thing but the reality is that his removal made things even worse, spiraling out of control). I can understand that many Iraqi people would subsequently have hard feelings toward the U.S. - I mean, who are they to have a say in how things should play out? An outsider with false motives should at least not be allowed to make a decision in that big of a matter.

       I feel like the problem is not so much differences in Western and Middle Eastern thinking - individualist and collectivist nations can live side by side in harmony. And not even a matter of religion. But both of those things do of course create a good basis for a hateful relationship, which, when fueled by an evil image of the Western world through imperialism, has created radicals determined to eliminate the enemy in the name of God. This of course works the other way around as well. The Western media provokes a state of panic and mistrust by constantly announcing about muslim terrorists, using language as a weapon. The point here is not to point fingers and blame anyone, it is to understand the origins of how things got to this point. That is the only way to approach this situation with any hope for a positive outcome through understanding. A counter-attack will only continue the evil spiral of hatred and revenge, which is no solution in itself. What that solution might be seems like an eternal mystery due to the complicated nature of the situation. But I hope that someday we will eventually figure it out and learn to live with each other in peace.

11/13/2015

BACK TO BASICS


Shirt - H&M, Jeans - BikBok, Jacket - Zara, Bag - Zara, Boots - Dr. Martens, Scarf - Vintage