Marja Helander’s Birds in the Earth (2018) will be screened in short film and cultural showcases in Glasgow and London on Friday, January 31. Both events are organised or co-organised by the Finnish Institute in the UK. The screening in Glasgow is part of the Finnish Institute’s event Finnish Exposure, from January 30 to February 2. The program in Glasgow includes also Minna Långström‘s mid-length documentary film The Other Side of Mars (2019), screened on January 30. In London, Helander’s short film is included in the joint screening “In Short, Europe“, organised by the members of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC).
Birds in the Earth is a short film based on dance. The main characters are two young Sámi ballet students; Birit and Katja Haarla. The movie tells a bit melancholic story through their dance performances. At the same time it examines the deeper questions of the ownership of Sámi land.
Marja Helander is a Finnish photographic and video artist. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1999. Her earlier work explored her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Helander’s recent photographic work has focused on Northern landscape. The accent of the work is on the postcolonial topics in the Sámi area, focusing particularly on the global mining industry. The encounter between nature and mankind is not harmonious, but destructive. On the other hand, her video works are playful, exploring the contradiction between the traditional Sámi way of life and the modern society. Her recent short film Birds in the Earth won the Risto Jarva Prize and the main prize of the National Competition at Tampere Film Festival 2018. Marja Helander has participated in solo and group exhibitions and her works have been acquired for various public collections in Finland and abroad.
Finnish Exposure, January 30 – February 2 2020, CCA, Glasgow
In Short, Europe, January 31 2020, Romanian Cultural Institute
More information: The Finnish Institute