— PROJECT NAME
SNOW. COFFEE. FAMILY.
COSTUME DESIGNER, DIRECTOR, CONCEPT DESIGNER, WRITER
Snow is a strong visual cue when I think about my own experiences in Finland, my Finnish heritage and Finnish identity in general. From childhood I have countless memories of families doing winter sports, sledging and being in the snow. These images are even present in Christmas cards, including quite traditional ones, where families are depicted spending time together in snowy landscapes. In this project, we are creating our own blue and white reality by coming together as our own chosen family.
Family time was often spent by going to have a coffee at grandmother's place. We would warmly come together around a table, sip coffee and update each other about our lives. When thinking about my own Finnish identity, it is really coffee-centric and the meaning behind having coffee with someone is socially important. Coffee is the excuse to spend time together. Coffee is the way to feel close to somebody. Coffee doesn't even have to be a cup of actual coffee. The meaning is always the same though: togetherness and warmth. It is not always possible to spend these moments with your loved ones, however, through this project we want to remind everyone that we're here and we're together. Let's drink/ have a cup of coffee to that.
In LGBTQIA+ communities, the chosen family is the rare and unique safe space to be unapologetically yourself. It doesn't take anything away from biological family, and can sometimes include blood relationships too. Exploring shared experiences and values from other queer people can be really empowering and important in chasing away the feeling of loneliness. This series of images represents my chosen family. It is a wonderful place where we are all understood and safe. Depicted in these photographs are three outcast creatures, seemingly belonging to the same family, sharing a coffee moment in the wintery nature of Finland. Snow, coffee and family. In it's simplest form, these three things define our Finnish identity and are prevalent in our lives. Even if we take the opportunity to do things our way.
Text, concept, execution and photo edit JOONA HUOTARI
Photos and English edit GREGORY ANDREOU
Thank you JESSE VIRTANEN, SIMO LANDIN
Artistic work supported by TAITEEN EDISTÄMISKESKUS