People coming and going. Stories travelling across the city. Waiting to be told, waiting to be heard.
Where is your life? Where are you heading?
a short film by Saara Mansikkamäki and Niclas Mäkelä
kind of happiness
"You just have to get up and keep going".
"Being a photojournalist means understanding the importance of everything you see around you - seeing its essence.It's combining the visual with the underlying, yet untold story."
"It's all pretty fucked up."
"I truly wish people were more tolerant towards each other."
"I want to get independence from my country and also from my family and come here and start again…"
"For me photojournalism is a perfect approach to widen our understanding. Learning to see the value in all our stories - whether they be big or small, happy or sad."
"I can plan a career, my life or whatever… but I can't really foresee what happens next."
Finland is kind of a quiet place, especially in the winter. People tend to respect others personal space -whether it's out of politeness or just being shy - or simply an unconscious decision to mind your own business amidst all this darkness. Out of curiosity we thought about breaking this barrier, to challenge people to share their thoughts with us. Us being total strangers.
We chose a setting (a tram) and a time of day (late evening) when people might have the time and right state of mind to relax in a short conversation. Then we simply approached, explained what we were doing and asked them for a few minutes of their time in order to answer one simple question: Where is your life going?
A seemingly simple question is obviously not always so simple one to answer. We were truly surprised how most of them were so open to us, and we began to ponder whether we ourselves would have been ready to act in a similar way. Of all the people we asked we were turned down only six times.
We only spent maybe five minutes on the average with our "travellers" - recording their answers and shooting a short clip of video. Being transparent with our actions, our encounter with these people reminded us how important honesty in our life is - both as a photojournalists and simply as human beings. People do see it and it gets you to places you never thought of getting.
Being at the beginning of our careers as visual storytellers maybe the most encouraging lesson was that as long as there is someone willing to hear the story, there is an abundance of them all around us.
"I'm still not sure what it is that I want to be. My mind just keeps changing every week…"