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Still from the video: close-up of Rugia

Song of a Hungry Land, New Verses

HD video, six parts, 13:00 min, 2012
The starting point for this videowork is the provincial anthem of Kainuu, called "Song of a Hungry Land". When the song came about in 1911, the people of this Finnish region kept remembering the famine of 1866–1868 while hunger was still a reality for the disadvantaged.

I asked immigrants of Kajaani, a city in Kainuu, to sing new versions and interpretations of the hymn. New Finns coming from Sudan, Congo and Somalia sang this anthem together, in the Finnish language, and in addition they wrote new verses for the song in their mother tongue, drawing on personal experiences. Five different stories tell about the difficult journey to a faraway country and longing for home and the beloved ones.

What does the expression "national identity" mean in our global village today?
Can we share what is precious to us with those who also have a need for it?
Photo of disadvantaged people with bark bread, Museum of Kainuu
Still from the video: participants on a wintry forested hill
Still from the video: Rugia by a travel agency
In the making: Kiza in the studio
In the making: me filming the singing participants
Installation view