A Concrete Boat
The Kemijoki river system covers a large part of Finnish Lapland. After the second world war, the river was dammed for the production of electrical energy. The ecosystem and culture based on the free-flowing river were completely destroyed or drastically changed.
My work of art is a combination of a wooden watercraft and a concrete mould. As a young man, my father was building one of Kemijoki's hydropower plants in the 1950s. There were up to 2,500 people at the construction site. The wooden concrete moulds of the dam structures used huge amounts of concrete. Then the rising water covered the shore meadows of my father's birthplace. The stream of the river fell silent. 65 years later, my father still misses the unbuilt river.
The latest plan to build more dam to the river is the Sierilä power plant near Rovaniemi. Its construction would drown the last remaining large rapids and part of Kemijoki's cultural landscape. There is a local community in the area that opposes the project by fighting for their home shores.

Original languageFinnish
PublisherTiedekeskus Arktikum
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022
MoEC publication typeF2 Public partial realisation of a work of art
EventChanges on Northern Shores: Observing problems through art and science - Arktikum, Rovaniemi, Finland
Duration: 3 Dec 202230 Apr 2023

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design

Citation for this output