Photographer Martu Väisänen, Vaala, youths, November 2017 and February–May 2018
The text “I don’t know” painted on the wall of the youth centre has been turned into colourful snapshots taken from young people’s lives. Photographer Martu Väisänen began to get acquainted with the youths of Vaala by attending the daily life and joining a trip to the forest. They began with an exercise where each person portrayed their everyday life. The pictures were used to select the subjects for the murals which were worked onwards with an eye on framing and composition. Some of the youths worked as part of a group, while others were instructed individually.
The young people demonstrated magnificent devotion to their work as well as a commitment to the operation. Alongside the visual work, the youths were provided an opportunity to talk about their everyday lives and plans for the future in a relaxed and confidential spirit. Based on the pilot project alone, the experience of inclusion and success could be observed to support the activities of the participating youths in other aspects of everyday life. Based on the feedback, the operation provided the young people with substantial activities, even to the extent that there was willingness to engage in these types of exercises after finding employment.
Martu Väisänen will continue the operation in Vaala during the spring of 2018, focusing particularly on the development of individual workpaths.