Vesa Tynin ja Jari Niemisen Mielimaissa-projekti kertoo

Art Center Ahjo, Sysi-Hall: Mielimaissa project

The Mielimaissa project breaks taboos about mental health problems.

Vesa Tyni and Jari Nieminen's Mielimaissa project tells about mental health problems through portraits and people's own experiences. The goal of the work couple is to increase knowledge and understanding of depression and to break the taboos related to it.

"The name of the project is a play on words that tells the essence of mental health problems. It is its own world, where nobody else has a place to be. These are the worlds we want to describe. We help people peek into these worlds and hopefully out of them as well," say the authors of the project, Vesa Tyni and Jari Nieminen.

Anyone can apply to join the Mielimaissa project. The starting point of each work is the subject's own experience. The process of making portraits begins with the project creators meeting and interviewing the people who contacted them. Next to each portrait is a text in which the person in the picture tells their story. The texts, based on the recorded conversations, are provided by finnish language teacher Tuomo Polo.

The first Mielimaissa exhibition was seen in 2019 at the Aboa Vetus Ars Nova museum in Turku. Since then, the work has continued with pictures and encounters. Now the Mielimaissa exhibition is traveling around Finland. The authors have searched and applied for low-threshold spaces to which the public has free access.

"We hope that people will find experiences of equality through the exhibitions and that the project will make it easier to talk about mental health problems. In connection with the exhibitions, we also hold lectures and workshops, where we talk about the making of the project and teach portraiture and visual storytelling. The feedback we have received from these events has been really gratifying and has exceeded all our expectations" Tyni and Nieminen say.

The artists' lecture and the photo-narrative workshop will be held on October 23. from 13:00 to 16:00. The event is free and open to anyone interested in photography. Participation does not require previous experience in photography.

All artworks of the Mielimaissa project and related texts are also published on the project's website and social media channels:

Additional information and interview requests: [email protected]

The exhibition tour is supported by the TOP Foundation. The artists' work on the project has been supported by JOKES, the Foundation for the Promotion of Journalistic Culture.