Are we there


In 1929, a group of Finns went to Brazil to set up a utopian community with a mission to live in harmony with nature. Jenni Toivonen’s great-grandparents were among these migrants.

The series Are We There examines migration, memory, the connection between humans and nature and explores the concept of utopia and of nostalgia for the remote as a catalyst for human action. Here, archive photos connect with light leaks on the film, thus referring to the physical origin and illusory nature of photographs. On the tracks of her great-grandparents, Jenni Toivonen made a performative journey that attempts to reconnect the past and the present by reinventing and rebuilding them. Rituals of immersion of the human body in its environment enable her to explore themes relating to our sense of origin, belonging and coexistence.

With the support of the Finnish Institute in France

About the artist

Born in 1993, Jenni Toivonen is a Finnish visual artist based in Lisbon and Helsinki. She holds a master’s degree in art photography from the Aalto University and works on the interrelations between living beings. Between the mutual physicalities of the human body and the Earth, she seeks new ways of coexisting with the environment.