This is the year that we will all remember. Our kids will remember. January started off with record high heat waves and huge bushfires, especially in Australia. Images of koala bears rescued from trees are still embedded in my mind. And right after that, we faced the COVID.
COVID caused many changes in our everyday lives. Peculiar parade of human behavior rolled by as people hoarded toilet paper, canned goods, and handwash, everyday heroes saved lives in and out of hospitals and governments fumbled with their response to a public health emergency that has been foretold for years already. Hundreds of thousands of people dead, tens of millions infected and because of it, economies screeching into a full halt. Many people lost their job and their income, some lost homes and many lost their health or sadly even their lives. Businesses went bankrupt and we haven’t even seen the end of this story yet.
August 2020 found me in a serious need of an outlet for the thoughts occupying my mind, and for me, the best outlet is to create an image. I started with the idea you may have seen in some cartoons already: an image about the COVID pandemic as an immediate threat, which is actually dwarfed by the looming recession and natural disasters brought by climate change. By no means should COVID be downplayed, but the bickering about facemasks should not blind us from seeing the real threat behind pandemics and falling economies: the accelerating increase in global temperatures. This in mind I sketched out an image, trying to bring out the sadness, unfairness, and doomsday feeling of 2020 but leaving in some glimmers of hope for a better tomorrow.
In this picture, every little detail represents something for me, but like a true artist, I will not explain them all, but urge you to look at the picture yourself and try to find meanings that are important to you. I’m not an activist in any shape or form, but art is my outlet to express my thoughts and take a stand, albeit a small one. I hope you feel the feels too, and do what you can for a turnaround in 2021.
Antti Karppinen : Concept, photography, retouching
Laura Puntila : Stylist, props, makeup artist
Model : Juho Korpela
Assistant : Minttu Korhonen
Camera: Fuji X-T3 with 16-55mm f/2.8
Flashes: 2 x Elinchrom ELC 500