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From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio 1 / 4       From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio.

From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio 2 / 4       From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio.

From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio 3 / 4       From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio.

From the exhibition I called out from the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio 4 / 4       From the exhibition I called out for the mountains, I heard them drumming by Miia Autio. © Miia Autio.

I called out for the mountains...

Photographer Miia Autio’s series titled I Called Out for the Mountains, I Heard Them Drumming tells about Rwandan refugees who have escaped to Europe and about the memories of the homeland they have left behind. Autio has photographed Rwandans in several European countries and the Rwandan landscapes they have described.

Autio’s portraits, landscapes, and interviews with the people form a cohesive entity that considers the relationship between homeland, landscape, and identity, recognising the subjectivity of memories. The underlying context is the political situation in Rwanda, which is part of a wider political turmoil in the African Great Lakes region.

In 2006, Autio was working in Germany, where she became friends with Emmanuel, who had recently arrived from Rwanda. Through him, Autio met other Rwandans who had been forced to leave their homeland because of political conflict.

Autio and her Rwandan friends were united by the shared experience of life as a foreigner in a foreign country. However, unlike the Rwandans, Autio could choose to return to her homeland. She wanted to learn to understand the memories of a lost homeland and the kind of homesickness that occurs when returning home is not an option.

«After having read about the history of Rwanda and the prevailing political situation there, I felt a need to tell about it. When Rwanda rose to the headlines in early 2014, on the 20th anniversary of the genocide, their black and white did not give a multidimensional enough picture of Rwanda.
People continue to flee Rwanda for political reasons, but this is not talked about in the news. I photographed people in Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Finland. Finding Rwandans was easy, because families and friends form networks throughout Europe and the United States. However, it was difficult to find subjects to photograph: people feared that difficulties could arise if through the series of images they could be associated with public criticism of Rwanda’s current regime.
In early 2015, I travelled to Rwanda and took photographs of the landscapes in the regions where the people in my photographs had been born. It was interesting to see where they came from, but at the same time it was sad that they could not be there themselves. I also met some of their family members. Through the places I photographed, I was able to dive into my subjects’ past.
I also felt that for the family members, I was a link to the present life of their loved one who had escaped to Europe. The project became very personal and emotional» [ Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger ]

- - -
I CALLED OUT FOR THE MOUNTAINS, I HEARD THEM DRUMMING
by Miia Autio
streets of the historic centre - Florinas SS (Italy)
30 July – 30 September 2016
admission fee: free

_ _ _

[ INTERNAL RESOURCES ]
◉ [ FPtag ] MENOTRENTUNO2016: the point of view of the editorial staff
◉ [ video ] Menotrentuno: terramadre / homeland
◉ [ events ] Menotrentuno: an Island of exhibitions
◉ [ exhibitions ] Three-Step Dance by Roberta Masala
◉ [ exhibitions ]
Across the river by Jasper Walter Bastian
◉ [ exhibitions ] Four Seasons by Serena Vittorini
[ exhibitions ] The farm in the centre by Sofie Amalie Klougart
◉ [ exhibitions ] Arsuneli's Lands by Andrea Alfano
[ exhibitions ] Okoem, space that can look around by Yevgeny Nakonechnyy
[ contest ] #meno31contest
[ YToI2015 ] Portrait Category | Best Author 2015: Miia Autio

[ EXTERNAL RESOURCES ]
Miia Autio
Menotrentuno

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published on 2016-08-28 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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