life in the graveyard
I spend a perhaps surprising amount of time in graveyards. They’re like parks – a part of the city where you can get away for a while. No advertising, no cars, no smashed glass bottles. But to me a graveyard is more than that – it’s an intriguing place where a very interesting part of the human mental landscape is expressed. In Christianity, people often raise stones for the people who die and decorate the space around it with plants, candles and other things. This goes on for decades, sometimes centuries. I’ve grown up in this culture but always found it a bit strange – maybe because sometimes, it seems like people get obsessed by it and become stressed when they haven’t had time to get new flowers to put on graves. Surely, that can’t be the point. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with remembering people who have died this way, it’s just not at all what I do. Perhaps by spending a lot of time walking in graveyards with my camera I’m trying to understand – really understand this culture, this habit, this obsession.
One of the things I’ve noticed during my time spent in graveyards is that it’s full of life. Not only the dying cut flowers that people bring – which is also a very interesting thing – but big trees, squirrels, insects and many other creatures who enjoy the relative quiet of the area. Here, I want to share with you some photos I’ve taken in a couple of graveyards in Helsinki – areas created by, but not ruled by, people.
I’d love to hear your comments!