Mökki / \ Дача

2017

“And it has become incredibly important, also with regard to my roots and stuff. Just the other day I was thinking that I can’t wait to go there again, but what if the cottage burns down or something? Or if something else happens and it’s no longer there, what would I do?”

A Finnish mökki and Russian dacha usually refer to a seasonal holiday home in the countryside. Mökki / \ Дача is a Russian-Finnish collaborative project of Liisa Ahlfors and Anastasia Artemeva which explores the similarities and differences between holiday homes in these two countries and cultures.

The starting point for our collaboration were both personal and political. Our families did not have mökki or dacha when we were young, even though they are very common in both cultures. On the other hand, we have approached a phenomenon that has been discussed in the Finnish media in recent years, that of Russians buying land and holiday homes in lake areas that are considered a Finnish national landscape. With this project we wanted to examine the Finnish and Russian idea of  mökki or dacha as an institution that expresses the national identity and question it by giving a voice to individual experiences and views of mökki and dacha on both sides of border.

Using the material such as interviews, personal photographs, and stories collected from Finnish mökki people as well as Russian dachniks who have moved to Finland, we created an installation that served as a shared summer house in the middle of the city. Mökki / \ Дача is an attempt to create a space for cultural exchange with the aim of narrowing the gap between the two neighbouring countries, Finland and Russia.

Thank you: Olga & Sergei Aalto, Anna Davydova, Maija, Olga, Tarja & Jorma, Elena Tuomimäki, Sanni Sandqvist, Suvi, Taina Valkonen, Vilma, and an anonymous contributor.

For more information in Finnish and in Russian, please visit: https://mokkidatsa.wordpress.com