FISHSHOT is a documentary project about loneliness, emotional isolation, and sentimental repression in Finnish society.
These problems go further when the people start drinking to fight against them. The excessive consumption of alcohol is present in more than half cases of suicide, homicide and gender violence.
A problem rooted in Finnish society that causes, directly or indirectly, a huge number of deaths among the population. The consequences hurt a country well known for its high-quality life, surrounded by idyllic landscapes, cold and darkness.
I visited Finland for first time in the summer 2012. I had met a Finnish filmmaker in Barcelona a couple of months earlier and I was fascinated by all the new information about his homeland that I got through our many conversations full of silences. Finland is not “the best country in the world”, as the other countries around the world have said in the last years. They have many things to be proud of, but at the same time Finnish people suffer the consequences of many problems that nobody is actually talking about. Silences are a part of the Suomi grammar.
This project shows the hardest and least known Finland’s reality. A country that stands for quality of life but at the same time hides high rates of suicide, homicide and violence. The excessive consumption of alcohol is present in more than half of the mentioned cases.
Alcohol consumption is an habit. A deeply rooted habit in their society and it is very difficult to change. Some affected people know this, but they don’t care. Everybody drinks a lot and the kinds of alcohols are usually hard liquors and beer. Finnish people should be able to talk openly about this, but currently they can’t. Some associations are working hard to help the families to revert this situation, trying to find the causes.
I visited Finland several times in the last three years, and at the beginning this was a project that talks about excessive alcohol consumption, but the real subject I wanted to show is what causes it: loneliness, miscommunication and a concept I learned for the first time in Finland: pärjäämisen eetos – which translates as “the ability to deal with problems alone.” It is actually the only language in the world that has a two-word sentence for this.
About Javier Corso
Javier Corso (1989) is a photographer, founder and director at OAK stories.His photographic work originates from the need to communicate about aspects of the human condition through means of local, smaller-scale stories.
When choosing his projects he looks away from the big event and sets his eye on that side of reality that is often overlooked. Sometimes these stories are close to home, other times he sets out to far-away countries.
However, his way of narrating is always similar and true to his convictions. Corso researches his topics carefully in advance and becomes deeply involved with his subjects and their surroundings once he’s on location. When photographing, he is not afraid to choose a direct approach that generates a first-person experience for the viewers. Javier likes to works fast but discrete, never putting his subject in undesired situations while at the same time not letting fleeting but precious and necessary scenes escape from his sight.
Corso began working as a documentary photographer in 2011, publishing in media like TIME Lightbox, GEO magazine, VICE, PAPEL (El Mundo), El País, 7K magazine or Revista 5W. Among the cultural centers that have hosted and exhibited his projects, the following stand out; The Cervantes Institute in New York, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the International PHOTON Festival.
His documentary work has been recognized by the International PHOTON Festival (winner grant), Px3 – Prix de la Photographie Paris (bronze medal), Moscow International Foto Awards (third place) International Photography Awards (honorable mentions) and as a finalist of the World Reporter Award / European Photographer, among others. [Official Website] [OAK Stories]