All content © Acheulian 2016
UNMASKED is an alchemical attempt to boil down cultural and historical crosscurrents of magic and myth, history and violence to disclose something of contemporary experience through the ancient mythical structures of the Kalevala.
Instrumental in forging a Finnish national identity, the Kalevala is an epic, written by collector Elias Lönnrot, and taken from the 10,000 year-old oral tradition of the rune-singers of Karelia. Their culture, the poetry that preserves it, and the landscape that birthed it, are under threat.
UNMASKED was developed during a Kone Foundation Saari Fellowship in Finland in 2015. It is based on research conducted in Finnish Karelia with archivists, activists, cultural tradition keepers and rune singers. It was highly commended by the judges of the Deptford X 2015 Festival and selected for the Camden People's Theatre Being European Festival 2016.
We are grateful to the Finnish Literature Society, Snowchange Cooperative, Juminkeko Foundation, Jussi Huovinen, Dalva Lamminmäki, and the Finnish Church in London for their support, and for sharing their extraordinary landscape, culture, stories and lives with us.
Can truth be recorded? An archivist digs into the archives to investigate.Contemporary and ancient prisoners, mystics and storytellers arrive to testify.
But are they telling the truth? Or do their stories represent another type of myth? Who is recording?