Sointula: Place of Harmony
Sointula is a remote village on Malcolm Island (the historic and present territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation) in British Columbia, Canada. Sointula ("Place of Harmony" in Finnish) was established by Finnish utopian socialist miners in 1901. In 2017 I started making portraits with people on the island during a residency at the Sointula Art Shed. The intention of the work is a nuanced and partial portrait of Sointula that captures something of its history, complexity, beauty, and uniqueness through portraits of its residents, landscapes, and architecture. I am intrigued by Sointula’s origins as an intentional, self-governing, self-directed settlement, and the ways in which this remote island community expresses the resilience of its original values in a changing world. A small excerpt of photos from this ongoing project are shown here.