Things which Make me Happy…

Things which Make me Happy…

Click image to enter multi­media. (Published with permission)

The repulsive dog-vomit published by HS last week really bothered me (ref. to my previous post), then some personal hate-mail, the death of a someone dear to me… Put it this way: I’ve had better weeks than the previous one. I really have.

So I thought: I want to share and write something positive. Show that life is not only gloomy and dark — but that there are other things; things happening which really make me happy — and somehow make it easier to stand all the shit which sometimes gets poured over you. Small things, but perso­nally very important. People who care and who make a diffe­rence. I’d like to mention two of them here — a sort of “thank you” and giving credit where it is due.

I always complain that there is no multi­media worth mentioning published in this country. And then just by coinci­dence, I come across this one. The piece is called A Decision — a small, simple linear story describing the difficulty of choosing between a life or an abortion. Done brilliantly by Lotta-Liina Salonen in the University of Tampere.

Unfor­tu­nately this version is in Finnish only, but let me translate to you the intro­duction, so you get the feel of it.

Making a decision is a journey — a travel from a beginning to an end or back to the beginning. A decision is not static stand-still, but a movement along an axis of yes, maybe or no. It’s going round in circles, pulling back and forth, running here and there. It can be an uncer­tainty which tears you apart- you go round and round when all the options scare you.

This is a story of one difficult decision. It begins with a positive pregnancy test and ends with an abortion.”

I had the honor of teaching Lotta-Liina two years ago. She is one of the brightest and most focused minds I have ever had the pleasure of teaching — and I learned a lot myself during our brief encounter. I publish her work here in this blog with her permission.

Although I perso­nally had nothing to do with this particular piece I also sense a small pinch of pride: this is my student, maybe there is a hint of something I managed to teach her , trans­ferred into the creation of this poignant story. As I said, she really focuses in what she does and I can only admire her beautiful visual narrative.

Yes, there are things which I might have done a bit diffe­rently (see, the teacher in me never sleeps.… ;-) ), but they are totally irrelevant, minor things and I have no reason to talk about them here. I only mention this as to say that I make no claim as this to be perfect — if anything ever is — but it’s about the best piece of multi­media I have ever seen done in this country. I got goose­bumps when I saw it for the first time — and I don’t know how many times I have seen it by now.

Congrats, Lottis, seriously. Proud of you.


Another “thank you” goes to Kristjan Jagomägi in Tallinn, Estonia. He sent me the image below couple of days ago — with a couple of lines of explanation:

Image and the model — 22 years after.
TÄNAN! Pildid jõudsidn kenasti kohale.
You have made many people happy and proud. Especially, some of us. Again.
Thank you. It is an honour.
This merry Estonian bloke on the picture attached, is a friend and a famous Estonian artist and a public figure JAAK VISNAP
He is the founder and a leader of Estonian Litographic Centre, married (to an another famous artist), father of two girls.
I took this picture yesterday, on his 36th birthday occasion (12.09.2011) in Tallinn, Pärnu mnt 154. 
JAAK is holding his portrait taken 20 yrs ago by a famous Finnish photo­grapher KARI KUUKKA at revolu­tionary Rock Summer 88.
Mr Visnap received the mounted print as a bithday gift from his friends.
J. Visnap attended the Rock Summer 88 while he was 13, and he remembers the moment when the photo was taken. He was there with his elder brothers.
( Author’s name and copyright string included.)
Wish you all the very best.
Briefly, the story behind: Kristjans wife Viire was in that legendary Rock Summer 1988 concert I have been talking about so much lately. She was one of the young girls by the fence I took pictures of twenty-two years ago. Couple of years ago she looked me up in Facebook… and some weeks ago I met her and Kristjan in the premiere of the “Eesti Vabaks” ‑documentary.(She was also inter­viewed briefly for the documentary film just as I was).
Viire in 1988
Anyway, she gave me a call and asked if there was any possi­bility of getting that image for the then 13 years old, now 36 Jaak Visnap to honor his birthday. I emailed it naturally immediately and Kristjan did the printing.
I don’t know why I am so moved by this. I guess it’s the pride and happiness I can see on the smiling face of mr. Visnap when he is holding his portrait, taken 22 years earlier. It’s also the fact that Kristjan immediately sent me this image — with a genuine, very personal thank you ‑note. So often people ask for images and when they get them… nothing, nada, silence…
It’s also very rewarding to see photo­graphy somehow reaching over time and borders, causing genuine joy to people you’ve never met — well, met only briefly, 22 years ago.
Don’t really know… but it made me very happy.
And it’s my turn to say “thank you”.

2 Replies to “Things which Make me Happy…”

  1. This would normally be the moment where I would say something pithy and dry to make a little fun of you.
    I’ve got nothing.
    Great pieces.
    Enjoy a little reflection.
    I’ll get you on the next one.

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