Help me to turn the amazing story of the first Finnish settlers in Penedo/Brazil into a play, a poetry collection and an art exhibition. Help to celebrate the bravery of the people in this utopia that changed lives and created a new place in the new world.
Visionary Toivo Uuskallio, his wife Liisa, Frans Fagerlund, Enok Nyberg, and Eino Kajander arrived in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 1927. Soon after, they settled in a German boarding house in the city’s center and enrolled a local school that taught Portuguese as a second language. Within months of their arrival, armed with a very basic vocabulary, they took a 82 mile train ride to the town of Barra Mansa where they find work at a farm named “Três Poços” (Three Wells).
Toivo Uuskallio had left Finland with a mission: to find a perfect place for a religious, vegetarian and alcohol-free community where life could be spent in harmony with nature without the burden of a money-driven society blinded by consumerism, and drenched in the blood of war. (The story of Penedo, Brazil’s only Finnish community, by Jonny Kahleyn Dieb)
Video by Pedro Vieira Ramos de Assis
is the name of a project, research based and investigation, aim to become a Poetry collection, a Theatre play and an Art exhibition. Firstly written in Portuguese, and translated to Finnish and English when concluded by the author and a Finnish translator.
The play will recount the story of Finnish migrants that settled in Penedo, in the county of Rio, Brazil in 1929. Their saga and the creation of an alternative community in the far south. Characters will be inspired in real people involved in the adventure. Historical facts will be narrated, social phenomena and human response to circumstances showed. Interviews with locals in Penedo will be carried out to portrait the reality of nowadays e past remembering’s. Testimonies and memories will be audio-visually recorded from the descendants of the settlers, in Finland and in Brazil. Personal contact with the target places and their inhabitants will show as empathetic reporting, which portraits the hopes, disappointments and sense of humour. A revival of connections, history, love, utopia and human adventure will be revealed to an audience through entertainment, Art, Poetry and Document Theatre. Also through paintings and pictures inspired during the trips in Penedo’s abundants forests, montains and waterfalls.
The idea is to pay tribute to those brave migrants, utopians and counter-culture people, particularly Finnish people that left their home looking for a better world or eager to create it. A leisurely cultural way to chronicle the life of the settlers and local people.
The historical facts and situations during the settlement in Penedo should find an echo in the contemporary world. Creating a bridge between past and present human struggles, people from different cultures confronting and adapting to each other’s culture, language and regions.
In addition, the project aim to rescue the view of nature as a place that restore and aliment human, physical and soul needs. An evidence in the importance of ecology and respect for our planet. Thought, an endless life, utopia should be considered as a movement that never falls as it renews itself accord to the present time.
Nevertheless, none wanted to trade permanently the benefits of modern life for the charms of existence in rude nature. FINNISH UTOPIA, will describes the long way that, sometimes, people have to undertake to achieve their goals, to realize their dreams, as a person and as a community. Conflicts, frustration, patience and wisdom will create a patchwork of situations and scenes that shows the saga of idealist Finnish migrants in South America. Almost hundred years of the recent history of a model of counter-culture, an example of alternative living and the creation of a new village in the new world.
Finnish people created a wonderful city in the paradise. Through ups and downs, as history, a hint of blondness, blue eyes, Finnish names and words, architecture, art craft, music, dance, food and saunas were mixed with samba, bossa nova, carnival, football, colourful fruits and many other expressions of culture, locals nature and people.
All sponsors (above 30 euros) will have a special thanks page edited his/her names in the Poetry and Play books.
20 euros Finnish Utopia/Penedo BR – T-shirt
30 euros The Poetry book
50 euros The Poetry book and The Book of the Play
80 euros The Poetry book , The Book of the Play and a pair of tickets for the launch party in Rio and Helsinki, in 2015
100 euros A small collage or signed photography inspired by Finland and Brazil + a pair of tickets
500 euros A medium painting/collage inspired by the settlers journeys + a pair of tickets + The Poetry book + The book of the Play + pair of T-shirts
1.000 euros The Poetry book, The Book of the Play, a pair of tickets and a painting/collage 100 x 100 cm
3.000 euros 10 Poetry books, 10 book of the Play , 20 pair of tickets, 20 T-shirts and 3 Artworks 100 x100 cm