The Inland Sea


Two personal stories related to parenthood and fear of loss of ones child at the sea, both based on real events. The first one describes an incident where the daughter of a Finnish woman nearly drowned on a holiday trip to a beach, the latter is based on the memories of a kurdish refugee who escaped war and ISIS attacks in her home country Iraq and ended up in a smuggler boat with her husband and young child. The work has been realised both as a two-channel installation where stories are side by side and as a short film where the two stories follow one another.

Credit list

Written and directed by: Marja Viitahuhta

Cinematogrpahy: Sini Liimatainen and Marja Viitahuhta

Cast: Noora Dadu, Zrian Hussein

Editor: Ville Vainio

Sound: Tuukka Haapakorpi

Funding: Alfred Kordelin Foundation,  TAIKE, Finnish Cultural Foundation

Watch a preview on AV-arkki

Bremer’s nightmare

Bremer’s nightmare, installation visualization


Robert Bremer (1777-1844) was a Finnish miner, factory owner, alchemist and astronomer who predicted a deluge that would flood over the city of Turku in 1827. He had boats attached underneath the windows of his family members in case the water would start rising some night. However, since the deluge never came, he built a church in the village of Teijo to thank his God for being only an errant human being. In “Bremer’s nightmare” there is an old wooden child’s bed tilted in a corner of a dark room. There is a video of blurry white waves of black sea water projected onto the bed and a saxophone sound that resembles a foghorn, coming from beneath or within the bed.

Credit list

Directed, written, filmed and edited by: Marja Viitahuhta

Music: Taneli Viitahuhta


Predictions is a series of 10 monologues depicting visions of the future spoken out as personal predictions by young performers. The layout is plain: speech, nothing more. Each monologue unfolds as an image described in relation to the narrator’s experience of the situation depicted. The monologues combine fiction with personal narrations and speculations of the impact of climate change. They take in account how climate change will result, in addition to extreme natural phenomena, as new political challenges, renewal of food production or struggles in sharing resources in an ethical way.

Credit list:
Written and directed by: Marja Viitahuhta
Cinematography: Pasi Rauhala and Marja Viitahuhta
Edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Subtitles: Ville Vainio
Sound mix: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Production fund: Alfred Kordelin foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Cast: Mette Järveläinen, Bella Meer, Iiris Laisi, Diego Salvador, Sebastian Sarviala

Predictions 01
#racism #education #parenting

Predictions, 02
#dystopies #mortality #heritage #uncertainty

Predictions, 03
#violence #policebrutality #activism #conflicts #politics #society #demonstrations #recources #family #healthcare #workingconditions #empathy

Predictions, 04
#naturalcatastrophy #tsunami #nature #oceans #survival

Predictions, 05
#architectureinfuture #totalitarianism #society #dystopia #bigbrother #artificiality #a.i. #overpopulation

 Predictions, 06
#advertising #robotics #fashion #consumerims #materialism #nonpaidworks

Predictions, 07
#unemployment #wealthdivision #precariousness #stealing #illegality

Predictions, 08
#research #extinction #glaciers

Predictions, 09
#gender #internationality #globalpolitics #environmentstudies #specialists #loss #lobbying

Predictions, 10
#ecosystems #documentation #wildlife #monsoon #extinction #oceancurrents #catastrophies #adapatation



  1. Live performance with piano improvisation and video loop, dur: 2 h, 2001 – 2002
  2. One-channel video work, duration 3’25”, 2016

About the work

Hyrrä (= Spinning top) is originally a performance with piano improvisation based on a circular pattern, duration 2 hours, accompanied by a video loop of spinning landscapes. The piece has been performed in several locations 2001 – 2002.

Camera, edit and music by Marja Viitahuhta © 2016

Thank you:
Tuomo Truhponen
Peter Evans
Aapo Korkeaoja / Koneisto Festival
OX1 Sound Art Festival, Oxford
Christopher Hewitt / Crossing Borders in Performing Arts /
Turku Polytechnic Arts Academy
Taneli Viitahuhta and Juuso Paaso / Potlatch
Christian Pallin / Distro / Lava, Kulturhuset

Garden of Death

Short film, duration: 20′, 2013

Garden of death, film caption


An eight year old girl spends a day at the cemetary, taking care of the “Garden of Death”. The film combines the methods and aesthetics of a documentary film with a fictional, dreamlike vision of a child working as a gardener at the cemetary, dealing with the issue of mortality. The cinematography of the film makes references to landscape painting, yet it is based on observing the work carried out within this scenery.

Credit list:

Directing & script: Marja Viitahuhta
Cast: Dunja Saiyar and the employees of the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki
Cinematography: Marko Luukkonen
Editing: Azar Saiyar and Marja Viitahuhta
Sound Design: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Production supported by: AVEK (Elena Näsänen), TAIKE Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Kone Foundation

Garden of death @ Av-Arkki:

Garden of Death @ Vimeo

First there is nothing

  • Installation, single channel video installation, three channel sound, loop duration 7 min, 2013
  • Single channel video,  duration 3 min, 2016

A one-shot image of a blizzard: snowflakes and wind. The image is simultaneously a still shot and full of movement. Accompanied with a voice-over text on how things are born.

Credit list:
Directing, script, cinematography, edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Sound: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Voice-over: Marja Viitahuhta
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Support: TAIKE Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Kone Foundation

I don’t remember this

Short film, duration: 11’20”, 2012



A work about filling in the missing bits of memory with fiction. A silent work about absence and loss. A work shot at an inherited family house: a place to which the author is linked to via personal, imagined memories.


Credit list:

Directing, script, cinematography, edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Actor: Alpo Aartola
Assistant: Taneli Viitahuhta
Producer: Marja Viitahuhta
Production fund: AVEK
Thank you: Joonas Kiviharju, Tanja Tiekso and Taneli Viitahuhta



Stoneforest / Letter to my father

1) 5 -channel video installation, mute, each loop duration 1 – 2 min, 8 mm film to HD-video (2006)

2) audio text, duration 20 min /  a handout text (2006)


About the work

This installation consists of two individual works exhibited simultaneously. The works are an audio text entitled A letter to my Father  and a 5 -channel video installation Stoneforest. The text has also available as handouts in the exhibition venues.

Download a shortened version of the text here (pdf-file): A letter to my father audio text


stoneforest in stuttgartStoneforest and A letter to my father, exhibited at Stuttgarter Filmwinter, 2008


Both of the works are combining the concept of loss with playfulness, mystery and fantasy of childhood experiences. They are personal in their tone, yet keeping parts of their content vague and dreamy. The text in A letter to my father is dedicated to my father, who died when I was a newborn baby. It describes events from my childhood including my father’s death and its aftermath – in other words things beyond the reach of my actual memory.

With the film material I am approaching the recollection of an atmosphere that is formed around the experience of absence, a state of mind that also can function as a platform, a point of beginning. When planning the imagery I was memorizing this certain mood, familiar to me from my early childhood, when days were long, the light was bright and contrasts sharp, and the direction of my life was yet ambiguous. Passing scenes from the city, fields and wastelands have been recorded on the film. Summer parties with faces of people not quite recognizable, shadows, rocks, cracks on city walls. Some of the imagery has a nostalgic tone, emphasized by the usage and the quality of 8mm film. However, the imagery in its vagueness also indicates that the memories are out of reach or indistinct – just as the textual material in the audio text does.


5 kuvaa havainne pienempiStoneforest, panorama view


The work has been divided onto five channels running with slightly different loop lengths. This generates a panorama view with a constantly changing landscape stretched on five monitors.

Another aspect of the film material in Stoneforest is that I perform in it as two similar looking characters, the fictional identical twins depicted also in the photograph A&B. This is a reference to A letter to my father where I describe: I play with my imaginative friend, my look-alike. She is just like me. We never speak, we don’t need to. She knows what I think. In fact many of the images and the actions of these fictional characters refer to the text and thus link the works together.


Stoneforest and A letter to my father – Excerpt


Cinematography: Marja Viitahuhta and Taneli Viitahuhta
Written, directed, edited, produced and acted by Marja Viitahuhta



Short film, duration 8’20”, 2006




Rondo is an experimental short film shot on 8mm film that contains no dialogue and is based on a circular structure. The film attempts to describe a state of mind of a person in between events, experiencing change. The actions of the performers reveal very little of their personality, and the plot is rather a reference to the basic epic plot structure than a narrative. The music of the film plays an important role, approaching the content of the film hand in hand with the cinematography.

Rondo was part of my graduation work for the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. It was first exhibited as a video installation. The film has then been screened world-widely in numerous film festivals, including Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation in 2007.


Credit list:

Directing & Script: Marja Viitahuhta (former Mikkonen)
Cinematography: Sini Liimatainen
Actors: Jaana Pirskanen and Hermanni Yli-Tepsa
Edit: Hannele Majaniemi
Sound design: Sakari Luhtala
Scenography: Tuomo Truhponen
Music: Taneli Viitahuhta (former Tuominen), Hermanni Yli-Tepsa and Robin Ellis
Production: Marja Viitahuhta / Finnish Academy of Fine Arts
Production fund: AVEK
Distribution support: Finnish Film Foundation SES




99 Years of My Life

Short film, duration: 33 min, 2003




One fictional biography depicted from birth to death, based on the lives and memories of four women of different age. Each year in the film is reduced to three sentences, a list that runs from 0 to 99. This narration is illustrated via a collection of cinematographic styles and media: archive footage, home video, still photography, animation, film noir-styled scenes, and performance documentation.

The film has been awarded with the shared silver prize in Cannes Film Festival 2004 in Category “Cinéfondation”, “The Best Experimental Film” in Mediawave Film Festival 2004, “The Audience Award” in L’Alternativa Film Festival 2004 and the “Teamword Prize” in Stuttgarter Filmwinter 2004. It is also part of the collections of MoMA and Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art.


Credit list:

Directing & script: Marja Viitahuhta (former Marja Mikkonen)
Cinematography: Sini Liimatainen
Editing: Azar Saiyar
Sound Design: Jussi Vuola
Animation: Veera Luhtala, Sakari Luhtala
Lights: Sakari Luhtala, Vitalius KiselijusMusic: Antti Tolvi, Marja Viitahuhta, Jussi Vuola
Actors: numerous (incl. Marja Viitahuhta, Martti Aartola, Annika Dahlsten, Maija Hirvanen, Pia Kalenius, Essi Kausalainen, Joonas Kiviharju, Aapo Korkeaoja, Sini Liimatainen, Sakari Luhtala, Hanna Oksanen, Ronja Oksanen, Santos Parrilla, Sofia Parrilla, Suvi Parrilla, Anja Saiyar, Azar Saiyar, Irma Truhponen, Teuvo Truhponen, Tuomo Truhponen, Lahja Tuominen, Vilho Tuominen, Taneli Viitahuhta, Lars Wingård, Topi Äikäs)
Production: Marja Viitahuhta and Sini Liimatainen / Turku Polytechnic Arts Academy
Distribution support: Finnish Film Foundation SES