Monday, May 2, 2011

Ultimate River - Positive Terrorism

Aalto University Department of Environmental Art

Mustionjoki Natural River Restoration - Cultural River Restoration

Mustionjoki River runs in South-Finland from Lake Lohja to Pohjanpitäjänlahti Fjord in the Baltic Sea. It is 25 km long and today the river is closed by 4 hydroelectric power plants. In history the river used to be the most important salmon fishing river in South-Finland until 1950s when the river was finally closed by the Åminnefors dam, close to the river-mouth.

Mustionjoki River is running from the Lake Lohja to the Pohjanpitäjänlahti Fjord in the Baltic Sea. Illustration Aalto SGT 2010.

Besides salmon also whitefish, trout and eel belong to the original migrating species of the river. According to the Finnish Environmental Agency Mustionjoki is still the most important mussel river in Finland, but the mussels need salmon related fishes to reproduce. They have been waiting for more than 50 years now.

The original culture of the Mustionjoki River valley was build around the river. It powered the pre-industrial iron mills in Mustio and Billnäs and it gave fish. In those days mechanical power existed together with the natural river ecosystem – the so-called “Kings Channel” was reserved for the fishes to run, the river was never completely closed. After building up the Åminnefors dam and closing the river the migrating fishes seized to exist and the river lost its value in the heart of the culture of the river valley. People forgot the river.

Today is no more post-war 50s. Now it is time to forget the forgetting. The river must be back. Salmon must be back. Mussels must have sex.

Power Company FORTUM, who owns the hydroelectric power plants, is now studying the possibilities of building natural fish ways to pass its 4 dam areas. To make this happen we need to focus people’s minds on the river. This is where YOU come into picture.

We need positive terrorism. The cause is clear: natural river restoration and so: cultural river restoration. Environmental art works detonating the chain reaction for the river to come back in its full entity.

The course will offer the students basic accommodation and a rowing boat.

Mädäntynyt Kuha, George Lovett, 2002. "Kuulin mie mereltä itkun, Poikki joen juorotuksen."

Envionmental art MA -students

The course is located in Billnäs, south west of Finland

Marco Casagrande

Project Secretary
Inka Finell


Time: 10.-15.5.2011
- The workshop will start at the Karjaa railway station 10.5.2011 at around 10 am after the train from Helsinki arrives.

Place: Mustionjoki River valley / Billnäs

The students are required a capacity for independent environmental art work 1:1 scale in public space.

The students will be responsible in maintaining a high physical and mental condition during the intensive six day 24/7 workshop.

The historical Billnäs iron mill early industrial area by the Mustionjoki River. The workhsop will use Billnäs as the base camp. Illustration: Aalto SGT 2010

The Billnäs community will provide the students a place to sleep.

Be prepared:
• Warm clothes for outdoor working, rubber boots, rain gear
• Warm sleeping bag and sleeping madras
• Personal documentation material
• Paper, pens, paints…
• Favorite tools
• Food


We will be working in the river area between the Karjaa Church and the River Mouth. In-between will be the Billnäs historical industrial area and village, Åminnefors dam and Karjaa.

The students will react on the present day river reality and express their individual reactions through a 1:1 scale environmental art work. The students will take care of the materials used.

The works are due be ready by Sunday 15.5.2011.

Pay extra care for nature. No rubbish, no cutting of living branches. The artworks must be removed from nature by 20.00 on Sunday 15.5.

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