At this critical time, with issues of global health and environmental impact at the forefront, MAP6’s Finland: The Happiness Project explores themes around the United Nations’ World Happiness Report, which in 2020 ranked Finland as the most content nation for the third year running.
Although Finland is affluent, the United Nations says it’s not money alone that makes a country happy but six key factors: personal income, social support, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and levels of corruption. Finland scores well on all of these but particularly so on generosity; the nation’s social safety net combined with personal freedom and a good work–life balance gives it the edge. With this in mind, MAP6 visited Finland to try to understand why its people are so happy. The resulting nine projects with diverse viewpoints come together as a collective whole that questions and presents ideas about how we can live healthier, happier and more positive lives:
Finland’s sustainable timber industry
sauna as a key aspect of Finnish well-being
how personal comfort zones relate to social codes and behaviour
the link between landscape and national identity
nature reflected in culture, design and organic architecture
how architecture can promote healthy living
the sea as a place at which to heal
walking as a way of reflecting upon self and society
a study of a town ranked as the most satisfied in Finland.
Finland: The Happiness Project will be exhibited for the first time at Colonnade House in Worthing. The exhibition will take on an experimental form, incorporating a variety of ways of presenting photography, and we invite you to the exhibition opening on the 29th September 2020.
The exhibition features;
Richard Chivers, Heather Shuker, Raoul Ries, Chloe Lelliott, Rich Cutler, David Sterry, Mitch Karunaratne, Paul Walsh and Barry Falk.
About the collective
The MAP6 photography collective is a group of 9 photographers working together to learn, experiment and make new work about the complex relationship between people and place. Annually, the group travel to a place new to everyone, and over the course of a week, the group work to form a collective, photographic impression of that place through its landscape and people. Each project eventually takes the form of a curated exhibition, series of talks or group publication. Each photographers approach is informed by a need to document and try to understand the complicated nuances that give a specific place its own unique characteristics, and how these characteristics reflect and inform what is happening in the wider world. The primary focus, during each project phase, is the collaborative process that is at the heart of the group. That takes many forms – from working collaboratively in the process of picture making to editing and directing each other’s work.
MAP6 have also worked with guest photographers and speakers at previous events, and continue to welcome new members. For the past 8 years the group have experimented with, and deepened their understanding of, what artistic collaboration looks like for them as individuals and the group as a whole. MAP6 have been exhibiting the outcomes of these collaborative ventures throughout the UK and abroad since 2012, most recently at Milton Keynes Art Gallery, the Vilnius Photographers Gallery and the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton. MAP6 also support the development of student or emerging photographers through having open calls, features on the website and social media channels, Instagram takeovers and workshops.
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