Episode 1 – The Free River
The Free River tells the story of Kemijoki, Finland’s longest river that cuts across the country’s northern region. As the first hydroelectric power station was constructed on the river between 1945–1949, the damming of the river Kemi represented a death blow for a salmon-fishing culture that was centuries old, and changed forever the course and balance of this powerful thriving river and ecosystem. The story is grounded in the experiences of two sisters. A generation apart from each other, they both reflect on how the damming shaped their work and lives. In the episode, they journey through the land as they strive to understand the lasting suffering caused when the hydro dam was constructed across their family home and silenced their river.
The Free River is available in English and Finnish (separate audio tracks).
Land Body Ecologies team members recording sounds of the hydropower station that sits on the river Kemi, Finland, 2022. © Invisible Flock.
Land Body Ecologies podcast is produced by Invisible Flock, Chris Watson and Land Body Ecologies, as part of the Land Body Ecologies’ two-year residency at the Wellcome Hub.
Featured: Kaisa Kerätär, Outi Autti, Riku Paavola, Victoria Pratt, Sheila Ghelani, Risto Leinonen and Jaakko Heikkilä
Voice over: Sheila Ghelani and Victoria Pratt
Cover Design: Quicksand
Kaisa Kerätär (blue hat) and Outi Autti (to her left) alongside their other siblings overlooking the hydropower station constructed between 1967-72 in their home village of Vanttauskoski. © Photography possession of Outi Autti home archive.