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Travelling through the Finish part of Lapland: From late September to late January, Daniel Fort embarked on a journey to the far North of Finland in his VW bus. When the temperature plummeted, he found shelter in the homes of a variety of hosts. His photographic diary describes his encounters, both with nature and with those living in this remote region.
Kilpisjärvi, 30 September

I meet Jouko on the banks of the Kilpisjärvi. He invites me to come out on the lake and cast his nets into the water. In places, the mountains still have a faint red hue. The bushes and small trees haven't yet shed all of their leaves. But the time of the Ruska, the intense autumn colours of the northern latitudes, is over. Winter is approaching. Even now, in September, the first snow will fall. For most of the summer, Jouko lives in his house on the banks of the Kilpisjärvi. In winter, he spends much time in the South of Finland where his wife works. Jouko himself is already retired.
Inari, 5 October

A little way off the Inari main road, I parked the VW bus in a small fir woodland right by the largest lake of Finish Lapland, the Inarijärvi. Nobody seems to mind me being there. I stroll through the village. The roads, squares, fields and footbridges are partly covered with a thin layer of snow – the remainders of the first big snowfall of the season.
Kätkäsuvanto, 10 December

Minus 25 degrees. We set out to check on Hanna’s nets in Kätkäjärvi, gliding through the silent, snow-covered woods on wooden skis. The snow is heavy, our progress is slow. After around twenty minutes we reach the lake. It's around one o’clock. Hanna immediately starts to hack through the ice that has formed over the holes. It’s already starting to get dark again. I quickly take a few last pictures, burning my fingers on the ice-cold camera body. I hurriedly put my thick gloves back on and go to help Hanna pull the nets out of the holes. Some pike have got caught in them. The wet fish instantly freeze in the ice-cold air.
Kätkäsuvanto, 10 December

The lake where Hanna sets her fishing nets is not far from the disused school building she inhabits with two others. Hanna lives in the former gymnasium, which also houses her studio.
Kätkäsuvanto, 11 December

Hanna and I are walking through a clear night. The full moon shows us the first snow-covered woodlands. The trees throw rigid shadows. The temperature has fallen to minus thirty now. The snow squeaks under our boots. Suddenly a brightly lit, red-painted wooden house becomes visible through the trees. This is where we're headed for the evening. Inside, Hanna sits down at the piano and begins to play. After a while, Jaakko, a huge, bearded man, starts to sing Schubert in a deep bass voice. His wife and daughter are baking biscuits in the old wooden range. I feel comfortable and safe.

Daniel Fort

Born in Munich. Studied Photography and Media at Bielefeld University and the Yrkeshögskolan Novia in Finland. Works as a freelance photographer since his graduation in 2012. As a photographer, he is predominantly drawn to exploring natural spaces and the relationship between man and nature. Right now he is working on a long term project on the European Green Belt.

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