Laatikko/Box

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Laatikko/Box
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American Swedish Institute says
Laatikko/Box explores the emotional terrain we encounter when we step into unknown worlds. Musician Sara Pajunen combines the reading of Finnish-American archival material, recorded audio interviews with recent immigrants, live violin, voice, and electronics to create a poignant sound experience. Laatikko/Box is a search for commonalities: between distant immigrant stories and between the immigrant journey and our own journeys of change. Haven’t we all left one ‘home’ for another?

In 2014, Laatikko/Box was commissioned by the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Inspired by Pajunen’s research in the Finnish-American archives, Laatikko/Box is a work in stages that follows the personal and musical migration of the artist. Rather than an expected response to the archival material, Pajunen found the immigrant stories mimicked her personal journey of leaving a place of familiarity, a way of being. Immigration became a metaphor of transition into an unknown world: a quest for a new home. Initial versions of the work - see videos below - incorporated copies of archival material for participants to read. Laatikko/Box returned to the archival material's roots in a September 2014 tour of the Arrowhead Library System (northern Minnesota), and in winter 2015 a further tour of Minnesota is supported by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. The newest, upcoming version of the work returns to Pajunen’s own artistic roots: voice and music.

Sara Pajunen is a fiscal year 2015 recipient of an artists initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota state legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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By: American Swedish Institute

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