Filming a different side

We are currently producing a film about Middle Easterners living in Finland. We would love to hear about you, your story, your experiences. We want to highlight a different side of immigration, to go against the stereotypes and negative discourses that spread through societies.

We are gathering the experiences and life stories of individuals of different ages, genders and horizons who were born in Finland but with roots in the Middle East or who arrived as children, teenagers or adults. What is it like to move from the Middle East to Finland? What does Finnish society look like, what does it feel like? What is it like to grow up in Finland with a multicultural background? We are trying to understand the experience of being part of different societies at the same time, of creating and maintaining ties with people here and there, and navigating between different atmospheres, different languages, different ways of life.

Heritage of the Middle East

One of the objectives of our wider project is to shed light on the rich historical past of the Middle East, by 3D scanning objects from different time periods and making these available to the wider public. We are very interested in knowing how Middle Easterners themselves perceive their historical past and cultural heritage. Is there a specific part of the history that is important to you, a period, a series of events? Which traditions and celebrations are close to your heart?

We are filming and learning from different people in order to reconstitute the rich diversity of sensibilities and experiences, the diversity of ways of living the present and the equally diverse ways of relating to the past. Because every person is unique, the topics of the interviews are also individualised, and talked through beforehand.

Interested in participating?

We would love to get to know you and learn about your story, explore your view of the world. If you are interested in participating in the project, you can reach us here and/or Feel free to circulate this information to anybody you know who might be interested.

The Documentary team

My name is Caroline Wallis and I am directing the documentary. I grew up in France in an English-speaking family with roots in England, New Zealand, Ireland and Denmark. As a child I often wondered about the differences between my family and my friends’ family. I decided to study anthropology and learn about the diversity of human societies and ways of seeing the world. My main drive is to discover biographies and life-stories, to explore subjectivities, how they are formed and how they change. I have been living in Finland for over three years now and am the mother of three children.

My name is Rose-Marie Kivijärvi and I am a technical assistant for the documentary. My professional background is in documentary film and education. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths College in London in 2010 and my films have been shown in various festivals and tv channels. Perhaps due to my Finnish-Iranian background, issues of inclusivity have always been close to my heart. I was born in Iran, lived in Singapore and went to school in Finland, before leaving to study and work abroad, in the UK, Uganda, Iran, and back in Finland.