Jokinen 2016

In 1931, the so-called Yokinen Trial, organized by the Communist Party of the USA in Harlem, New York, brought the Finnish immigrant August Jokinen to public attention. Jokinen, a janitor at the Finnish Worker’s Club, was accused of not defending three African-American communists who had been mistreated at one of the club’s dances. Following his admittance of guilt, Jokinen became an outspoken civil rights advocate until he was arrested for membership in the Communist Party and subsequently deported to Finland. Laura Horelli tells Jokinen’s migration tale as a mixture between historical research, detective story, and arts and crafts club. Arranging her archival findings – ranging from newspaper articles to books and historical photographs – on a physical desktop, she constructs a narrative by positioning, highlighting, cutting out, masking, and coloring. Her ‘analogue desktop-documentary’ follows August Jokinen’s public story all the way to the present, to a mailbox message on a Russian mobile phone.

Digital film, 45 min, 16:9, colour, sound

English, Finnish, Russian (English, Finnish or Russian subtitles available)

Installation: Projection screen 403 x 227 cm, loudspeakers, dark grey walls, carpet, four chairs

Narrators: Olad Aden, Artur Andreasjan, Peter Gilbert Cotton, Katri Kuusimäki, Leslie Malton, Pertti Rönkkö

Camera, lighting: Anne Misselwitz

Sound: Benjamin Kalisch, Lukas Lücke

Editing, dramaturgical advisor: Janina Herhoffer

Recording engineer, sound design: Jochen Jezussek

Colourist: Matilda Mester

English proofreading: Andrew Boreham

Finnish proofreading: Elina Mikkilä

Russian translation: Elena Loukianova, Maria Oshukova

Produced with the support of AVEK – The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture, Kone Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland

Installation photograph: Sinem Kayacan / Muu galleria, Helsinki

International Premiere: 67. Berlinale, Forum Expanded