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Broken Land

I have arrived here in a village on the Thai-Burmese border. I have two interpreters, one of them cannot speak English. I ask “Are you able you travel to the capital to say your opinion on the dam project that threatens to drown your village?”. Interpreters convey my question. The interviewee speaks a lot and fast with high pitch and moving hands, and the interpreter asks for more details from her. After a three-minute hectic conversation, one interpreter talks to another, who, after couple of other hectic minutes, replies to me: “No.”

In the Finnish-language Särjetty maa – Tarinoita etelästä ja pohjoisesta (Broken land – Stories from the South and the North), published in 2015, you can hear stories from Brazil, Colombia, Mozambique, Mali, Kenya, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Finland and Sámi land. The stories tell about encounters and e.g. on modern-time fates related to land issues. The editor of the book, poet J. K. Ihalainen, collected part of the stories during his trip to Asia in 2014.

Black and white book cover. In cover photo, old person's hand holds a bamboo basket.
Särjetty maa book cover (Photo: Calias, Layout: Riikka Majanen, Sammakko)
World map, where hand-written names of locations around the world.
Särjetty maa map of stories (Artwork: Emmi Jormalainen)