22 october 2015


Jacopo Brancati, a maritime photographer

Suomenlinna, (Finnish Fortress), is built on six islands, all connected by bridges,  and it is the number one tourism attraction, loved by the locals too. Suomenlinna is located in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.



Photo Jacopo Brancati ©2015

It can be easily reached in 15 minutes, by ferry, which leaves from the Market Square. The original Finnish name is Viapori, nowadays is part of UNESCO. Suomenlinna was built under the Swedish Government to protect the country from the Russians. Later, fell under the Russian rule. When Finland became indipendent, the island was renamed Suomenlinna.

Helsinki has incorporated the sea in people´s everyday life, since centuries. Still nowadays, people in Helsinki loves and respects everything that involves sea life. From the Baltic Herrings market, held every October of the year, to the biggest wooden boat event in Europe, called Viaporin Tuoppi Regatta (which starts from Suomenlinna).

Viapori (Viapori Telakka in Finnish language), is a suggestive shipyard, where sailmakers used to build since the 1750s, and it can hold up to 12 boats. Nowadays, it is held the maintenance of wooden vessels, like an antique shop!

Jacopo Brancati tell us, through his photographs in his  exhibition in Suomenlinna museum (held from the 23d April 2014, extended until February 2016), what means for Finnish people to expoit this cultural heritage.

His mission, through the reportage, is to encourage the young generation to continue on their ancestors work and knowledge. All the beauty that has been preserved until now, has a lot to teach to many other “future´s” people.


Photo Gilles Perrière©

He was born in Italy,and lived between Paris, Genoa and Helsinki in 10 years, and still remembers how fascinating, Finland´s culture can be. In 20
02 Brancati devotes himself entirely to photography and in cooperation with various European maritime museums. He participates in several projects for the safeguard and enhancement of the maritime cultural heritage. He explores the world of ports and navigation, describing the everyday reality of maritime and harbour workers. From the coasts of Italy to those of Northern Europe; he focuses on their maritime traditions, and the restoration or reconstruction of historic ships.

Jacopo Brancati is also correspondent of the French magazine of maritime history and ethnology The Chasse-Marée and of the Italian magazine Arte Navale.

The Viapori Project started in 2011. It shows step by step the hard work in the dockyard, 365 days; when the ships enter the dockyard, for the winter season, the work goes on, even when the temperature is below the zero.

The feelings you can get from the photographs are a sense of friendship, shared passion, physical and mental strength, gratification and pride.

The sound installation frames and emphasizes all these feelings, with the music composed and performed by Arja Kastinen. Kantele player, she was the first folk musician to take the doctor of music examination in the artistic study programme at the Sibelius Academy. She released several albums, published two books on kantele history and playing techniques. She performs her music in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia…

Sonia Olcese, the exhibition curator, is a guide lecturer and interpreter. In 2004 she co-founded Infine Arts with Jac
opo Brancati.


Photo Andrea Lombardini ©

Togheter, they are part of Infine Arts, a project whom the intent is exploring the seafaring people activities and increasing the value of the European maritime cultural heritage.

In October 2016, Jacopo Brancati will be at the Merikeskus Vellamo, in Kotka.

The exhibition has an amazing story to tell, and reminds a little of “Baltic Souls”, another incredible journey…

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