Aimo Hyvärinen

I spent a year taking pictures of a family struggling with unemployment. Ykä, a divorced father of two, lives in Sastamala, a small town in the Finnish countryside.  He’s a carpenter and an all-around artist; a fluent executor of a variety of short-term jobs.

The purpose of my project is to reveal the essence of unemployment and unveil the direct experiences of the unemployed through photographs and videos. The national economy is serving the monetary system instead of the government. In the future, due to the effects of digitalization, globalization, automatization and monetarism, we will have to face growing unemployment.

I wanted to study the emotional impact of unemployment: the instability, the lack of personal freedom, and everyday economic struggle that follows. I am also contemplating on the return of the class society — are we facing a new class of paupers? Does our economy need cheap labor, and from where does it originate? What about the pay subsidies for the unemployed? Are these processes only taking the jobs away from the employed – are they only contributing to the economic troubles of the unemployed?