Being Increasingly

Being, increasingly is a Gesamtkunstverk centered around a 3-channel video installation that combines video with spatial and optical elements. It is an experimental, painterly film portrait of the researcher Hilma Granqvist and the time she spent in two societies before the second world war: Finland and Palestine.

The ethnologist and anthropologist Hilma Granqvist (1890–1972) made field studies of the life in the Palestinian village of Artas in the West Bank between 1925 and 1931. She investigated customs and traditions using what was, for its time, an innovative ethnological method: participatory observation in just one particular village. Her research was subjected to harsh criticism by her Finnish academic contemporaries. Despite international recognition she was forced to work alone without support or encouragement. Perhaps for precisely that reason the acceptance, generosity and sense of community that she encountered in the village of Artas were especially important for Granqvist’s research.

Being, increasingly seeks to interpret Hilma Granqvist’s experience of these two cultures, which in different ways came to be her home. The interpretation is based on Granqvist’s own writings, and on what was written about her. The project first and foremost evokes a sense of belonging that is independent of notions of nationalism. Through Granqvist, Långström is able to pose interesting questions about belonging and outsiderness, along with the creation of nations’ identities.

Together, the artworks transform the exhibition space into a shimmering timeline where fragments of an existence flicker before the viewer’s eyes. The film revisits people and places that still exist today in the locations in Finland and Palestine where Hilma Granqvist lived and worked. It give voice to her texts, letters and notes. In addition to the 3-channel video installation, the Gesamtkunstverk also includes interviews with scholars from Palestine and Finland who have researched Hilma Granqvist, a 3 channel I-pad installation, as well as a series of original photographs of Granqvist. Live performances have also been developed for the piece, and were performed at the first opening of the piece.

The piece shown in an exhibition in Pro Artibus’ Gallery Elverket, Tammisaari, November 24th 2017- January14th, 2018, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. The exhibition was curated by Aura Seikkula.

Video still.



Director, editing, image post production: Minna Långström
Camera : Nuutti Koskinen, Minna Långström
Actor: Kajsa Ek
Finnish Arabic translation: Aino Vesanen


Fadi Sanad, The Sanad family, Artas Folklore Center, Jahia Ismael, Osama Alaysa, Sofia Häggman, Aino Vesanen, Dan Koski, Leyla Zuaiter, Ulrika & Kurt Sandqvist, Nils Gunnar Granqvist, Ruth Illman, Donnerska Institutet, Åbo Akademi archives, Anu Leinonen, The Finnish Institute in the Middle East, FIME, Katja Sågbom, Umayya Abu-Hanna, Vuokko Ahtila, Peter Lodenius, Pekka Lindqvist, Tommi Keränen, Pro Artibus & Galleri Elverket

The production was funded by AVEK / Tuuli Penttinen-Lampisuo, Svenska kulturfonden, Suomen Kulttuurirahasto and The Finnish Institute in the Middle East.

Photos of Being Increasingly