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Vuosirengas/Tree Ring (Finnland)

Film & animation Maria Björklund, poetry Katri Vala

Experimental (2012)





The unknown Katri Vala Park in Sörnäinen, Helsinki, is a meeting place for urban nature and poetry in this experimental animation documentary. The shootings were held in a park in Helsinki named after the poetess Katri Vala (1901-1944), who used to live nearby. The text consists of excerpts from several of her poems. There is also a Finnish version of the film.


Maria Björklund is an animation director, comic-strip artist and illustrator from Helsinki, specialising in both experimental films and the creation of cute characters. Björklund has participated in numerous exhibitions all over the world with comics, animations and other works. In recent years her most famous work has been Planet Z, which began as a comic in the supplement Nyt ("Now") of the daily Helsingin Sanomat. The animated film serie "Planet Z" was later adapted for TV.

Katri Vala (actually Karin Alice Heikel born Wadenström, * September 11, 1901 Muonio; † May 28, 1944 Eksjö) was a Finnish poet and translator. Vala grew up in Ilomantsi and Porvoo. She worked as a primary school teacher from 1922 until she fell ill with tuberculosis in 1928. She then travelled to Europe and finally settled in Helsinki in 1930, whereupon she married the chemist and left-wing activist Armas Heikelin. The death of her first daughter shortly after birth plunged her into deep depression. Her son Mauri Henrik was born in 1934. She worked again as a teacher before the consequences of tuberculosis forced her to give up her job and move to her brother in Sweden in 1940, where she died in a sanatorium in 1944. She belonged to the Tulenkantajat, a group of Finnish writers distinguished by their political commitment. Vala was one of Finland's first poets to write poems in free rhythms. Her themes are mainly directed against social grievances and the up-and-coming fascism of her time. A museum in Ilomantsi is dedicated to her.