In February 2020 Dr. Kari Korolainen, who specializes in culture and folklore researcher, published a graphic novel titled Marjatta & Ilman Kinna. Korolainen’s work made it to the top ten graphic novels nominated for the Finlandia Graphic Novel Award. Apart from creating the story, Korolainen also hand-drew the pictures. The graphic novel was published by Kirjokansi, which is a Joensuu-based publishing house. The publication’s language is Finnish.
Together with Korolainen’s research, Marjatta & Ilman Kinna is part of a project called Lost Mitten and Other Stories. The three-year project, which is funded by the Kone Foundation, focuses on the ways in which new neighbour relations emerge from stories related to personal items. The project combines research and art. In Marjatta & Ilman Kinna, Korolainen explores the project’s themes: borders, items that cross borders, mobility, and neighbourliness. By combining research with artistic activity, Korolainen discovered innovative ways of combining archival material with contemporary border studies.
The award panel presents Korolainen’s graphic novel in the following way: "Marjatta is a young girl who has been away from home for a long time, and Kinna Ilma is a wanderer. They meet at a village council that was convened to investigate a mysterious bag found in the forest. Set in an unspecified historical period, the story utilizes elements of Finnish mythology and beliefs. The drawing technique matches the smoothly advancing story, which is complemented by the characters’ dialect. It is a delightful work."
This year Markku "Mato" Valtonen will select the winner. The award was established by Tampere Kuplii in cooperation with the city of Tampere. The award ceremony takes place in March 2021. To read more about the remaining nominees, visit website https://www.sarjakuvafinlandia.fi/