Abandoned Nordic is a visual art project based in Helsinki, Finland. At Abandoned Nordic, we combine enchanting photography with a storyline from our journeys in order to create a harsh, but intriguing, vision of urban wilderness.
We travel to abandoned places around the Nordic countries, and beyond, seeking places which have been taken over by silence.
Hi, I am Tanja, a freelance photographer who has specialized in architectural photography. For me Abandoned Nordic offered a clear project which would take me to new places regularly. Urban exploration means that I can take a lot of photos, that is what I love.
I am an adventurer. This means that I can challenge myself in many ways. I have clear goals and a social personality. In my work, I travel quite a lot, but I would like to see new places even more. Abandoned Nordic is a project that takes me to these new, wonderful and weird places.
The sad aesthetics of forgotten buildings fascinates me. Most of all spaces, structures, surfaces and light. How nature takes over when the building is left alone is intriguing. In my photos, the sunshine days are over. I want more rugged and edgy look to my photographs. Abandoned places of course suits my needs. I like to spend time editing my photos and so one shot from a forgotten building can take many different forms in the end.
If I could describe the perfect urban exploration place, I would say that a grand old building with tons of details would be such a place. Time has its effect on the buildings and I love it, when I can capture it with my photos. If the places holds little bit of excitement, even better! Abandoned places are often quite surreal. I’m trying to bring this feeling into my photos with details in the places, like frozen water on the floor or big rusty chains.
It all started from Instagram. I got kind of addicted to the app when people started liking my photos. Positive feedback from our followers led to the decision about starting the Abandoned Nordic-project with websites and eBooks. Nowadays I plan my trips and holidays so that I can visit abandoned places. This means that “normal” travel doesn’t exist anymore, Abandoned Nordic is with me wherever I go.
Hello, I’m Kimmo, the writer! For the past couple of years, I’ve found myself in many mysterious places. Besides exploring abandoned places, I dive in caves and in wrecks around the world. These places have the same unique feeling, the feeling of abandonment, although they are underwater. Whether I’m in a sunken passenger ship or in an abandoned factory, I always think about the story - what has happened and why? History and information about these places are my things. And usually, an abandoned place has a very interesting past.
For a person who loves stories and books, Abandoned Nordic is a very interesting mix of exploration and writing. I figure out what has happened and try to bring it alive with words and sentences. Every abandoned building is a mystery waiting to be solved. For Tanja, it is about the photos and the visual side, but for me it is more about the events, persons and how the building relates to the history of a specific area or the whole nation.
Often I feel like I’m living two separate lives. One in an office wearing a suit and tie and another one wearing boots and a camo jacket exploring moldy old houses. It feels weird, but satisfying. I think Abandoned Nordic brings some sort of balance to my life. The feeling that you just don’t know what lies ahead is wonderful. I think that urban exploration takes me back to nature and back in time and then I can return to reality when I step back to my everyday life in an office.
Creating the whole concept of Abandoned Nordic has been very satisfying. I feel that I can use my creativeness with this project. It is not just about the photos or the stories. Tying the photos and the stories to a working concept with websites and eBooks has taught me a lot. I think it is a journey with steps in the actual places but also steps in the digital world.
We do recognize the fact that the abandoned buildings might belong to someone, “private property” in other words. If we enter an abandoned building, we never break any locks or windows, nor do we tear down boards from windows. We only walk in if the door is open. Usually we have the permission of the owner. If we enter a building, we never take anything else with us than photographs. We do not take any items or souvenirs from the places. We are not vandalists, we don’t spray of break anything. We want to honor the original. If your private property is seen in our photos, take it as a compliment.
Many people have asked for the locations of particular abandoned places. We have decided that we do not want take away the pleasure of exploration. We have done hours and hours of “detective work” in order to find what is seen in our gallery. The thrill and excitement comes from finding new places, not by going to places that have been found by someone else. And also, we don’t know if our values are upheld by other urban explorers or visitor if we reveal the locations. We don’t want these sites to be ruined directly or indirectly because of us. You will find all the places seen in our photos if you use your wits and Google street view.