The Disconnected Space research group
The Disconnected Space research group (Jaakko Ruuska, Hanna Koikkalainen, Pavel Rotts, Mikhail Durnenkov, Timo Jokitalo, and Kati Korosuo) got together to study the wreckage of the border-stricken Elisenvaara–Parikkala railway line and to explore what happens to the sense of space when it is disconnected. The site of the railway was once a link between the cities of Vyborg and Vaasa. Now, the faint trace that pierces the landscape of a peripheral locality is the only reminder of this link. By following the disconnected tracks, they dream about the utopias, where these tracks could be reconnected with.
The research on the ruined railway begun in 2017 by the artist-researcher Jaakko Ruuska and later joined by the photographer Hanna Koikkalainen in 2018. Back then, the two set out for their first journey on the Russian side of the tracks. In 2019, the group was joined also by dance artist Kati Korosuo and software engineer Timo Jokitalo. The same year, Jaakko and Hanna led a group that walked for the first time across the entire Elisenvaara–Parikkala section of the railway. On the Russian side the access is restricted by the border zone. They were possibly the first Finns to walk on the site since the year 1944. When the war on Ukraine begun, it became evident that they were probably the last ones to walk there for many years to come. The war changed the sense of ruined railway and the ruined railway line across the border. The same year multidisciplinary artist Pavel Rotts and playwright Mikhail Durnenkov joined the project. Mikhail had just moved from Russia to Finland.