Big Heart, Strong Hands
Anne Helene Gjelstad
the Estonian Parliament, Tallinn
photos - portraits of women from Kihnu and Manija
The portraits of Kihnu and Manija women photographed by Norwegian artist Anne Helene Gjelstad was first on display in Kihnu museum. (Link here) Now the exhibition has moved into the corridors of power, the Estonian Parliament. Before entering the parliament hall, the powerful politicians have to pass these strong women.
This is a decent and symbolic setting. The politicians must never forget who they are working for, who are their voters. Walking by these photos they are constantly reminded on who are their equal citizens. In this way the hard working island women are represented in the Parliament.
The portraits are full of grace, respect and beauty, showing the struggle and the joy of the daily life on the small islands Kihnu and Manija. As the men mostly work at sea, the women rule at home on the farm, and are also the carriers of the strong and unique traditions. The hard work needs strong hands, but it also takes a big heart to appreciate and share the moments of happiness.