I am an investigative journalist, documentary photographer, and awarded nonfiction author from Finland. I was born in Lappeenranta in Southeastern Finland, now based in Helsinki. I’m interested in observing structural poverty and inequality, human rights, world trade at grass-roots levels, consequences of climate change and the arctic recourse race from the environmental and indigenous rights point of view.
Currently, I work as a Sámi rights advisor and researcher at Amnesty International Finnish section, as part of the Just Transition in Sápmi, a joint project between Amnesty Finland, Sweden, and Norway, and the Saami Council.
Also, I work as a doctoral researcher at the University of Lapland on the assimilation of Sámi, under the supervision of the research professor of Arctic Indigenous Studies Rauna Kuokkanen at the Faculty of Social Sciences. My research work is funded by the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation during the years 2020–2025.
My research deals with indigenous rights in the midst of the climate crisis and environmental crisis. My goal is to identify assimilating social structures and to strengthen a more ecologically sustainable future and the well-being of the Sámi people as part of a just transition in cooperation with Sámi communities, human rights activists, and researchers.
Between 2018-2019 I worked full-time on a non-fiction book & research project about the assimilation of the Finnish Sámi Indigenous people and the ownership of the Sámi Homeland. I collaborated with journalist and co-author Jaana Kanninen, our book Vastatuuleen was published in October 2019 by Kustantamo S&S. The project was funded by Kone Foundation and the Association of Finnish Non-fiction Writers.
As a freelance journalist and documentary photographer I contribute mainly to Helsingin Sanomat, Yle News, Yle Radio 1, and Maailman Kuvalehti magazine, as well as collaborate with many other media and organizations, most recently with Amnesty, Finnish League for Human Rights and WWF Finland. I’m a member of The Finnish Association of Photojournalists and the Association for Investigative Journalism in Finland.
Also, I’m trained to work as a human rights observer with EAPPI program based in Jerusalem, during spring 2014 I worked as an observer for three months in the Occupied Palestinian territories in Eastern Jerusalem and West Bank.
During the last over ten years the work has taken me to former Yugoslavia, Spain, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Mozambique, Senegal, Ghana, Kazakhstan, New York, South Africa, Thailand, and finally via Arctic Svalbard to the Sámi Homeland in Northern Finland to observe the indigenous rights of the Sámi and the hidden history of assimilation.
You can follow my work on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Contact me via email kukka.m.ranta (at) gmail.com.
Best Regards, Kukka Ranta
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