I am an investigative journalist, documentary photographer and awarded nonfiction author from Finland, working around the world. 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’m working on indigenous journalism ethical guidelines in collaboration with Pirita Näkkäläjärvi, Petra Laiti, and Eliisa Alatalo. The project is funded with working grants by The Foundation to Promote Journalistic Culture (JOKES) and the Committee for Public Information (TJNK), and the work guided by Indigenous Sámi research guidelines.
Since January 2018 I was working 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.
In the spring 2020 I continue to research Finnish Colonialism in the Sámi Homeland as a doctoral candidate at the University of Lapland under 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 2020–2024.
During 2014–2017 I worked as a PhD student and project coordinator at the University of Helsinki. My doctoral dissertation is part of the project Learning in Productive Social Movements on homelessness, housing and land rights in the US, Spain, South Africa and Finland, funded by the Academy of Finland.
As a freelance journalist and documentary photographer I contribute mainly to Yle News, Yle Radio 1 and Maailman Kuvalehti magazine, as well I collaborate with many other media and organizations, most recently with the Finnish League for Human Rights, also I’m a blogger at Image magazine. I’m a member of the 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 the spring 2014 I worked as a 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 the Arctic Svalbard to the Sámi Homeland in Northern Finland to observe the indigenous rights of the Sámi and the hidden history of assimilation.
Best Regards, Kukka Ranta