The Footprint of a Giant project is developed by the cultural professional Maija Esko and covers place-based issues such as unmaintained and undeveloped historic routes, wear and tear on natural and archaeological sites, inaccessibility of the archipelago, lacking recognition of local place meanings,dilapidation and disuse of rural built heritage and sea pollution, land use and forest conflicts. The project covers the thematic strands of cross-sectoral collaboration, activating communities, intra-sectoral collaboration and sustainability.
The goal of this multidisciplinary project is to make visible the rich and layered history and present day of the villages of Eurajoki Rikantila and Luta and other nearby areas. Lutanjärvi, which still draws the shoreline of the ancient seashores, is in the middle of the villages. It is connected with the story of a giant’s footprint, which the shape of the lake mistakenly resembles. In this project, a path is built for the culture of the region, the purpose of which is to make the environment visible, to deepen the meanings of the place, and to strengthen commitment to the place. The path realised through the means of art is understood symbolically, it can be partly physically travelled and partly reachable in other ways. Along the path, the purpose is not only to present the prehistory of the area, but it extends from recent history to the present day.
The potential transformative effect of the project consists of making the area existing, visible and common. The purpose is to bring the interesting, hidden history of the area to the fore and enable new meaningful layers to be built on top of it. The everyday life of the sparsely populated area has weakened the identity of the area. The continuum of events, the historical significance and value of the area are hidden due to the passing traffic and isolation. Art will enable a quiet conversation in the environment, which offers new perspectives on strengthening the story and identity of the area.
As for the innovation potential of the project, Footprint of a Giant (Jättiläisen jalanjälki) is implemented in cooperation with operators and associations in the area. Multi-professional expertise enables the background of the project, implementation and location-bound implementation. The goal is to find new opportunities for cooperation and build new knowledge. The project will proceed at its own pace on the terms of the place and its inhabitants. Moreover, working in people’s environments, in one’s own territories, on land and in forests requires special sensitivity and especially the experience of building together needs time and an innovative, moment-responsive approach.