Petri Damstén, MNFFF/g

Petri Damstén, Finland. Awarded MNFFF/g in March 2022.


I got my first inspiration for this series while listening to my favourite metal band, Sentenced. It evolved to a collection of images of what a dark mind might look like from the inside. All the destructive thoughts that circulate in your brain and feelings that bring you down. The dark room inside of your own head.

After I began to put images online, comments that said some of these images remind them of their own thoughts started to appear. Especially feelings that the covid-19 isolation has brought to the surface for many people.

This series continues my work on images that handle mental health issues. In 2009 I was forced to retire from daily work because of depression. Since then, photography has played a significant role in my life as a therapy. Many people might think that images as dark as these get you down, but it’s the contrary. And here we come back to the metal band Sentenced, whose songs started this series. They often had very dark and touching lyrics. After the band had retired, I read that several fans told them that their songs saved their lives.

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