Contemporary Design

House Sparrow

by Fanny Kajela
Many small brown birds gathered on a slightly snow covered patch of grass

House Sparrow is a video piece in which I observe the behaviour of the still very common but endangered house sparrows in human environments. The observations were made in the surrounding area of the Kallio church where the house sparrows are high in numbers. The area is suitable for the sparrows because it has dense hawthorn hedges and bird-feeding which is an ideal combination for their survival in the winter. A long row of hedges has been cut down right before winter due to a landscaping project that is nowhere to be seen and bird feeding in the area surrounding the Kallio church is officially forbidden. These factors raise questions like “Who are the imposed rules and changes made to “human” environments serving?” and “What could happen if only human comfort is taken into consideration?” The project was co-created with the house sparrows of Kallio and the influences of the environment and other species by documenting and letting the sparrow’s life reveal itself. The feral nature of the project unfolds through the unexpected nature of other species’ influence on the sparrows and the unpredictability that comes with the constant change of their environment.

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