Matti

Matti Ilonen

1903–1933
Contrabandist

Matti started smuggling already in his teens, right after the Finnish Civil War. Matti’s parents defected to Soviet Russia just after he had come of age, leaving him behind to take care of his four sisters. Smuggling paid well, even though the neighbours were suspicious about Matti and the police were constantly after him.

After closing of the border between Finland and the Soviet Union on the Karelian Isthmus, smuggling was not unusual. Legitimate options for making a living were rather limited, since regular cross-border trading was prohibited. At the same time, the political atmosphere was becoming tenser, since the ideas of communism prevailing on the other side of the border were feared to be spreading to Finland.

More about online exhibition

Museum’s work group:
Mona Taipale, Satu Ståhlberg and Johanna Piipponen

Script for the online exhibition: Pauliina Veijalainen
The online exhibition’s script is based on the joint exhibition Barefoot of the Lappeenranta museums, which was scripted by Anna Kortelainen. The character texts of the online exhibition are based on the articles by Anna Kortelainen in the book Avojaloin – 20 tositarinaa Karjalan Kannakselta (publisher: Gummerus).

Graphic design: Päivi Veijalainen / Huhtikuu

Technical implementation: Marko Myllymäki / Atadone

Audio clip scripts: Anna Kortelainen

Audio clip readers:
Jukka Lehtinen
Liisa Lehtinen
Maria Lehtinen
Mikko Pirinen
Netta Salonsaari
Antti Taipale
Helmi Taipale
Mikko Taipale
Mona Taipale

Image copyrights:
Etelä-Karjalan museo (EKM)
Etelä-Karjalan taidemuseo (EKTM)
Lintulan luostari
National Board of Antiquities
Pietarin kaupunginmuseo
(State Museum of the History of St Petersburg. St Petersburg)
Ostrobothnian Museum
Border Museum
Finnish Labour Museum Werstas (TW)
Private collections

The exhibition is supported by the National Board of Antiquities

Museovirasto