There is a town in the world which is famous for pessimistic thinking. Pessimism is a way of thinking but can be it is a lifestyle? The citizen of Pulonka have adopted pessimism as a lifestyle and they are famous for the pessimistic approach.

A photographer interviewed citizens of the world’s most pessimistic town Pulolanka. Puolanka is a small town in the middle of continental Finland.


One citizen said;

“One of the main arguments against the pessimism activities has been that if you are doing ugly things and showing ugly things Puolanka will lose its reputation”. But nobody knows what reputation?

Another citizen said ;

 It is all began when we got jealous that all other places had their events and we in Puolanka had nothing.

The one citizen said; nothing works out here in Puolanka. Not even pessimism. What is the use?

This question was the time when we decide to let’s promote our brand of Pessimism.  So then we said, let’s do that. 

The pessimism association started over a decade ago. And it is partly inspired by how Puolanka is perceived outside.

Every time Puolanka is in the public eye it is part of the most negative group.  If it is not worst in all the statistical rankings it is the second or third worst of all finish municipalities. 

So, of course, the locals here get sick of it.  Because they read this and it does not match their lived experience.

The crucial aspect of Puolanka pessimism is that the festival takes place from January 1st December 31st every year.

 Pessimism is a counter-reaction. Like so what? 


Another citizen of Pulanka said;

“We may be the worst but we are Finland’s best at beings worst”

Puolanka is the center of Finland.  Here Puolanka is also the center of the world. The center of pessimism in the world.

The Puolanka pessimist’s videos have gained a large following.

Recurring themes are the towns declining population and a lack of much to do.

Normally municipal branding is based on showing off nature and how there are services and it is a great place to raise kids and dairy cattle.

In pessimism, it is turned upside down. We can even say the same thing but simultaneously show the reality and not some glossed over advertising agency version of it.

A tourist said;

“Puolanka is a good place to raise kids and dairy cattle.  I went to travel expo in Helsinki and saw how the pessimism and travel business owners shared a stand”

Pessimism made people stop and wonder and after that, the business owners could talk about their offering.

You have to have something that gets people interested and I think pessimism has worked well for that and especially these self-deprecating videos.


A citizen of Puolanka said;

“If you buy our town hall, there is no mold there is a circular staircase and a skylight it is nice like a comet. We have got studios, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments going”

It becomes a brand and now the words Puolanka and pessimism associate with each other.  It is probably also grown because there is something so familiar about it. After all, a large part of Finns has its roots in these small places.  If Puolanka city is there then everything here.

Pessimism is a way of thinking or a bit like a lifestyle in Puolanka. They use pessimistic approach for every life decision

Like nothing is worth doing or nothing really matters.  The inevitable development in these kinds of remote municipalities in Finland is that they will shrink and die off. 

They do not have a future.  I cannot recall who said it but it was well said that

the most horrible thing is to die without anyone noticing.

In Finland, a lot of towns have died and nobody remembers them anymore.  At least citizen thought with pessimism is that;

“we will make so much noise that we will die off but in a way that people will notice”



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