Tuomas Linna, Silverstar - The young inventor Silvo Sokka
After my father passed away I went through his archives. I found a brown envelope containing a speech he had given, along with the material he had gathered for it. The speech was about the place where we lived when he delivered the speech, a place that had once been the scene of a sensational rocket flight.
After a few years I began gathering information about the flight - using the material my father had left me as a gift.
Tuomas Linna’s exhibition Silverstar - The Young Inventor Silvo Sokka deals with a sensational rocket flight that took place in October 1948 in central Finland. 17-year-old Silvo Sauli Sakari Sokka flew with a self-built reactive machine from Kuopio to Suonenjoki, covering 50 kilometers in 3,5 minutes.
As this became public Silvo Sokka was in the spotlight of the national and international press. After a weekend of news coverage and interrogation by the police Sokka confessed to having made up the story. The reactive machine had been a bicycle and the travelled minutes had taken hours.
Linna’s Silverstar - The Young Inventor Silvo Sokka exhibition showcases a scale model of Silvo Sokka’s Silverstar rocket. A scale model that L. Hallman, an honoured industrialist promised to have produced by a Kuopio-based munitions depot already in October 1948.
The sound-installation in the exhibition brings the letter signed by German engineer Ganzeugen to life, who helped Silvo Sokka with the building of the reactive machine. This letter was handed in to the office of Savo-newspaper on the day of the flight in October 1948. The voice of the installation was lent to it by Carsten Krage, a relative of late German aerospace engineer Busemann who spends his summers at a cottage in South Savonia.
Even though Silvo Sokka confessed to having made up the entire story Linna asks, quoting Helsingin Sanomat: Is a surprising turn still possible? Did Silvo Sokka fly with his self-built reactive machine after all?
Either way he was a genius, as a Kuopio-based general declared in October 1948.
Ilkka Taavitsainen, Raketilla otsikoihin
Savon Sanomat, 16.4.2021