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Culture 2000

European Union


Pupils photograph the Cultural Landscape in Laitila

Together with pupils from Untamala and Varppee Schools, the National Board of Antiquities organized the exhibition-project Cultural Landscape in Pictures. The exhibition was part of the European Pathways To Cultural Landscape-project. The basic idea was that pupils photograph their own mundane cultural landscape, that what is particular or important to them. The Cultural Landscape in Pictures exhibition was a good example of how a dialogue is created between the region's residents and those officials, who are responsible for the conservation and protection of the cultural landscape. The aim was to initiate a thinking process, in which the cultural landscape will become an important part of the people's identity and everyday life. The children and young people who participated in the exhibition are tomorrow's decision-makers who will resolve what our landscape will look like in the future.

The age of the photographers ranged from six to seventeen years. The pupils documented the cultural landscape during September and October 2001. The exhibition presented at least one print from each of the pupils and all together the exhibition consisted of 142 pictures, which were chosen from over 1300 photographs.

The landscape experience is always a very personal matter for the spectator. A local, for instance, sees the familiar landscape in a different way than the outsider. The landscape is also experienced differently at different ages. Consequently, the picture material represents a cross-section of how today's youth observes, comprehends and appreciates the cultural landscape. The youngest photographers took photos from the area near home and from the views along their way to school. The pictures of the older pupils tell of how their immediate and familiar surroundings expand with age.

The contents of the photographs spans from the oldest layers of the cultural landscape to the youngest: burial cairns dating from the Bronze Age were as well-represented as were modern features or structures like the modern city hall of Laitila. Some pictures showed a blend of hundreds of years of cultural landscape that had remained almost unchanged, while in others a snapshot from the schoolyard portrays the cultural landscape. The exhibition offers a magnificent “landscape-journey” through Vakka-Finland.

The funding to the exhibition came from the National Board of Antiquities, the Ministry of Education and the Culture 2000-program of the European Commission. The documentation work of the Cultural Landscape in Pictures -exhibition was directed by Satu Mikkkonen-Hirvonen, chief superintendent of the Section for Site Management of the National Board of Antiquities, Marita Paana, headmistress of Untamala School and by Jari Nordman, art teacher of Varppee School.

The Untamala School orchestra of also performed during the event.

The cultural landscape photos and young photographers at
Laitila city hall.

The path. Photo by Saana Koskinen/Untamala school


design: Kai M. Wurm
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