Seurantalolla -book on Finnish Workers halls and other Community houses
Seurantalolla - book on workers halls and other community houses
Houses are never empty.
When people exit buildings - sometimes temporarily, sometimes never to return - something of them is always left behind in the space.
Pendants on the shelves, a belief in a better world, the marks of wear in the logs, laughter in the canteen, piles of chairs in the corners, the smell of the cooled down stove, a hat forgotten in the coat check. They are the facial features of a house, the dimples and wrinkles in the corners of the eyes.
The buildings frequently outlast their creators. They remain standing even if their original function or the very reason for their existence is lost.
In my photographs I want to show beauty as beauty, strange as strange and the forgotten as forgotten
These are portraits of houses.
There are approximately 2500 workers halls and other community houses built at various times in Finland. Ideological associations built the houses as open spaces of civic activity and culture. The building and maintenance of these houses is an unbroken tradition stretching from the 1880s to this day.
Many houses are located in valuable cultural milieus and are architecturally significant. These houses are an important part of Finland's built heritage and they are connected to the powerful historical continuum of Finnish communality.
For seven years I traveled around Finland and photographed the workers halls and community houses presented in this book. The portraits and stories of the people encountered at the houses show what they are like now.