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"Urban Youth: Photographic exhibition of youth in Helsinki in 1955-2000"
2000-11-11 until 2001-01-07
Helsinki City Art Museum
Helsinki, , FI

Urban Youth is an amusing, nostalgic and lifelike journey back in time that documents the life of youth in Helsinki from 1955 to 2000. The exhibition includes photographs by 28 photographers from Helsinki, working in the city’s streets, homes, cafés and clubs. Most of the pictures date from the photographers’ own youth. Many of them have portrayed their own surroundings and friends, taking intimate pictures from close up, while others have documented youth from a cool distance.

Urban Youth is a tale of the emergence and development of youth culture during almost five decades. The earliest images document the arrival of the strange musical virus known as rock’n’roll in Finland in the 1950s. Others portray hippies and mods from the 60s, 50s nostalgics and punk rockers from the 70s, the 80s club scene and break-dancers, the 90s hiphop and techno scene, and the trendy partyers of the turn of the millennium.

In the words of the exhibition’s curators Stefan Bremer and Jouko Lehtola, “The city of Helsinki emerges as a domain where the bleakness of the 50s was gradually overcome by a more colourful and lively culture as the turn of the millennium approached. The photographs in this show do not constitute a sociological report or portray an average youth. Instead, they are images taken by curious and self-determining photographers of the toughest blokes and the prettiest chicks, the worst brawlers, the most romantic lovers, the coolest clothes and the strangest clubs”.

The exhibition comprises images by the following photographers: Hartti Ahola, Milka Alanen, Martti Brandt, Caj Bremer, Stefan Bremer, C-G Hagström, Pekka Haraste, Maarit Hohteri, Ismo Hölttö, Pertti Jenytin, Jan Kaila, Keijo Kansonen, Olavi Kaskisuo, Matti Koivumäki, Erkki Laitila, Jouko Lehtola, Jouko Leskelä, Anja Matikainen, Aulis Nyqvist, Sari Poijärvi, Matti Pyykkö, Kristian Runeberg, Seppo Saves, Matti Tapola, Erik Uddström, Jukka Uotila, Tapio Vanhatalo and Risto Vuorimies.

Tammi will publish Stadin Nuoret, a 200-page book with photographs by artists participating in this exhibition, in conjunction with the exhibition. The book will also include articles (in Finnish) about youth culture over the years, contributed by Alpo Ruuth, Maarit Niiniluoto, Hannu Raittila, Rosa Liksom, Tomi Kontio and Mikko Rimminen, all of whom are authors from Helsinki.

Helsinki is a European City of Culture in 2000 and the exhibition is part of the year of culture programme. The exhibition has received support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Kodak, Suomen Interfoto / Ilford, Dialab, Lehtikuva Oy and Helsinki City Transport.

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