Altti Kuusamo is a professor in Art History at the University of Turku, Finland. Kuusamo has been known in Finland mainly of his contribution to semiotic studies (semiotics of everyday life), especially in the visual field.
The main areas of Kuusamo’s scholarly work are: theories of art, contemporary Finnish art, semiotics of visual culture, the research of the visual perception and theories of art criticism. Numerous publications comprise also art critique and other generally comprehensible writings within the field of art and culture.
Culture is full of so called binary thinking or dichotomies, like nature / culture, man / woman, high art / Kitsch, black / white, sun / moon, intelligible /sensitive, Father / Mother. We can say that culture “develops” when it tries to find the third way and lighten the burden of oppositions.
Kari Kuukka has been a professional photographer and photojournalist for 25 years and has worked for the majority of national publications and agencies in Finland as well as wide clientele abroad.
Kuukka is presently mostly known as a sports specialist and he has covered e.g. the last six Olympic Games. He has been awarded several times for his work – and during the past six years he has focused more and more on multimedia storytelling.
Photo: Johanna Karttunen
In addition to Kuukka’s own photography, he teaches photography, video and multimedia storytelling in three different universities. He is also well known for his writing and public stance defending photographers and their right to maintain the copyright of their own work – as more and more publishers are very aggressively pushing the “exclusive rights to the publisher” -deals to freelancers.
Kuukka works independently as a freelancer and manages his own multimedia company – the first of its kind in Finland.
Johanna Vehkoo is a freelance journalist who is learning how to be a journalism start-up entrepeneur. She gives talks about slow journalism, specialization, open journalism, and other things she thinks are a significant part of the profession’s future.
Photo: Mervi Ahlroth
Vehkoo is the editor of Long Play, a new publisher of longform journalism as digital singles, and a co-founder of Hacks/Hackers Helsinki. Johanna is also a freelance writer and author of the book Stop the Press! Tales from the Era of New Journalism (published in Finnish in September 2011). She has done research on the concept of quality in journalism, online journalism start-ups, and crowdsourcing in investigative journalism. She spent 2009–2011 as a Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.
Prior to her freelance career, Johanna worked as literary editor at the culture department of the newspaper Aamulehti.
Vehkoo writes on her blog: ”I give talks and seminars about all things future-of-journalism and teach journos about crowdsourcing and digital fact-checking, among other things. As a freelance journalist, I tend to write mostly about media, technology and culture.”
Anna-Lena Laurén is a Finnish-Swedish journalist who writes sharply and humorously about contemporary life in Russia. She will share her experience in Swedish and talk about the actual situation in Russia.
Photo: Lauri Mannermaa
A personal voice
Laurén represents the new generation which speaks straight without fear or prejudice. She finds reasons for things in Russia that seems incomprehensible for a foreigner. Her work has been awarded with a number of prizes, among others the State information prize of Finland 2010.
Laurén has written a number of books about Russia, but is most known for three of them. In De är inte kloka, de där ryssarna (“They’re Not All There, Those Russians”) Laurén sketches lively with gentle humour and great empathy a recognizable image of the contemporary Russia. I bergen finns inga herrar (“In The Mountains There Are No Masters”) about Caucasus and its multifaceted cultures is written with journalistic expertise, insight and love, which also have become Laurén’s trademark. Sedan jag kom till Moskva (“Since I Came To Moscow”) is a personal and openhearted book of her life in Moscow.
Since 2010 Laurén has been a regular contributor to the editorials page of the Swedish language Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet. She has also worked as the Russian correspondent for this newspaper and the Finnish public radio service YLE, and as the Finnish correspondent for the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet. Laurén now works as a Moscow correspondent for Hufvudstadsbladet.
Andrey Kalikh, human rights researcher, journalist and activist, is program coordinator at the Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights. Kalikh monitors human rights and democracy development and write reports and articles of which many are in Russian. In English he has written about the bind between rights and corruption.
Photo: Natalia Panova
CDDHR is an independent Russian non-governmental organization based in the capital Moscow. It is one of the leading Russian independent think tanks dealing with issues such as the strengthening of civil society and promoting human rights and democracy. The Centre’s mission is to strengthen the Russian NGO community by providing support to NGO coalitions, organizing campaigns, monitoring and analyzing the current human rights situation, and providing the state authorities and government representatives with expert recommendations.
Since 2005, Kalikh has advocated for the human rights of military servicemen. Currently he is focusing his efforts on the improvement of the legal status of soldiers, as well as corruption and its negative impact on human rights.
Oksana Chelysheva is a Russian journalist and human rights defender. Since 2003 she has been covering the situation in the North Caucasus being the editor of the Russian-Chechen Information Agency established by the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society. After the organization was banned in Russia, being one of the first victims of the anti-extremism legislation, the work has continued by moving the legal entity of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society to Finland.
Photo: Maris Morkans
In 2008 Chelysheva had to stay in Finland, due to the never-ending threats. She has been contributing to Novaya Gazeta, Svobodnaya Pressa, kasparov.ru as a journalist covering a broad range of HR problems starting from the right of the people for the cultural and architectural heritage, to the situation in the armed conflict-affected North Caucasus as well as politically motivated reprisals against NGOs and activists of the movements in opposition to the Kremlin.
Chelysheva is the author of the book “I have been followed in the streets” published in Finland by INTO in 2013 and a co-author of the “International Tribunal for Chechnya” legal study published in 2009 by Sputnik Oy in Finland.
You can read more about Oksana Chelysheva in an article on the upcoming Reporter Without Borders branch in Finland.
Polina Kopylova is a broadly experienced professional focused on NGOs, communications and PR. She also works as a freelance journalist for the Finnish media, writing in Russian and Finnish on the social, cultural and political issues, as well as the more specific aspects of multiculturalism, integration and minorities’ problems.
Photo: Kirill Reznik
In October 2012 by the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland Kopylova was officially commenting on the so called custody arguments between Russia and Finland concerning the case of Anastasia Zavgorodnyaya.
Jarmo Koponen has extensive experience of the society, politics and history of ex-Soviet countries. He is a project co-ordinator for The Finnish Foundation for Media, Communication and Development (VIKES). The 52-year old journalist is assisting in developing unions of journalists in Central Asia. Vikes is also providing training for young Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani journalists in the conflict-ridden area of Caucasus.
Photo: Petteri Paalasmaa
Koponen is a former correspondent for Finnish Broadcasting Company in Soviet Union and Russia and a diplomat. He worked as a Press Councillor at the Finnish Embassy in Moscow in 1994-1999. Currently Koponen is also a producer for the web pages of the online newspaper Uusi Suomi. Under the old daily newspaper trade mark they publish blogs and news.
Koponen is preparing his PhD thesis in History about the propaganda war of Russia and Georgia.
Koponen has on his blog published the basis for his lecture “Krigarna i de ryska medierna” for the seminar Mediespråk in Vaasa.
Originally born in London in 1954, Michael Hutchinson-Reis is a British-Finnish-Trinidadian university lecturer, consultant, television journalist and media trainer, who moved permanently to Finland in 2004 and now lives in Helsinki with his young family. Photo: Asta Turtiainen
Michael Hutchinson-Reis’ career started in community work in London and soon developed during the 1980’s into becoming a specialist professional in the U.K’s criminal justice system. From 1987 he worked as a political policy researcher and adviser, local government police monitoring unit manager, NPS Public Protection unit manager, lecturer, writer and journalist in London.
MHR has now worked continually as a visiting and full time university lecturer in British, Finnish and Estonian universities and Police colleges since 1984. At present he teaches police, military and security degree students and professionals in managing cross-cultural conflict and degree social work and health students and professionals on “acculturation”, social inclusion theory and practice, media literacy and managing diversity issues in the media. He has published numerous written reports and articles on multicultural issues, civil disorder and community conflict since 1985 and has directed and filmed several documentaries for YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
MHR is a member of the Icebreaker Productions cooperative in Helsinki Finland. He is at present researching and developing an investigative documentary project which looks at the recent rioting by young people, many of so called “immigrant” backgrounds, in various cities in the UK, France and Sweden and if it could happen in Finland. He also has a photographic exhibition scheduled for showing around Finland and the UK by Multicultural Finland during 2013. The exhibition addresses his own use of photography as a means of integration and acculturation in a new environment.
In November 2011 the Finnish journalist Heikki Kauhanen met mullah Krekar – ex leader of Ansar al-Islam terrorist organization. Kauhanen made an interview for MTV3 and Turun Sanomat. The meeting caused big headlines in Norway. Dangerous? Maybe – maybe not.
All of his life Kauhanen has been very curious and courageous as a person. These attitudes have been very useful when he has been working for radio, newspaper and television.
Kauhanen is a lifestyle journalist who did his first interview when he was a three year old boy. He feels that he has a dream work, because he knew what he wanted to do already over 44 years ago.
Heikki Kauhanen is working for the daily Turun Sanomat in South-West Finland. He has been a TV-journalist for ten years too. He would like to do more features of Africa but mostly he has to do short news very fast. His strongest experience has been visits in refugees’ camps in Africa. There he has been six times.
Paulina Tervo is a documentary film maker, multimedia journalist and web producer. As well as making films, she is experimenting with digital innovation, non-linear storytelling and using film as a tool for social change. These three areas are combined in her upcoming project Awra Amba due to launch early 2014.
Photo: Serdar Ferit
Tervo studied and worked in London for 15 years, where she founded Write This Down Productions – a film and multimedia production company with her partner Serdar Ferit – and is based in Istanbul since 2012.
Tervo has worked in over 15 countries worldwide. Her work has been broadcast on many international channels including the BBC, CNN, ITN, The Discovery Channel, Al Arabiyah, TRT, YLE and Link TV; been screened at over 50 film festivals and won prestigious awards in Hollywood and London. Tervo also works as a film trainer and consultant for film and interactive projects.
Group 11 won Finland’s greatest Photojournalism Award
Konsta Leppänen is a 24-year-old photojournalist and a master’s student of visual journalism at University of Tampere. Leppänen works as a freelance photographer for several Finnish newspapers and magazines. To balance out the work assignments, Leppänen pursues his own documentary projects whenever possible.
Photo: Elina Ylitervo
Leppänen is part of an award-winning 11 photography collective, a group of 11 young Finnish photojournalists who seek to research and redefine post-modern photojournalism in Finland and beyond. 11 promotes Finnish documentary photography to an international audience and it wants to make documentary photography more approachable and accessible than it has been before. Group 11 believes that the future of Finnish documentary photography lies in team work and a strong and united movement and they produces annual in-depth photo essays around united themes.
Heikki Jokinen is a freelance journalist specialising in authors’ rights, arts, culture and social issues, based in Helsinki.
Photo: Otso Jokinen
The realities of freelance life have taught Heikki Jokinen that finally the only commodity one has are his authors’ rights. So it’s worth knowing about these and how to defend them. That may be an investment that saves your professional life.
Jokinen is a freelance journalist since 1986 and originally an art critic. But since that he has written or edited some 20 books on various topics like comics, graffiti, art criticism, freelance work and the public procurement act. His articles have been published in some 120 newspapers and magazines. He has a master’s exam in political science and studies in comparative cultural research.
Heikki Jokinen will speak about authors’ rights, based on his own experiences and his work in various organisations. At the moment he is chairman of the Finnish press freelancer association and board member of Kopiosto, the Finnish collective management organisation of authors’ rights. He is a member of the Expert Group for Authors’ Rights of the European Federation of Journalist EFJ. Jokinen is also representing journalists in the board of IFRRO, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations. It is the global body of the collective management organisations.
Earlier he has been working as a chair of the Finnish Art Critics’ Association and the Finnish Comics Society, chair of the freelance expert group of the EFJ and a member of the steering committee of the International Authors Forum.
Between all these meetings he is, however, a quite normal person with an everlasting love for literature and other forms of art.