We can’t change the past – instead we can change the future. On 10 August, the monumental portrait gallery Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] opened at the National Museum of Finland. Renowned photographer Juuso Westerlund (FI) portrayed 46 families living in Finland, presenting a new and equal culture.
In just a couple of days, the photographers were taken, printed on site and installed to form a touching portrait gallery which brings together new and old citizens of Finland. The remains of a collection of glass plates, negatives and prints from a photo studio in Aleppo by Issa Touma (the starting point of Studio Aleppo) are on show as well.
The photos from Finland are added to the evolving Studio Aleppo collection on www.studioaleppo.eu. Through photographing the recently arrived refugees and including them in a collection of portraits, the project aims to stimulate a feeling of recognition and inclusion.
After a great start of the project with Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam], we could have not wished for a better follow-up. Many thanks to the National Museum of Finland, Ceyda Berk Söderblom, Juuso Westerlund and all the participants for carrying this task so succesfully. Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] will be on show until 17 August. In September, the Humanity House will grab the baton for the third Studio Aleppo in The Hague.