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Maarit Suomi-Väänänen

Maarit Suomi-Väänänen.
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Handing it from Bangladesh (b&w photos)

Maarit Suomi: Handing it from Bangladesh. Black-white photo exhibition. Review in Kaleva-newspaper, Oulu, Finland 17.1.1991. Written…



Handing it from Bangladesh (b&w photos)

Category Photography
Date 01.01.1991

Maarit Suomi: Handing it from Bangladesh. Black-white photo exhibition.


Review in Kaleva-newspaper, Oulu, Finland 17.1.1991. Written by Markku Heikkilä:

“To see the works of the masters of B&W photography, you don’t have to search the shelves of library to find their books. Right now in Oulu, it is enough to walk to city library’s exhibit room and get the taste of cosmopolitanism from Oulu; a sample of connections across the borders. Maarit Suomi’s pictures of Bangladesh village are mainly very professional and purposeful works[…]

Results in form of pictures are in exhibit. It must be asked, could any of the so called ‘big names’ in photography have done work any better[…]

Essentially most of the photographs are both rare and good. Rare meaning that although most of people on earth live in the third world villages like Thanapara, their life hasn’t been documented from inside and with understanding. Most of the times views are colored with pure social voyerism or just search of exotic. Suomi’s photos don’t have either coloring. It is rare achievement to get woman of a poor Islamic village to trust western photographer and even rarer to do work well and purposefully. Suomi’s photos resemble the works of famous documentary photographers before and after WWII, era when it was important to acknowledge the social status of the subject. Her photos are not brought to broader social setting, but they take an effect in viewers consciousness. Suomi’s composition and use of field of depth are expert; cropping is consciously tight. Her work is at best in indoor portraits, when village’s women and children get the main part; story of six year old Mizanur Rahman is told in programme. This is the viewpoint you don’t usually see from the third world country, viewpoint which could have been unattainable for the photographer of the other sex. In that respect this exhibit is good education for us; woman’s role is essential for the future of developing countries. In these pictures women have hope in their eyes; while working as well as attending meeting of handicraft community. Thanapara women ca be proud of the way they were portrayed in Oulu.”

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