Photo walks for Wiki Loves Monuments and rephotography
The Finnish edition of Wiki Loves Monuments launched some new activities this year. We prepared a series of photo walks together with some of our partner museums: Hyvinkää City Museum, Kerava museum services and Tuusula Museum. The walks were based on our previously developed rephotography walk format but the aim was to spread the word about Wiki Loves Monuments and to encourage people to participate in the competition.
Two walks were organised in Helsinki. The first one happened at Maria and Lapinlahti old hospital areas that are located within a short walking distance from each other and have interesting history and architecture, and nowadays function as a start-up hub and a cultural centre. The walk was prepared in collaboration with Pro Lapinlahti ry. The second walk was arranged for the members of the Helsinki camera club and happened in Vanhankaupunginkoski area with its old hydroelectric power plant buildings and impressive landscapes. The Helsinki walk locations were partly inspired by this year’s finnish edition’s theme sustainable cultural heritage, that is also the theme for our partner European Cultural Heritage Days.
The walks started with classroom sessions during which Wikimedia Finland coordinator gave a short lecture about the competition, its history and idea as well as information on how to participate. There was also a museum representative present and they talked about the value of Wiki Loves Monuments from the museum’s point of view and why the museums might find it important to collaborate with this project. We also watched together images from last years’ competitions. A third person who participated was an assistant from Wikimedia Finland, who answered the participant's Wikimedia-related questions and also documented the event.
The route of the walks was chosen by each museum based on the idea of which cultural heritage sites would be interesting to photograph and would have a special role in local history. Then we’d walk from site to site together and take photographs either with mobile phones or DSLR cameras. The museum representative would tell about each site and WMFI coordinator give information about what might be important to bear in mind while photographing for Wiki Loves Monuments.
Tips for organising a WLM photowalk can be found at our website https://wlm.wikimedia.fi/en/photowalks/. The idea is that by reading these instructions a museum, an organisation or even just a group of friends could arrange a WLM photowalk independently. Mikkeli city museum organized the functionalism architecture of the Mikkeli photowalk using these instructions.
The WLM jury gathered in November to make decisions on the finalists of Wiki Loves Monuments and the prizes were handed at The National Museum of Finland in December. Both were events of warm spirited and lively conversations between people interested in photography and cultural heritage.
We also organised rephoto and drone photography meet-up in Vallisaari and two rephotography tours this autumn in Tamminiemi museum, which is best known as the old home of the Finnish ex-president Urho Kekkonen. He and his family lived in Tamminiemi for several decades and after his death the building was opened up as a museum that preserves the space as it was while the presidential family lived there. The tours were prepared in cooperation with Tamminiemi and The National Museum of Finland. Participants of the tour were able to roam around the museum space, looking for the sites of old photographs and feel the presence of private and public history, seen through the mobile phone rephotography app Ajapaik. A guide from the museum also gave information on the history of the building.
WMFI also tested out Ajapaik with a new participant age group. We conducted a photo walk in the centre of Helsinki with a group of eight graders during their history lesson. The walk was full of talk, questions and laughter, and gave us good ideas of how to develop the photowalk format to include younger age groups.
Ajapaik news from Estonia
On January 20, Alar Karis, President of Estonia, awarded the civil society makers of the year at a ceremony in the Tallinn Botanical Garden. Among the awarded were Peeter, Tauno, and Uuno who are the top contributors of the Ajapaik crowdsourcing platform for enriching the metadata of historical images. The top contributors have dedicated thousands of hours of work. Uuno has mapped more than 86,000 pictures, Peeter has added names to 25,000+ faces, and Tauno have made rephotos to more than 8,700 old photos, making Estonian photographic heritage more accessible.