Politicians Johanna Laisaari, Reetta Vanhanen and the chairpersons of the Youth Council in training at the City Museum
The national museum training week for politicians, organised by the Finnish Museums Association on 21–25 August, is introducing decision-makers to museum work. The Helsinki City Museum tailored individual programmes for its four trainees, including familiarisation with the cultural environment programme and acquaintance with Helsinki-themed picture collections and the significance of museum objects.
Reetta Vanhanen, the new Chair of the City Council, familiarised herself with Helsinki’s cultural environment programme and made her own home district album in the Helsinkiphotos.fi service. You can check out the album here. Johanna Laisaari, Deputy Mayor of Education, familiarised herself with the historia.hel.fi information service for teachers and collected a photo album related to children and young people, which you can view here.
During the training, we talked with Johanna Laisaari about her childhood and her relationship with Helsinki and the City Museum. Laisaari spent her childhood and youth in Eastern Helsinki and currently lives in Herttoniemi. In her childhood, she attended primary school in Mellunmäki and the language-oriented school in Itäkeskus. Important places for her to hang out in her youth included STOA and Itäkeskus swimming hall and later, with her own children, the playparks and cliffs in Herttoniemi.
Laisaari says that she loves photographs and photography and that she still takes many photographs, for example at family parties. Laisaari collected thought-provoking pictures of children and young people from Helsinki in early childhood education, at school and in leisure time during different decades. The pictures convey joy: “Joy comes from the fact that there are places, spaces and events where children and young people can be themselves,” Laisaari says.
The City Museum is a familiar place for Laisaari, first and foremost through organisational activities as a meeting and event space. The exhibition Hoes – Voices in Sex Work spoke to her in a positive way.
The museum training also involved the chairpersons of the Youth Council, Aisha Mahmood and Nella Salminen, who participated in the significance analysis workshop. They were asked what things about Helsinki should be stored in the museum’s collections. Salminen’s list included videos and pictures of young people’s daily lives, news, campaigns and advertisements as well as objects that young people think Helsinki is well known for. Mahmood gave tips on, for example, sports phenomena, technology, clothing and fashion, minority groups and young people’s passion for other cultures.
Johanna Laisaari, Deputy Mayor of Education, familiarised herself with the Helsinkiphotos.fi service during the museum training for politicians. Photo: Milla Visuri/Helsinki City Museum