Places of Life

Veikko. Kuva: Helena Inkeri.

Places of Life

The Finnish Museum of Photography, Process Space

Through the Places of Life photography project, a group of nursing home residents, along with their loved ones, share stories and pictures of their personally significant places. Places of Life are locations where a person has experienced something joyful or exhilarating, something truly memorable.

I wish I could have recorded what the girls were saying after the dance!

– Orvokki, (born in 1946)

During the project the participants returned to places of subjective importance, accompanied by photographer, Bachelor of Social Sciences Helena Inkeri, to be photographed. Shared moments at the coffee table and conversations about old photo albums, documentary and art photographs opened a portal to memories of yesteryear.

The project, which began in May 2015 in the Roihuvuori service center, and continued in the fall in Helsinki Seniorisäätiö’s Kannelkoti nursing home, has given the participants an opportunity to reflect their lives, cherish unique memories and moments, and at the same time experience something entirely new. The project has also provided a platform for encounters between residents, loved ones and staff members.

In the exhibition, participants share their memories that reach as far back as the 1930’s. Photographs and texts cover diverse places from the humdrum of Helsinki city center to the serenity of Ekenäs archipelago and all the way to recollections of time spent as a wartime evacuee in rural Sweden. Fragmented memories are woven into complete stories, in which the past meets the present. The exhibited works not only tell singular stories of a person’s life, they map out collective experience and history.

In Sweden only the rich and the religious took in refugees during wartime. I didn’t care about fancy toys. The most important thing was to be loved.

Annikki, (born 1938)


Johanna said that from this side of the island the water reflects a million rays of sunshine. Here, on the bedrock, we laid down and rested together.  

Hermanni, (born 1931)


I’d like to travel back to the 60’s, to Pohjoisranta, and relive all the house parties of my youth!

Mirja, (born 1941)


Oh lord, so many memories have popped in to my mind. I wouldn’t trade a single day. My childhood was worth more than gold.

Irma (born 1939)


Even though one might not be as nimble as before, the memories still ignite the same spark as they did decades ago.


The project has been funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Art to Nursing Homes (Taidetta Hoitolaitoksiin) grant. Partners in cooperation include The Finnish Museum of Photography, Roihuvuori service center and Seniorisäätiö. Recordings linked to the photographs: Helena Inkeri, HUMAK University of Applied Sciences, programme of Cultural Management.

Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Taidetta Hoitolaitoksiin grant aims to contribute, through art or applied arts, to the quality of life of people in need of care.

Facebook: Elämän Paikat

The Finnish Museum of Photography, Process Space