23 March 2007

Few documentaries

Few good documentaries that I recommend. I don't have time to write about them more at the moment; hopefully later. But the first one is "Rageh inside Iran", which will show you the nation in a light you probably haven't seen it. An interesting BBC documentary. The second on is by Byron Hurt and it's called "Hiphop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes". That one is a critical look into the culture that has been taken over long time ago by markets.

Watch Rageh in Iran from the Google Video site. I recommend this as you can have the full screen option.

Hiphop:Beyond Beats and Rhymes at Google Video site.

20 March 2007

Review of my feature "Street Kids in Cape Town".

Here is a review of my feature 'Street kids in Cape Town' by Program Director John Hingsbergen from WMUB-FM, Oxford, Ohio.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars

Adjectives: Earnest, Informational, Thoughtful

Listen to the feature here:

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This is a factual, apparently well-researched piece giving the listener a glimpse of an often-overlooked problem. Although it focuses on the streets of Cape Town, the story could be produced on the streets of many American cities.

Producer/narrator Mikko Kapanen has a dry matter-of-fact delivery that serves the piece well by avoiding the impression of a bias that could be communicated through a more emotional presentation. The speakers tell their own story without need for more elaborate narration.

Our public radio listeners consider themselves "world citizens" but this piece might be most effective when used with a locally-produced companion piece or as a setup for a talk show about the plight of youth in our cities.

From a technical point of view, I applaud the use of a stereo mic in the sound gathering. There is however a notable perceived difference in levels between the narrator and the interview subjects.

Some listeners may have difficulty understanding the content of the interview clips due to the heavy accent of the speakers. I got used to it after a couple of minutes and assume other listeners will have the same experience.

This review can be found from PRX website.

18 March 2007

Reflecting back a bit

My exhibition 'Kipepeo' is finally up. If you’re around the Manchester area, you are more than welcome to check it out at Cafe Muse and if not go and have a look at the online version. I also have some fotos from the venue and from the preparation process which you can view here.

The whole process from beginning to an end; although it hasn’t ended yet, but, say, so far, has been such a learning experience. Much more work than I would have guessed but the satisfaction to see the images up was also better than I thought. It wasn’t just something along the way but an actual moment of pride. Not bad at all. Seeing for the first time people just being there, mostly drinking coffee not even concentrating on the images, was nice. It was a moment when it all become quite real and definitely a moment to remember.

I have just the other day booked the tickets to Finland so I will be there for the Easter. Next few weeks will be incredibly hectic as I may still make my way to Manchester to a radio conference where my boss from Cape Town is talking. Haven’t made up my mind about it yet but I’d really like to go.

I have also uploaded whole bunch of old fotos to my flickr site (the older one of the two). Many of them are from live concerts and although the quality (or the camera at the time) isn't always the best possible I still find some value in them. Go and check them out from here.

10 March 2007

Participating in the democratic process

It’s election time again in Finland. Last time around, four years ago when I was living in Ireland I didn't vote. What happened then was that some serious idiots were elected including a boxer, a singer and a radio presenter; none of them should have been anywhere near the decision making and although my vote would not have stopped them to get in, I felt that I wasn’t quite in a position to complain.

I checked out the information what should I do in order “to get my voice heard” and was positively surprised to find that there was a place to vote in Birmingham. Well, the website said Birmingham but it actually was in Solihul. That’s an hour or so in a local bus which isn’t too bad but I was surprised that they didn’t organise it in the second city but rather in its surrounding suburb. It turned out when I got to Solihul that it actually isn’t near the centre at all and that the only way for me to get there is to take a taxi. I hadn’t planned using too much money in this but I was already out of town and woke up early just to get there so I thought that I am not going to turn away now. So I took a cab to Knowle, a small place somewhere outside of immediate Solihul. It was a posh looking place. Solihul is where the rich people move from Birmingham but this was even more affluent; that most often translates into the lack of means of transport for poor students like myself.

So there I was cruising with a cab that I didn’t particularly feel I could afford and thought that I am going to need another ride to get back from there. At that point I was thinking that what in the world made them to put my voting place in such a messed up far away place. It appeared when I jumped out of the cab, asking him to wait for a ten minutes, that Knowle is home to some small Finnish community which, if I understood it correctly, makes coffee and drinks that then together every second Saturday. Woman in a traditional dress greeted me not being quite sure in which language, but as soon as I gave my passport and started speaking Finnish they asked me questions and even invited me for a coffee, which I would have had if there wasn’t a cab waiting for me. I was invited to join their community of coffee drinking every second Saturday which I kindly refused with a smile and a comment “let’s see about that”.

But it was their small community who had organised the opportunity to vote at the first place so I didn’t feel it would have been appropriate to start complaining to these elderly ladies in traditional Finnish clothes inviting me for a coffee – I may be a cynic but I am not a monster.

When leaving the yard decorated with small Finnish flags tied up into trees and walls the cab driver asked me am I going to start hanging out with these people. Although I already knew that I won’t, I then realised what a ridiculous idea it would be. Not because they wouldn’t be good people or anything like that. It is just one of those inexplicable things that are unquestionable for no apparent reason.

But the main thing of the day wasn’t that my quest for my democratic right of voting set me back a total amount of £18 (approximately 28 Euro!), but that I used my right as an adult citizen and voted. Now I voted for a person that is not very likely to get into parliament but it’s all the same. Of course I wish she will but at least no one can tell me that I don’t have a right to complain if things don’t go the way I wished they did – I have probably more right than anyone this time.

8 March 2007


My blogging has decreased to the minimum lately. Surely I will get more active when I don’t have that many things on the plate anymore; now for instance I should write my research, not this. It still needs to be said that the preparations for the exhibition I wrote about before are going well. I have all the images done and printed and now I only need to take care of few other things such as frames and then brochure. Photographs themselves will go up next Monday.

Another thing that is happening at the moment, well Saturday actually is that I am going to vote. I have never before got around voting “abroad” and now we have a parliamentary election in Finland and I have figured out not only where should I go but also who do I give my support to.

Today I was on an inaugural lecture of my Professor. That was nice event. He was talking about popular music, radio and things like that using James Brown as an example.

When I get the photographs up for my first exhibition I will write more and I also by the way have already confirmed another exhibition in Birmingham. That will take place in June in the Central Library. It’ll be a very different space but no less exciting.

2 March 2007

My First Exhibition

This week has been unlike any week before in my life. That’s always good if it is better than rest – or at least different but great. I have confirmed my first photographic exhibition which will take place starting 11.3, next week, in Manchester CafĂ© Muse (Manchester Museum).

So wonderful news on that front but I am busy enough at the moment getting the prints, organising frames, getting my pictures to Manchester and designing a brochure etc for this exhibition.

The Images shown will be from my Tanzania set which I have updated with some images that I have not used previously.

I am sure I will return to this later on and tell how everything is going but now I must run again to the printers.