What does our city look like from an outsider’s perspective? A group of French and Belgian photographers visited Pori in August as a part of the Paris-North Cape Photo Adventure. Their photos have now been turned into an exhibition. The exhibition can be visited for free in Kaupunkiolohuone (“City Living Room”) in IsoKarhu shopping centre.
Paris-North Cape Photo Adventure is a photo adventure where different teams travel from Paris to North Cape and back again. During the trek, they stop at different destinations to take part in photo trophy competitions.
– This is our 20th jubilee doing the adventure, and we’ve never been in Western Finland before. Pori fit our route well, and the city turned out to be an intriguing object for photo art, too. We’ve never before been told to not take pretty pictures, take real pictures, amuses journalist and producer Philippe Boucher, the founder and organiser of the adventure.
In Pori, the teams were provided with a map of the city centre, and a request to show us what they see in our Pori. There were five specific themes, combining what Pori is known for, and what Pori would like to be known for. The themes were Finnish happiness, Finland’s most industrious city, life in the centre of Pori, history and heritage, and link between people and nature in Pori.
After a difficult curation, 31 shots were chosen for the photo exhibition. Criteria for the choices was to include pictures that immediately show that they are taken from Pori, and that they portray moments and snapshots of life especially in the city centre.
“Photography isn’t just about the photos, it’s about the moments”
In the end of August, the meeting room of Visit Pori is very quiet, but you can sense the concentration. A jury of three is currently reviewing 180 photos, that 18 different groups have provided them. The jury includes photographers Esko Pamppunen and Tomi Glad, and Jyri Träskelin, the Head of the City of Pori Culture department.
Initially when hearing the five themes for the Pori Photo Trophy, Boucher wondered if the theme linking people and nature should be withdrawn, as they were due to focus on the city centre. Little did he know about how green the centre of Pori actually is. In fact, every jury member mentioned that the photos of that specific theme had been their favourite.
Finally, the jury has chosen the winners. In addition to each theme having a winning photo, an overall winner of the Pori Photo Trophy is chosen. We can reveal here that the team who won the Pori Photo Trophy won the whole competition. Congratulations, Les Barbus (“Beards”)!
Les Barbus is Johan and Adrien from France. Johan is a first-timer on the Paris-North Cape trek, and Adrien has participated once before in 1996.
– It’s a very intense experience with lots of kilometres, different landscapes, different people and reduced times to take photos. This creates challenges.
In Pori, Johan and Adrien first were pickled by the request to take pictures of life in the centre – but at 6PM, the centre was quiet. They decided to go look for young people and students, and found them around a campus area. One of these shots was what brought them the win of Pori Photo Trophy.
– Our favourite picture from Pori is of a group of happy young people. We got to share a really nice and fun moment with them, talking and getting to know each other. A photo is not just about the end result, but the moment in which it is taken.
Pori Photo Trophy is organised by the City of Pori, Visit Pori and Porikorttelit. It takes place in the Kaupunkiolohuone space in shopping centre IsoKarhu on the bottom floor. On Porin Päivä, Saturday 24th September, Philippe Boucher is visiting the exhibition. The exhibition is open until 30th October from Wed to Sun from 12 to 6PM. You can see more moments of Paris-North Cape Photo Adventure on their Instagram account @pariscapnord.