Majaoja Awarded 2017

24.11.2017 - 14.01.2018

The 30th anniversary exhibition program of The Northern Photographic Centre in 2017 ends with a group exhibition of three artists awarded with a photography prize by Majaoja foundation. The artists awarded and their group exhibition were published in Tampere in September at the Backlight photographic art festival. Backlight festival, along with Photographic Center Nykyaika located in Tampere, is a long-time partner for The Northern Photographic Centre. 

The Majaoja foundation decided to support Finnish photographic art by awarding three Finnish artists from the year 2017 Backlight photographic art festival. The theme of the festival was independence and the awarded artists were selected from amongst all the individual artists and groups that had applied to the festival. A Backlight jury, whose members were Tuula Alajoki, Miha Colner, Angela Ferreira and Tina Schelhorn, together with the board of Majaoja foundation, chose the awarded artists.

The Majaoja award was given to Juha Suonpää, Juha Arvid Helminen and Jaakko Kahilaniemi with following arguments: 

3rd prize (3000€)

Juha Suonpää: IBIDEM

The award goes to an artist, who has made extensive backround research when collecting and going through the material to his work that is premiered in the Backlight exhibition.  Glass negative photos taken from the events of the year 1918 events in Tampere are impressive as such, but after this artist has combined those with street art photos from Tampere in 2017, they create a muting impression. This artwork is timeless and current both at the same time.

2nd prize  (5000€)

Juha Arvid Helminen: The Invisible Empire

The award goes to an artist, whose carefully staged photographs about authority and the forms and usage of power both fascinate and horrify the viewer at the same with their severity.

1st prize  (10000€)

Jaakko Kahilaniemi: 100 Hectares of Understanding

The award goes to an artist, whose series convinced the jury with its peculiarity not super imposed. The theme is ordinary, even the so-called second home for the Finnish people: shared, mental home where the roots of our nation can be traced. The artist measures, cuts, archives and photographs this home with nearly scientific accuracy, yet keeping human warmth. The serious is ambitious, insightful and through-thought all the way to naming the works. The series transmits the attachment and responsibility that the artist, the owner has towards forest.


Exhibition is introduced on Kiertelemättä gallery tour on Thursday 7.12. at 5pm.

Juha Suonpää, from the series IBIDEM


  • Juha Suonpää: Ibidem
  • Juha Arvid Helminen: The Invisible Empire
  • Jaakko Kahilaniemi: 100 Hectares of Understanding