This autumn, I've been working with a photo exhibition about Varissuo suburb here in Turku. Together with Chrisse, one of the residents, we've been going through archives & scrap books and spent hour after hour in a dark room viewing slides from the past.
And today it all made perfect sense. We've selected a good amount of old pictures and decided to go and have a look at the locations and the way there are today.
The suburb was built in 1970´s - 1980´s and it become home especially for families with little children. Nowadays, the things that are said in connection to Varissuo are 1) it has the highest percentage of immigrants than anywhere else in Finland 2) the number of unemployed people is very high and 3) it is one of the most dangerous place to live in Turku.
However, if you ask from people living in Varissuo, You get completely different opinions. There are many who've lived in the area since the beginning and wouldn't move away, unless forced.
However, the nostalgic suburban romanticist raise her head in me again and I have to say, 30 + years do make a difference. It's not only the high contrast in old photos or the bushes and trees that have grown but the feeling of new beginning, high hopes of happy life, utopian vision of the "a compact city is a contact city"-ideology and the unforeseen future which with the knowledge of today are so strongly present in these old photos.
And it hasn't all gone for better. Feel free to visit the exhibition once it's ready - i'll let you know about the details later!
PS: Oh, and tomorrow I'll go and have my hair cut at the same place where my dad 40 years ago - speaking of nostalgy!