The classic series of photographs Finnish Everyday Life (1971) by Caj Bremer (b. 1929), who reinvented photojournalism in Finland, was brought to life after Bremer gave up his daily newspaper work to tour the country, supported by a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Bremer wanted to photograph people in their own surroundings. He found the project allowed him to delve deeper into various themes than had been possible through his job at the newspaper, such as urbanization and the modernization of rural landscapes. The 1970s was the decade of socially aware photojournalism. Bremer, too, focused his camera on social injustices, such as the exploitation and destruction of nature.
Bremer started his ambitious road trip in Sköldvik, Southern Finland, driving northwards to Oulu and then on to Muonio. He took all his photographs with his small Leica. He also carried a flash, which was rarely needed: the 35 mm format camera used natural light and more sensitive types of film. The material he accumulated over the course of a year was used to create twelve series of photographs. The texts were created in collaboration with reporter Ulla-Maija Kivikuru, Bremer's colleague at Viikkosanomat. The photographs and the texts were arranged to imitate a newspaper layout.
Bremer's professional career began in 1952 when he started working at Hufvudstadsbladet. From 1957 onwards, he worked at Viikkosanomat as the paper's first salaried photographer. Later he would go on to have a long career at Helsingin Sanomat. Caj Bremer was awarded the State Prize for Photography for this work in 1972 and the State Award for Public Information in 1973.
All works in the exhibition are silver gelatin prints by Caj Bremer, dating back to 1972. They belong to the collections of the Finnish Museum of Photography. Some of the works have been purchased by the Museum and some donated by the artist.