Photography and the City … in exceptional times, spring 2020 (online)

Photography and the city have been strongly connected from the beginning. The very first photographs were images taken of a city and preserved on an asphalt-like bitumen surface. In the spring of 2020 a group of Aalto university students set out to explore this relation in the present day and in their own life. They studied the history and contemporary themes of urban photography, developed their own photographic interests and abilities, and started working towards an exhibition at a gallery space.
Elena Palomo, In Standby, 2020.
Elena Palomo, In Standby, 2020.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit and these initial plans had to be called off. The university shut down its premises, many students returned to their home countries and we all continued living under various degrees of lockdown. Within a short period of time our relation to our cities had changed drastically.

This online exhibition presents the ensuing visual explorations, which were simultaneously restricted and inspired by these new conditions. These images testify to an exceptional time and the new views afforded by it to our surroundings, our communities and fellow citizens.

The exhibition includes the artworks of 18 students representing various academic disciplines and half dozen different nationalities.

Enter to the Photography and the City … in exceptional times online exhibition here:



Elias Axelsson, Alex Chen, Otso Huhtala, Yu Kakegawara, Helmi Korhonen, Sohvi Kupila, Ella-Kaisa Luoma, Aleksi Mettälä, Joni Mäkelä, Félix Noblot, Elana Palomo, Lasse Pietiläinen, Diego Reitano, Masako Sakamoto, Anna Salmi, Jean Schneider, Valtteri Siikasmaa and Kento Yokose.


Kalle Kataila and Harri Laakso.

About UWAS

University Wide Art Studies (UWAS) offers every Aalto student an access to art-based thinking, creative practices, and culture. UWAS opens a possibility to include art and design studies to one’s curriculum and broaden one’s knowledge and skills beyond disciplinary boundaries. This ensures that Aalto University educates multidisciplinary graduates informed in and knowledgeable of how art and creative practices shape and define the world around us. There are no prerequisites for UWAS courses, so students from all Aalto schools are welcome to participate.

Photography and the City is a UWAS course, which was held on Period IV during the 2020–2021 academic year.

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