Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

Monumenttikuvista elämyskuviin

Helsinki matkaesitteiden kuvituksessa 1895 - 2005

Salla Jokela

Pro gradu, joulukuu 2005.
Helsingin yliopisto, matemaattis-luonnontieteellinen tiedekunta, maantieteen laitos.

The purpose of this study is to define how Helsinki has been presented in the pictures of tourist brochures and how their illustration has changed over time. Attention is also paid to the values and meanings that the pictures mediate, as well as their historical and societal connections. The pictures are approached as representations selectively interpreting and illustrating the reality of Helsinki, while constructing mental images of it. An iconological framework structures the study. It proceeds from the description and classification of the physical features towards an analysis of time- and culture-specific meanings. The emergence of meanings and their historical and cultural underpinnings are examined from the perspectives of humanistic geography, semiotics and constructionism. In the analysis attention is paid to the discourses, myths and ideologies that underlie the representations.

Information on the physical features of the pictures and their changes is collected with a content analysis. The classified data consists of 1377 photographs. These pictures are collected from 75 tourist brochures of Helsinki that have been published between 1895 and 2005. The deeper meanings of the pictures are studied qualitatively, by paying attention to the mental images that the content elements and visual effects evoke. Research studies, contemporary literature and the texts of the tourist brochures are utilised in the interpretation of the meanings.

There has been a permanent core to objects of the pictures during the entire study period. It has consisted mainly of sights that are located close to the Senate and Market Squares. In addition, marine elements have been popular. The area of Helsinki represented in the brochures has extended from the Senate Square towards Töölö Bay. Pictures of monumental buildings and statues have been complemented with snapshots and portraits.

In the beginning of the 20th century, brochures were mainly produced for the travelling, educated elite. The style of the pictures was declaratory and educative. They aimed at medating an objective image of the reality that prevailed in Helsinki. In practice, the pictures were connected to a patriotic ideology and the corresponding myth of Finnishness. In the second half of the 20th century the improvement of the standard of living led to a democratisation of consumers and an increase in the tourism demand. Local culture and the everyday life of "ordinary" people became popular themes in the pictures. A new welfare ideology manifested itself in the people of the local residential areas, for instance. The increase in the cultural diversity has led to the recognition of new target groups, expecially since the 1980s. The human figures in the pictures have started to function as objects of identification and a means of constructing mental images. A pronounced emphasis on experience and individuality in the illustration of the tourist brochures mirrors the post-modern change and a new ideology based on consumption.

The construction and consumption of the pictures in the tourist brochures is governed by the conventions of representation and interpretaion that are typical of the genre of tourist brochures. The pictures emphasize the perceived positive characteristics of Helsinki and thus construct a skewed view of the reality. However, consumers can knowingly use the pictures as a means of dreaming and detaching themselves from their everyday reality.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 19.05.2006

Yhteystiedot, Contact information E-thesis Helsingin yliopisto, University of Helsinki