Meeri Koutaniemi is a Finnish photographer who started her career with a clear mission: to shed light on uncomfortable truths about social injustice around the world. Her powerful imagery and captivating stories about human fates and the resilience with which individuals face their struggles have earned her numerous awards in Finland as well as abroad.
Storytelling through photography
Meeri’s first memories about photography relate to her father, a passionate amateur photographer: – He used to set up a white screen and a slide projector and have us, his six children, settle down to watch his slide shows, Meeri recalls.
His preferred medium was diapositives and the topic always related to nature, varying from small details to wide landscapes.
– I learned to observe each photo for minutes without a hurry. I realised, then, that watching a photo wasn’t just about looking at it. You can also listen to the tones and vibrations in silence, she illuminates.
During high school, Meeri became politically active and interested in social justice. The idea of combining political activism with art started to take shape in her mind. She arrived at photojournalism as a means of spreading the word about issues that needed voicing.