Art and Media Research

Public defence in Photography, MFA Liisa Söderlund

MA Liisa Söderlund will defend the thesis: "In the picture – photography as a practice of liberation" (in Finnish) on January 12th, 2024, at 10:00 in Lecture hall A1, Otakaari 1, in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media.

A person in a light blue cap taking a picture with a red digital camera


IN THE PICTURE – photography as a practice of liberation deals with participatory photography. In this research, nine people who have experienced homelessness look at homelessness using photography as their tool. The photographs make the topics that are important to the participants visible. When pictures are shown in exhibitions, the purpose is to increase people's awareness of homelessness and to act as a visual counter-speech to the stigmatization caused by homelessness by changing stereotypical perceptions of homeless people. 

Theoretically, the research is based on the pedagogy of the oppressed by Brazilian educationist Paulo Freire (1921–1997). Freire's thinking is considered one of the theoretical cornerstones of critical pedagogy. In the empirical research, the photographic and discussion material is conceptualized as a practice of liberation with the help of Freire's ideas. This means that photography supports people's participation, cooperation and becoming visible and heard: it is a dialogic and critical awareness-seeking activity. Methodologically, IN THE PICTURE represents rebellious research, i.e. it belongs to those critical studies that take a social stand, where the participants work together with the researcher to achieve a more just world. 

Contact information of doctoral candidate: [email protected]


Doctoral candidate: MA Liisa Söderlund

Opponent: Senior Research Fellow, EdD Tuukka Tomperi, University of Tampere

Custos: Professor Harri Laakso, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media

Time: Friday 12.1.2024, 10:00 – 12:00

Location Undergraduate center, A 1 -hall 

Event language: Finnish

The audience is kindly asked to enter the lecture hall no later than 10:00.

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