What meanings do we attach to the city space while documenting it, and how does the social video landscape reflect urban realities? Urban Takes Helsinki, a project by Michelle Teran, looks at personal stories and different perspectives of Helsinki as depicted through online video. The project is created in collaboration with seven amateur videomakers living in the city who post their videos on YouTube.
Each videomaker is active in documenting their city surroundings, though in distinctly individual ways. Together these collections form a social map of the city, creating a container of stories within the streets and neighbourhoods of Helsinki. For Urban Takes Helsinki, videomakers are invited to talk about their personal archives to reflect on their views of the city and how they see themselves in it. In the 7-part series of interviews the videomakers – dropkernel, eeropalomaki, Iitupunk, OlliSulopuisto, Satisfate, SatunnainenKulkija, tapsahie – presented via their YouTube alias.
Urban Takes Helsinki was presented as an installation consisting of 7 flat screens for the interviews, a collage and a projection based on the participants’ YouTube videos. The installation was shown at the Lasipalatsi gallery during Media Facades 2012, August 23-26. The documented interviews were published as a series on the M2HZ channel.