The Representation of Violence in Finnish (Press-) Photography of the Finnish Civil War. (Maarten Patteeuw)


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The research of this masters thesis was a very time consuming and demanding project which was further complicated by the use of at least three languages for consulting sources, correspondation and writing the final version. A lot of people contributed to the final version of this thesis in varying degrees.


First of all I would like to thank my promotor Professor De Wever for the advice and support he gave me, not only in choosing a topic but also for supporting the “new media” part in this thesis.


In Helsinki I would like to thank all lecturers at the History Department, Marita for giving me small but important hints throughout these two years and especially the archivists at the Kansan and Työvaen Arkisto for providing most of the crucial photographs.


A big thank you goes to my fellow students Kim and Nathalie for sharing information and supporting me throughout these not always easy years of studying at the History Department. Also Tuomo and Dirk for the necessary help in creating the cd-rom  "Finnish Civil War Photography"for this thesis.


Finally, but very specially, I thank my parents and Riikka. My parents for not only making it possible for me to study during all these years but also for sharpening my critical sense and providing me with a lot of usefull background information. Without Riikka this thesis would simply not have been possible. Not only did she translate all necessary information from Finnish into English and proofread the final draft, she also kept up my writting spirit during difficult moments.





I arrived to the University of Helsinki as an exchange student in October 2000 with a very basic knowledge of Finnish history. What I remembered from my courses in contemporary history during my bachelor studies was the ‘heroic battle’ of the Finns during the Winter War in 1939 against the Soviet Union, and the independence of the country gained after the Brest-Litovsk treaty in 1917. The only Finn I had heard of, except for some sporters and athletes, was the very charismatic bold-headed politician Urho Kekkonen. I did not really see a link between these three political subjects but this would gradually change during my courses in Finnish history.


During these courses I was told that there had been an “internal war” in 1917 with many different names: Civil War, Independence War and even Class War. From that moment it became clear to me that not only the matter was rather complicated (as all “historical events”) but there was a certain uneasyness and vagueness surrounding the events. After bringing up the topic with different Finns with varying succes I found out that there had been a rather bloody Civil War with a number of casualties varying betweeen 20 000  and 30 000. The difference in numbers, 10 000 people on a population of 3 000 000 during a conflict that lasted for three and a half months, astonished me.


Then people recommended me to read the trilogy “Under the Northern Star” by Väiniö Linna first published in 1959. In three volumes, only recently translated into English, he describes the family history of the Koskela family from the last quarter of the 19th century until the Winter War. Linna draws a portrait of the changes in Finnish society through the everyday life of the different generations living in a smal village near Tampere. By doing so he describes the perception of political events, social relations and the changing economical situation from a grass-root perspective. Although fictional the work gives us an accurate idea of the situation of the Grand Duchy of Finland under Russian rule and the frictions between the Swedish speaking upper class and the Finnish speaking farmers living in harsh conditions. In short: he describes the circumstances leading to the Civil War, the Civil War itself and the years leading up to the final event the Winter War. Linna provided background information and a global image of the Civil War that was better than most fragmented historical writings I was able to find.


The next question then was: Which aspect of the war would I focus on and which sources would I use? As I have an interest in photography the field of photography as a “historical source” on this exact period seemed interesting. Furthermore within historiography the validation of photography since the 1960’s has been increasing but a lot of questions remain. No publications on photography of the Civil War were to be found and the (same) photographs used in writings on the events had a mere “illustrating” function. Was this all of the existing photographic material that existed on the events? I decided ‘to see’ for myself how much victims were represented at the time and more precisely how they were represented.















Finnish History

Press History


History of Photography




New Media





1. Defining the field of study


1. From Grand Duchy over civil war to an independent state: Finnish society in the beginning of the 20th century.


1.1 Finland Before 1917


1.1.1 The structure of Finnish society before 1917


When we look at the situation of Finland in at the beginning of the 20th century, we should take in account that there was no such “state” of Finland as we know it today but a Grand Duchy, since 1809, under the rule of the Russian Tsar. This meant that the internal policy was directed by St-Petersburg and, depending on the successive Tsars, with little or no possibility of political involvement for the Finns untill after the general strike in 1905 (after the defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese war) and the reform of the parliamentary system in 1906. After the first democratic parliamentary elections in 1907 the Social Democrats (SDP)[1] emerged as the biggest party[2], and would maintain this position untill 1917. However these electoral victories were offset by the failure to achieve any concrete improvements for the working class through parliamentary action.

In 1914 Finnish society was still based on agriculture and forestry in which 2/3 of the population was active. Society was organised in another way at the countryside: the Finnish rural commune was run by freeholders in collaboration with the rural police official and supported by the parish priest. The freeholders ran the commune through their monopoly of giving employment, and through their control of the commune meeting, at which they alone had votes and which controlled such matters as poor relief. The cottagers and labourers did not have a right to strike and as the socialists only made some progress in organizing the so-called ‘torppari’[3] the bulk of the rural proletariat remained unorganised and unaroused. In a rural society, out of sheer necessity, the SDP partly built its rural power base around the grievances of the torppari. The socialists adopted a policy of emancipation of tenants without compensation, whereas the various bourgeois groups expected the tenants to purchase their freehold. On this basis the SDP won substantial torppari support. In 1911, the party adopted the more reasonable agrarian policy of nationalization of all land, though they prudently added that until the revolution, the policy above mentioned would be retained. Most of these people (125 000 families) were undercapitalised and basically uneconomic and thus vulnerable to exploitation by bankers, dealers and lawyers. Hence they had common enemies with the workers and were potential allies, but they were fanatically attached to their property owner status, which the SDP seemed to be threatening. Also religious motives played a role as the Social Democrats were atheists and the torppari devoted pietists.


The industrial labour force increased from 28 600 in 1885 to 110 000 (3% of the total population) in 1914 but society was clearly still predominantly agrarian and rural. The main industries were lumbering and wood milling (34 000 employees), textiles (15 000), paper industry (12 000) and industry machine shops (12 000). The legal status of the workers (legal discrimination was still the same in 1917 as in 1914) made it possible for landowners and industry employers, who often neglected the workers’ unions, to abuse their power. Another important aspect was the language barrier between the Swedish speaking owners and Finnish speaking workers. It seems realistic to suppose that Finnish workers embraced the class war dogma, as portrayed by the SDP, with enthusiasm not because they were convinced of the strength of Marxist arguments, but because it corresponded with the workers’ own perception of the realities of their lives.

So we can say that in 1914 Finland was a stable society with the Russian presence, though an irritant in some ways, as the ultimate guarantee of stability and prosperity. At the outbreak of the First World War the economic situation decreased slightly. Since Finland was not involved directly in the war, and there was no full compulsory military service for all Finnish men in the Russian army, the economic situation was stable for a while. However there were negative changes in the amounts of import and export by the end of the year. One of the most drastic was the import of fertilizers falling to about one half of the total of 1913.


1.1.2 The impact of the March Revolution of 1917


The situation started to change in March 1917 with the abdication of the Tsar (in Russia) and his replacement by the Kerenski government. The March Revolution had overthrown the monarchy, but not the political system of prime ministerial government and the elected parliament that emerged in 1905-06. The Revolution and the abdication of the Tsar meant that there no longer was a Grand Duke of Finland but the country was governed by the Duma and the provisional government it had elected, headed by the Prime Minister. The Finns would have to come to terms with them. At this time the split within the democratic forces of the parliament became clear in their way of approaching the new Russian government. The Finns surprised the Russians with presenting two manifestos: one from the Social Democrats, containing social reform commitments, and another from the non-socialist groups. The Russians urged the Finns to agree among themselves and a compromise, which inclined heavily towards the non-socialist draft, was reached. The revolution reached Helsinki on March 13 and from that day on things started to move.

It directly became clear that there was a growing division between the SDP politicians and the workers who wanted immediate action in the socialist camp. Some socialist groups saw the farmers as supporting the bourgeois and violent incidents multiplied while mobs of strikers attempted to stop farmers and their families from working. The government tried to alleviate the situation, first by emphasizing the seriousness of the food crisis, in which anything that might reduce production was suicidal. Due to climatological circumstances, the 1917 harvest would in anyway be worse than in previous years. This is shown by the figures of the consumption of basic goods on the graraph below[4]:


Crowds invaded open-air markets and forced stallholders to lower their prices which had raised due to an decreasing offer of products and the inflation of the Finnish Mark[5] (graph 2). For the ordinary wage earner food was not only outrageously expensive, but by 1917 it was not available in adequate quantities except on the black market, where only the upper class could afford to buy their supplies. In this way the black market would play an important role in the social agitation to come. The fact that in most local authorities’ councils the workers had few or no representatives was a constant source of trouble. The official socialist policy was to wait for a reform of local government, but some more militant local parties were not prepared to wait. The situation was the same as everywhere in Europe during wartime and no evidence existed then for the kind of deliberate activity of holding back food described to the farmers, distributors and officials. 



Until August 1917 the situation in Finland was still recognizably normal, in spite of the revolution and the disorders it had caused. A legitimate Finnish government and parliament governed the country, however unsatisfactorily, within the bounds of the constitution and the law. From August onward, this was no longer the case. After the riots of August 17 in Helsinki the question of the government raising a Home Guard came up again for two reasons. First the desire of the property owners to defend themselves against “hooligans” and “anarchists” by raising volunteer forces that would co-operate with the public authorities in maintaining order; and secondly, the plans of the activists to raise an underground army to work with the Germans and fight the Russians. Here it has to be pointed out that although the Russians increased the power of the legitimate government they still had different garrisons in different areas of Finland. In the meanwhile a small part of the Jägers, Finnish soldiers trained in Germany, returned as civilians to Finland, and Germany started providing arms for the Home Guard[6].

The workers’ Red Guard, established for the first time in 1906 after the general strike of 1905 and later dissolved again in 1908, was re-established. They met for the first time on May 12 in Kaisaniemi (Helsinki) and increased their number during the months to come. On September 3 the Helsinki Red Guard announced its existence and asked the Council for recognition saying that the workers needed “a powerful armed body” because “the bourgeoisie has already organised its armed butcher guard”.[7]


It has often been asserted that the emergent Red Guard represented the intrusion of new and alien elements into the workers’ movement, and recruited heavily from the unemployed, the fortification workers, and even criminal elements. Most early units were recruited by trade unions on a selective basis, and membership was restricted to members in good standing, not least because these were clandestine organizations at first. Statistical analyses prove this fact[8]. The Guard was not run or dominated by hooligan or anarchist elements, despite widespread contemporary beliefs of socialists and others redundant.  Phenomena such as hooliganism, drunkenness, gambling, etc. did not increase during this period, although conservatives tried to make it look that way. What seems to have happened in 1917 was that unemployed migrant labourers, many discharged from Russian war work, who had never been members of a trade union or of the SDP, drifted into the suburbs of the larger towns where prospects of relief were better. A degree of unruliness and petty criminality had probably been part of their life style, and they hung around mass meetings, shouted down or intimidated moderate speakers, and included an element of violent men ready for any kind of direct action, if only to relieve the tedium. The hooligan elements made a marginal contribution to intensifying the unrest that the fear of hunger and unemployment stirred up among workers who would normally have repudiated violence and illegality.


1.1.3 The Finnish October elections and it’s consequences


It looks as if the emergence of two mutually hostile paramilitary organizations seems to be the most important development in Finland during September and October but the interest and attention of the people was concentrated on the general elections and its results. The non-socialist parties entered the election divided about tactics on the supposed central issue of autonomy, but united in their determination to overturn the socialist majority. On the other hand these alliance parties were continually exasperated by what they saw as the priggish and frivolous way in which the Agrarians and the Activists put independence above law and order, and occasionally lashed out at them as splitters and procreators to their class. The bourgeois said that the socialists, far from being champions of independence, were the self-proclaimed comrades of the Russian soldiers whose presence was at the root of trouble. Helsingin Sanomat[9] said outright that the SDP only pretended to deplore anarchy, that in reality “it directly defends hooligans and murderers” and that the real election issue was “for or against the rule of the hooligans.”

The socialist leaders were confident of victory: it seemed unlikely that their unbroken run of electoral success would be broken this time. They feared that if they could not satisfy the masses through parliament, there would be a spontaneous revolutionary uprising that would be beyond their power to control. Otto Ville Kuusinen[10] did not see the revolution as an opportunity to be embraced, but as a catastrophe to be avoided, and almost all his colleagues agreed with him. Although in general till that time the workers found that a policy of taking over the local authorities was less effective than leaving them in office and exerting pressure from outside by direct action.


In the meanwhile, there were troubles with food delivery and an advance payment to Russia for delivering grain was never fulfilled by the Russians. This made certain that Finland would be desperately short of bread for the coming winter. If the socialist leaders were to avoid the disaster they feared, they should have tried to avoid stirring up emotive reactions over the food crisis, but the temptation to play politics was too much for them and they denied all responsibility by stating that the bourgeois were in power and “he who has the power, also has the responsibility.” In this atmosphere every move by either side was seen almost exclusively in terms of electoral politics. The voting took place on October 1 and 2 while in Tampere, Turku and Pori the bread supply was nearly exhausted. The results were known on October 11 and the biggest winner was the Agrarian party winning 7 seats and helping to create an anti-socialist bloc of 108 against 92. The leaders of the SDP had convinced themselves that the masses were “on the move” and soon events suggested they were. In Turku food riots broke out and there were calls for a general strike. Everyone agreed that unless the government could be compelled to take action over food, the workers could not be held back.

At the same time the power of the Finnish Bolsheviks increased (Lenin himself was staying in Helsinki at that time) and when they held their congress from 11 to 13 of October they claimed having over 9 000 party members in Finland. They also adopted Lenin’s line that the class struggle had reached the point were civil war was inevitable, and the sole task for the party was to prepare for this.

On November 1 the Social Democrats presented the “Me Vaadimme” (We Demand) program in which they answered to the electoral defeat. It asserted that the dissolution had been the product of conspiracy between the bourgeoisie and Russian reactionaries, and that the election had been distorted by a mixture of lavish expenditure and fraud by bourgeois election officials. The program required immediate action on food an unemployment, the implementation of the reforms carried in the old parliament, further reforming legislation on a social security system, emancipation of tenant farmers, a purge of the judiciary and the civil service and the drafting of a new, democratic constitution.


1.1.4 The Russian October Revolution


The next event influencing the existing conflict was the Russian October revolution overthrowing the provisional government on November 7 splitting Finnish political forces in two.  After the October Revolution the goal of the Social Democrats was to realise Finnish independence by means of a manifesto for the new Russian government, which clashed with the German-oriented independence policy of the of the bourgeois groups.[11]

“The question of organising the supreme executive power in Finland needed to be finally resolved. A proposal by the bourgeois parties to transfer that power to a three-member state board was carried by 127 votes to 69, but the decision was not implemented because of opposition from the Agrarian Union and the Social Democrats. As their counter-proposal in the Eduskunta[12] the Social-Democrats put forward a manifesto which the Social Democratic party council had approved a week earlier. Besides a wide social reform programme, this included a demand that Finland’s freedom be safeguarded by an agreement with Russia recognising the law on supreme power passed by the Eduskunta in July 1917. However, the manifesto was not even discussed in the Eduskunta because, in the Speaker’s opinion, ‘it did not meet the formal requirements of a proposal for legislation.’[13]

The bourgeois feared for their position or as Hultin said: “the wave of victorious Bolshevism will give our socialists water under their mill, and they are certainly able to start it turning.”[14] On November 12 the delegations of SDP, SAJ[15] and the Bolsheviks met and the socialist position rested on the belief that history now demanded that in Finland power be transferred to the workers, or else they would surely seize it themselves. At the end, the socialists pursued the offer of independence on which they all agreed and postponed the problem of taking power, over which they were divided. Or as Manner would repeat until the 12 of January 1918: “We Social Democrats do not want to oppose the maintenance of order, on the contrary we desire to take part in it. But it has been said many times that there must be established a democratic order, and it must be preserved democratically. That is the task we support.”[16] The Finnish Trade Union Organisation declared a general strike which began during the night of November 14. In the five days of its duration, there were several skirmishes and violent clashes, further inflaming the atmosphere. On November 15, the Eduskunta declared itself the repository of supreme power.


The Eduskunta appointed Pehr Evind Svinhufvud’s so-called “Independence Senate” on November 27 comprising representatives from only the bourgeois party. A declaration of independence was constituted and first had to be signed, insisted by all western countries, by the new Russian Bolshevik government. While the socialists had already assured themselves of the support by the Bolsheviks by meeting Lenin on the December 27 the official government only met Lenin on the 28th and he let them know that as soon there was an official demand he would get it approved by the Council of People’s Commissars in St-Petersburg. Which they did on January 4. The “freedom to break away” was designed by Lenin to lay a foundation for small sister-nations later “freely to join” the Russian Socialist Federation. Lenin also believed that the Finns would be among the first to join when the revolution spread from Russia to the West.

The bourgeois side was glued to its image of the Red Guard as either criminal in itself, or consisting of honest Finnish workers inflamed by a criminal leadership, in collusion with the Russians. The socialists could see the bourgeois only as brutal exploiters, food hoarders, and war profiteers, on whom the acts of violence were a wholly proper, if regrettable retribution.


On the 12th of January 1918 the senate was empowered by the Eduskunta to take action and create a “strong police authority” for the country. To head this undertaking Svinhufvud summoned Lieutenant-General C.G. Mannerheim, who had left the Russian army after the October revolution and returned to his native Finland. On January 25 the senate declared the Civil Guards to be government troops and war broke out almost simultaneously. In Viipuri battles broke out between Civil Guards and Red Guards of January 27 and the next morning a red lantern was raised on the tower of the Workers’ Hall in Helsinki marking the start of the revolution. On the 28th Mannerheim disarmed with his Civil Guards 5000 Russians in Ostrobothnia.


1.2. The Civil War: Red and White Finland


1.2.1 Red Finland


After fights broke out the frontline was stabilizing after a few days some 50 kilometres north of the cities of Pori, Tampere, Lahti and Viipuri and Finland was divided into two parts each with their own government. On the one hand there was the White Svinhufvud-government[17] in Vaasa[18], and on the other ‘The People’s Council’ with Kullervo Manner[19] as the chairman and Otto Ville Kuusinen, Yrjö Sirola and Oskari Tokoi as the people’s representatives in Helsinki. Due to the strong workers Red Guard divisions in the towns mentioned above almost all Finnish industrial complexes were in hands of the revolutionaries. The capital of White Finland at that time, Vaasa, was only 200 km away from Pori and Tampere.

By the end of February Kuusinen introduced his ‘socialist-program’ based on the Swiss system and the French and American Declaration of Independence. The leaders of the revolution were aiming at a parliamentary democracy rather than a proletarian dictatorship and in this way were ideologically seen as being far away from the Russian Bolshevik Revolution and, in 1919, the Berlin Spartacist Revolt. They got forced into the war by a minority of radicals who used the social-economic situation of December 1917 as the decisive argument to call for a ‘class struggle’.


‘The People’s Council’ taking power on January 27 faced many organisational problems. In all public services almost all former employees were on strike or sympathizing with the Whites and had to be replaced by workers who were not always qualified for the job. In the field of financing and banking there was a clear sabotage by the bourgeois bankers which the Red Government did not handle in a proper way. The Red Government was headed for financial disaster from its very first days, but it did not survive quite long enough for this to have a decisive effect on the outcome.


A formal decree on local government was issued on the February 14 1918: the old local authorities were abolished and would be replaced by collective institutions at each level. The system was to be a highly decentralized and democratic form of government, though insofar as it rested on the organized workers only, it had elements of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It was intended that the new authorities should become financially independent and raise their own revenues locally.[20]

Four main categories of expenditure had to be met: the military costs of the war; the costs of central government, including public services like the railways; the costs of local government, which were mainly the expense of providing social service payments for the poor and unemployed; and the costs of maintaining and reviving economic activity[21].


The Red Guards, like any other mass army, contained a proportion of antisocial elements, with the difference that it did not have the usual brutal military discipline to keep them in check. It was certainly not true that, as alleged in White propaganda, it was dominated by professional criminals, not even true that criminal elements were significantly involved in the various acts of violence perpetrated by Guard members. The discipline was undermined by the ‘democratic’ approach within the Red Guard groups: officers were often elected by the battalion and consequently not always competent as military commanders. Another unprofessional habit was the ‘9 to 5 fighting’, soldiers often went home in the evening and returned in the morning to continue the fight.

Both governments were untill a large extent dependent on military force to uphold their authority while both had to deal with hostile populations within their territory. In the last resort, the Deputation was always dependent on the Red Guard, and had to pay careful regard to the wishes of its members. They could control the Red Guard up to a point, but their control always fell short of the level that a normally constituted government can exercise over it’s armed forces.[22]


The army did not have a clear structure and local commanders developed plans that not always coincided with the strategy determined in Helsinki. There was a constant shortage of officers, battlefield tactics had to be kept basic and regularly there were food shortages at the front. The only clear advantage that the Red troops had was their industrial knowledge which made it possible to construct efficient armed trains, at that time the most useful means of transportation.

The Red Guards tried to recover as much as possible military material from the withdrawing Russian divisions[23] in Finland. Some Russian garrisons fought short battles over their equipment, others voluntarily handed over their weapons and a few hundred soldiers[24] and some officers even joined the Red Guards. This Russian input is the reason why the Whites claimed to fight a ‘War of Independence’. In fact, three quarters of the Russians simply wanted to flee the country and return home; and that only some of the Bolshevik sympathizers remained in Red Finland to fight side by side with their revolutionary comrades.[25]


1.2.2 White Finland


The White territory was predominantly rural while most of the urban centers and main parts of the country’s industry were in the area of Red Finland. This implied that Svinhufvud could continue working with local authorities and did not have to replace the already existing (under Russian rule) bureaucracy. White Finland had a food surplus; The socialists were correct in their suspicions that the farmers had had large stocks that they had been concealing. Moreover, since the cities did not have to be supplied, White Finland in general experienced no food shortage and the army was always fed adequately. Hence the ‘government’ troops (the former Civil Guards) were concentrated in the Ostrobothnia province, a region with a lot of farmers sympathetic to the White cause.


But the most important part of the army was still to arrive. By the end of February an elite group of a 1000 light infantry ‘Jägers’[26] arrived in Vaasa. These were men, 2000 in total, who had received a military training in Germany and had gained front-experience against the Russians in Kurland. As officers and instructors they formed the backbone of Mannerheim’s army. Part of these troops, 400 in total, remained in Germany not wanting to fight the Reds because of their own working-class background or ideological convictions.[27]

The structure of this White army was rather complicated: the soldiers were mainly Finnish peasants, the lower ranking officers were Finns trained in Germany and the staff was composed of Swedish and Russian officers lead by a Swedish[28] speaking Finnish general. This resulted in internal tensions and Mannerheim could only stay in control by intelligent manoeuvring between all parties.


It was much easier for the White government to sell itself abroad while all bourgeois European governments were strongly opposed to an expansion of Bolshevism in Northern Europe. While Red Finland (naively) put all its hopes on the support of the Russian Bolsheviks the Vaasa government asked for military and financial support from Sweden and Germany[29]. As Frey[30] stated it to the Swedish government in early February 1918: “The struggle which is now in progress in Finland is not a class war… but is a collision between, on the one side a legal social order… and on the other side plain terrorist activity”[31]. Despite the the diplomat’s efforts, Sweden officially stayed neutral in the conflict[32] but the Swedish government did grant holiday permits to a number of army officers. These officers then joined Mannerheim’s staff in Vaasa and were in command of large parts of the army.


In Berlin another White government diplomat, Edvard Hjelt, played a similar role in persuading foreign powers for, preferably military, support to the white cause. His mediation would eventually result in a proposition to put prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse on the trone of a Finnish kingdom.[33] Mannerheim was heavily opposed to a German intervention because this would not guarantee the complete independence of Finland once the Reds were defeated, and he turned out to be right. After the war, this would lead to a split between Svinhufvud’s government and the Commander in Chief of the Finnish army. In the end the Germans invited themselves to Finland on disadvantageous terms for the Finns[34]. The German troops arrived on April 3 in Hankoniemi when most of the war was already fought. The Vaasa Senate arrived in Helsinki[35] on May 4 and Mannerheim organised his victory parade on the May 16. The nation was even more severely divided after the war of 1918 than before it.


1.2.3 The origins of the deeps scars of Finnish society: The Atrocities of the Civil War[36]


“The civil war was short but bloody. The actual fighting lasted only three months, but the terror meted out by both sides and the subsequent settling of scores resulted in more than 30 000 deaths; of these 25 000 were Reds. The atrocities of the spring of 1918 left deep scars in people's minds who did not heal for decades to come. The People’s Council categorically condemned the atrocities and attempted, particularly in the early stages of the war, to bring those responsible to account. The press in Red Finland abounded with blood‑curdling stories of atrocities by the White ‘butchers’, and similarly exaggerated descriptions of the ‘Red Ruskies’ appeared in the newspapers of White Finland[37]. Rumours flowed unchecked back and forth across the front line, arousing terror and a thirst for vengeance on both sides.


Red Terror

The first wave of Red Terror occurred in the early stages of the war, and claimed some 1600 victims, half of them by the end of February. Many were unarmed men caught by the Red Guards on their way north attempting to reach White territory across the front. At the beginning of the war the Reds killed seventeen captured Whites at Suinula railway station outside Tampere. The White side was horrified by such an act against unarmed civilians. The victims in each area were usually farmers, teachers, clergy and other public servants, and the motive was often personal vendetta. The notorious Red 'flying squads' took part in the atrocities as they searched houses for arms.On February 25 the People's Council appealed for an end to such atrocities, and threatened those guilty of violence with severe punishment.

In March the Red terror subsided, but it flared up again in April after the decisive battles had begun and the hold of the Red leadership over their troops slackened. The terror of April was an outburst of rage and revenge by retreating Reds, embittered in defeat.


White Terror

The White terror, beginning somewhat later than the Red, reached its peak in the final stages of the war in April ‑ May and claimed about 8300 victims[38]. The first mass slaughter of the Reds took place in February as a result of the invasion of the Red areas blockaded by White Finland.

About 3200 Whites and 3500 Reds were killed in the fighting; in addition, about 1000 people, mostly civilians, died as the result of it, and about 2000 were declared missing in action. Whether these figures include those captured at the front and shot after the fighting remains uncertain. What is certain is that attitudes and methods became more brutal on both sides as the war progressed.


For the historical writing of the victorious side until the 1960’s the phenomenon of White Terror never existed. The first and still the only comprehensive study, Professor Jaakko Paavilainen’s Valkoinen terrori (White Terror) was published in 1967. Only during the 1990’s some local, neutral and accurate accounts of those events were written.

Red terror was well known even while it occurred. After the white victory became a certainty, each incident of Red terror was discussed in detail in the white press. Already the contemporaries, e.g. author Juhani Aho, commented on the way these stories were actually used to justify the ongoing White terror.

The orders of the White leadership concerning the treatment of adversaries, including some of Mannerheim's orders of the day, were more equivocal, and provided an implicite approval for acts of vengeance[39]. End of March he told a German journalist “ there can be talk only of punishment” and when asked what kind of punishment, Mannerheim replied “this will be determined by law. The revolutionaries have made themselves guilty of high treason and insurrection and the punishment for that is death…” [40]

The mass slaughter of Red captives reached a climax after the capture of Tampere, there the Whites captured some 11 000 men, most of them belonging to the Red Guards of the neighbouring parishes of the Häme province. Some of the Red captives were shot on the spot, others were transported to their home regions and sentenced there.


The activities of the courts‑martial hurriedly set up by the Whites are well illustrated by the example of Tampere: leaders of the White Guards in the nearby areas went there to pick up Reds from their own areas to be sentenced. 28 000 Reds who had fled east gathered at the end of April in Lahti, where they were rounded up and herded into a prison camp set up in a large field outside the city. More than 500 of them were shot. The Whites also turned their hatred on the Russians[41] of whom several hundred were shot after the capture of Tampere and Viipuri[42].

At the close of hostilities the number of Red captives was some 80 000, and they were taken to prison camps around the country. Because of the difficulties in the production and distribution of provisions and the defective health care as many as 12 000 Reds died in the camps from hunger and disease. The indecisiveness of the government and civil service in deciding how to deal with these prisoners contributed to this high mortality.


In mid‑May 1918 a special 'Tribunal of High Treason', consisting of 145 courts, was set up to deal with the Red prisoners. These courts sentenced 67 788 Reds, and 555 received death sentences of which half were carried out. More than 60 000 received various terms of imprisonment, two‑thirds of which were for less than three years, and lost their rights of citizenship. In June 1918 a change in the criminal law came into force, allowing probationary sentences. On this basis 40 000 prisoners were placed on probation and in the autumn more were pardoned. However, at the end of 1918 there were still 6100 Reds in captivity.”


The example of Lappeenranta: From Red Rule to White Purges[43]

During the civil war, the Lappeenranta Red Guard had held Lappeenranta and the surrounding areas for almost three months. The members of the White volunteers forces had fled the city but their families and almost all the White-minded population of the city stayed behind under Red occupation.

Those three months had been a time of desperate waiting for the Whites. They did not know the fates of their family members, and there were rumours about considerable arrests made by the Reds. People read the descriptions of Red cruelties in the White press and feared that they would relate blood acts from Lappeenranta. During that time, the Reds killed 25 Whites in Lappeenranta, 4 in Lappee and 6 in Joutseno. However, almost all the killings took place in the end of April when the Reds retreated from the Taipalsaari and Joutseno fronts towards Viipuri. They were mostly revenge killings committed by individual members of the Red Guard in the phase of retreat.


When the White troops reached Lappeenranta, they threatened to kill ten Reds for each White body found. They even exceeded the given number. During the three weeks following 26 April 1918, when the Whites took over Lappeenranta, in the city and the surrounding county of Lappee, possibly even 540 known and suspected Reds where killed.

While they advanced to Lappeenranta and took over Lappee, the soldiers of the White Army killed approximately 100 Reds. It was common for the platoon commanders and individual soldiers to hand out death penalties. It was also a common practise to pre-purge the counties by gathering up “known Reddies” or “worst agitators” almost arbitrarily to be killed. In Lappee’s case, this happened at least in Pontus, the Laihia village, Simola and Hanhijärvi. In 1918 this was no exception, but rather an unwritten rule formed while the war advanced. In the civil war, the aftermath of the battles tended to turn out bloodier than the battles themselves. The enemy soldiers who fell prisoners were killed. The Whites used this tactic also in the end of April, although the Red Guard did not offer much resistance.

A court martial was established in Lappeenranta, following the orders of the 25-year-old jäger captain Uno Sarlin, the commander of the 3rd regiment of the Karelian Army, who where the first to advance into the city. The court martial began on 29 April 1918, and on the grounds of its sentences, 117 members of the Red Guard and leading Reds were shot. In addition to this, 300 Reds were shot without specific inquiries in the days following the conquest. The purging was systematic and largely run by the White Army. The purging of Lappeenranta and surrounding areas had been planned in the local head quarters of the 3rd regiment in Imatra already in March. Then the officers of the Lappeenranta White volunteer forces had drawn out a list of the Reds in Lappeenranta who should after the conquest be “isolated, inspected and sentenced” as fast as possible. Similar lists were made for the rural communes around the city.

The purging lasted till mid-May, after which the Whites started interrogating the almost 3 000 Reds arrested in the days after the conquest. Before autumn 1918, ca 400-500 Reds more died of hunger, fevers and executions in the prison camp of Lappeenranta.


Those who have studied the history of Lappeenranta concluded that the estimate presented above of the number of victims of the purging organised by the White army is more than 2,5 times higher than the commonly used figure (206). The number of victims 206 is based on Professor Jaakko Paavolainen’s research of White Terror.[44] In his research, Paavolainen for the first time found out the nation-wide number of the victims of White terror by examining the parish registers side by side with the local numbers of executed gathered by the Social Democratic Party in the early 1920s. Paavolainen himself noticed while not having all the source material at his disposal that there were clear gaps in the information about the province of Viipuri. The number of casualties in Lappeenranta and Lappee, 206, had thus to be considered as the “certain minimum”. However, victims who were residents of other places or none were excluded from this number.

In the light shed by newly emerged documents, like the records of the court martial of Lappeenranta, one can conclude that 540 is the very likely total number of victims. At least for considerable probability it is the maximum number. It is known that already in the beginning of May, the Whites gathered Reds at least from Lappee, Joutseno and Nuijamaa to Lappeenranta. In early May they also brought Reds there from other prison camps such as Viipuri and Lahti. When the officers of the volunteer forces or prison camp who sent the prisoners to Lappeenranta had found out their offences, it gave orders to shoot them. In the chaotic early days of May there were possibly dozens of prisoners brought from somewhere else in Lappeenranta.


It is natural that actions this shocking were not unknown. The people of the city knew many of the Whites taking part in the purging as many of them were locals. The grudge and bitterness caused by the events consequently stayed with the people for a long time. After the liberation seeing the bodies taken from the fortress to the grave yard was certainly a shock to many, both White and Red-minded. The relations between the Whites of the city and the army became so strained that the military commandant of the city, Edvard Astola, forbid any criticism of the military’s actions in newspaper articles.



2. Status Questiones


The introduction makes it clear that this research project consists out of a specific approach to a complex historical event. The project’s main line of investigation is the representation of violence in (press-) photography. As the title indicates, the notions that will be enlarged and linked to one another are violence, photography and the (illustrated) media. 

The notion of violence was studied using Norbert Elias’ Theory of Civilization and specifically enlarged by the study of this theory by Jonathan Fletcher.[45] Fletcher specifically investigates the monopoly of violence or ‘legal violence’ by a state apparatus. He differentiates three criteria of decivilisation resulting in an increase of violence within societies. The link to violence in Finnish history is provided by Heikki Ylikangas who criticizes, with varying success, the Theory of civilization by Elias, using his own research on crimes in Finland as a practical example. At the start of the research, a crucial part was be formed by the theory of George L. Mosse developed in De la Grande Guerre au Totalitarisme on the evolution of the presentation of violence within the media. Tendencies in visual presentations of violence would after a process of trivialisation eventually lead to the stimulation of more violence and thus brutalisation.

The second notion of the research is photography. A methodology of photography for historical research linked to its relation with the media will be composed. The interaction between text and image in the media as opposed to the ‘mute’ images of the archives will be discussed. An initial methodology was developed by D. D. Perlmutter in Historical Methods but most of the research methodology was provided by articles in Fotogeschichte. The specific notion of violence within (media-) photography, although mainly focused on the decades after the Second World War, is defined by John Taylor in his Body Horror. An example of the specific link between violence and photography in a civil war context is the work of Caroline Brothers on the Spanish Civil War.



3. Research Questions


The key questions asked to the source material for this thesis, divided over the second an third part are the following. How was the violence of the Finnish Civil War represented in photography reproduced in the (mass-)media? How was the violence of the Finnish Civil War represented in the photographic documents found in the archives? What are the differences between these two ‘groups’ of photographs? What are the differences between these two groups of photographs and representations of other similar armed conflicts before, during and after 1918? Can we speak of a ‘brutalisation’ within the photographic material of Suomen Kuvalehti?



4. Definition of the chronological boundaries


The original idea of this research was to focus on the continuity of the representation of violence in Finnish press photography which would then eventually lead to describing a (possible) process of brutalisation as mentioned above. Due to the limited availability of the complete annual series before 1918, which disabled a reliable and representative sample survey, and the relatively small interest within the magazine for photography representing any sort of violence the focus of the research shifted. Consequently, I concentrated on the difference between the published and unpublished photographs of the 1918 events and the representation of other conflicts in SK in 1917 and 1919 to enable a wider and more accurate placing of the material. Next to this specific time span I also considered other civil wars dating from a few decades before and after 1918 as they might enable me to determine a ‘longer term’ perspective on the representation of Finnish Civil War in photography.

The unpublished photographic material was selected from all public archives in Helsinki who have a ‘1918’ collection. This was a deliberate selection , as consulting all public archives of only the main cities in the country – not to mention the private archives - would have exceeded the scope of this thesis and would have posed financial problems.



Part 1: A methodological framework for the critical approach of images within the media and as primary sources for historical research.


0. Introduction

In this first part I will try to clearify what the value of photography in historical research can be. In doing so I will argue that slightly different methods should be used when analyzing and interpreting images used within a media context and images found as documents in for example an archived context. First I will describe some of the basic notions used in all, verbal, visual or even musical, methods of communication.

Secondly I will concentrate on what is necessary, in my opinion, for a better understanding and interpretation of photography, and more specificly war photography, as a ‘historical source’. As ‘histories of photography’ have been (re-)written in every decade of the 20th century, and will continuously be rewritten in the decades to come, there is no need for another attempt of writing a ‘conclusive’ history of photography. As the technological evolution of photography is the crucial element in the spreading of massmedia and linked with providing the possibility to ‘document’ wars I will focus on this aspect.



1. Essential notions for the interpretation of different methods of communication

It is clear that there is a significant difference between the critical approach and interpretation in historical research of written texts and photographical prints. Several methodologies for a valuable use of both have been developped throughout the last decades. Despite the clear differences in the methods used to question these two types of sources the terminology used by both is quit similar. This can be explained by the origin of these theories within the field of linguistics. This also implies that all media, in this case illustrated magazines, require a particular approach while they intend to compose a meaningfull structure using both methods, the verbal and the visual, of expression. Despite this ‘composing’ illustrated magazines use exactly the same basic method of communication as developped in 1958 by Walter Jakobson.[46] The act of communication existing out of six essential parts: the addresser, the adressee, the context, the message, the contact and the code.

To be able to communicate, wheter it is trough a more ‘linear’ approach in written texts or a more global and direct approach in visual messages we need signs. In 1916 Ferdinand de Saussure developped his linguistic theory stating that: each sign is the sum of the signifier, the perception of the sign’s physical form, and the signified, the mental concept we learn to associate with that object. The correct ‘reading’ of both is necessary to come to a meaningfull result: the signification.[47]


All signs within a text have an interactive relation with the cultural and personal experience of both addresser and addressee. French structuralist Roland Barthes enlarged de Saussure’s theory and defined two further levels of meaning. The level of denotation; when we perceive something, through any of our senses, the word or words (signs) we attach to the perception, and it’s relation to reality, is the denotation. Then there is also a second-order system of signification: the level of connotation. This level meaning that once we perceive a sign (denotation level), we often have particular associations with that sign that colour our understanding.[48]

Barthes’ crucial contribution to semiotics was his definition and exploration of myths. He was interested in how signs take on the values of the dominant value system – or ideology- of a particular society and make these values seem natural (see further). He showed that de Saussure’s sign can become a signifier to create, not only a connotation, but a myth. This ‘trick’ allows myths, in texts, to structure the meaning of the communication without appearing to do so, they efface their own existence.[49]


Two other crucial notions within semiotics, also developped by Jakobson, are metaphor and metonomy. A metaphor being the use of a specific word to describe a proces that shows similarities with another proces that is otherwise not necesseraly linked on the denotation level. Metonomy is the reference to a part of a whole concept while implicitely referring to the whole., mostly based on a close connection in everyday experience. [50]



2. (Press-) Photography as a historical source


2.1 A short technical history of photography


2.1.1 From dry plate to Kodak


In 1880, the use of gelatin-silver bromide (the so-called ‘dry plate’) brought about a radical change permitting photographers to take ‘snapshots’ of 1/25 second, while before several seconds -sometimes even minutes- were required. The plate was prepared in advance, retained light sensitivity for a considerable time, and could be developed in the darkroom a relatively long time after exposure. This increased sensitivity made it possible to take instant pictures and, maybe even more important, did away with the need for any kind of tripod or other support, so that the camera could be held in the hand.[51]


The next step was taken in 1888 by George Eastman and his colleague chemist Henry Reichenbach in developing coated long strips of celluloid with a photographic emulsion. These strips were then rolled onto a spool that would be used in a plain, box-shaped camera (16,5 x 9 x 8,3 cm) developed by Eastman. The camera would become world famous under the name ‘Kodak’[52]. This meant that the idea of taking a photograph and the work of the expert developing the film were separated. In 1890 Eastmann would develop the “Folding Kodak” for professionals, using 16,5 x 21,5 cm plates, and in 1897 the “Folding Pocket Kodak” [53], an improved version of his 1888 prototype, for a popular clientele. This popularisation – or democratisation – of the scientific process of photography would lead to individual ‘snapshotters’ who were displeasing a lot of the ‘professional’ photographers for not respecting the formal code of photography as can be seen below from the Finnish example. These snapshotters enlarged the freedom of photography– and in a certain way gave it more value - as they started challenging the censorship in war time situations and ‘documented’ what many governments did not want them to show to the outside world.


As photographic optics and emulsions improved, equipment was miniaturized. Folding cameras would dominate the market up until the end of the 1930’s, after which they were supplanted in their turn by the fashion for 35mm cameras such as the Leica. The basic concept of the Leica would be gradually improved and develop into the (digital) photo camera we know today.


2.1.2 The printing of photography and  the printed media


At the beginning of the twentieth century, the manufacturing of a virtually wear-proof printing plate on metal by half-tone engraving, followed by the transmission of photographs by wire, provoked a rapid increase in the use of photography in newspapers and magazines. The publication of an attested picture of an event within a few hours of it happening had a considerable impact on society and relations between groups.[54]  On  September 5, 1886,  Le Journal Illustré, a weekly magazine, celebrated the hundredth birthday of the chemist Chevreul by publishing an interview with him carried out by French photographer Nadar. The text was illustrated with twelve photographs printed with the half-tone ruled-screen techniques. During the 1880’s another technical improvement of printing media was realised: the roto-gravure (or rotating photogravure). This method was perfectioned and used by the illustrated press in France, England and Germany from 1914 onwards.


The discovery by the German Arthur Korn of the principles of photo-telegraphy resulted in 1907 in a whole series of transmissions of photographs by electrical signals between Berlin and Paris. Photo-telegraphy was improved by Edouard Belin in 1912 making it possible to transmit a photograph in a few minutes, simply by linking his so-called ‘suitcase’[55] to a telephone or telegraph wire. The first picture published after being transmitted this way appeared in Le Journal of May 12, 1914 but phototelegraphy was only applied on a larger scale after the First World War.[56]

Until then images could only reach the editors by boat or train arriving inevitably a long time after the depicted events took place. This is also the reason why editors used ‘timeless’ photographs, showing head-and-shoulders portraits, most of them with the background cut out, of well-known persons to illustrate their stories. This position of the photograph within magazines and newspapers would be maintained untill the end of the 1920’s.[57]


2.1.3 The colour photography process


In June 1907 the Lumière brothers would commercialize what was until then known as the Autochrome process. This process, theoretically developed by Louis Ducos du Haron in 1869, consisted of adding a colour filter on the normal photographic plate. The filter contained orange, green and violet grains and the plate was exposed “so that the light rays coming from the lens pass through the coloured particles before reaching the sensitized layer.”[58]  Two years later J. Jougla would start producing Omnicolor plates again based on an idea of Ducos du Haron but he could not compete with the Lumière brothers and was eventually in 1911 taken over by them. During the first decades of the 20th century the Autochrome process enjoyed some popularity only with the wealthy amateurs (see below) as the procedure was relatively easy to use but also comperatively expensive. The big breakthrough of color photography would come in 1932 when the process of Christensen bought by the German IG Farbenindustrie, known as Agfacolor, was commercialised.


The increasing use of photographic illustrations, due to the technical possibilities, created a new sort of a journalist, the reporter-photographer.[59] From now on, with the new ‘portable’ cameras, reporters became photographers too, and were keen to reinforce the authenticity of their text by accompanying it with photographs. The following example gives an idea of the position of photographs in newspapers at the beginning of the 20th century. La Vie Illustré commented on photographs, published in January 1903,  showing Turkish attrocities in Macedonia (December 1902) as follows: “We are not publishing stories or anecdotes or literary descriptions, but photographs. [...] The Sublime Porte cannot contest their veracity, because a photographic plate cannot lie.”[60] The statement in this last sentence would become on of the most contested attributions of photography.The importance and effectiveness of the photograpic image in publications from the 1920’s onwards would only increase.



3. Camera Lucida?: Towards a methodology for photography as a historical source.


As mentioned above the subject of study in this thesis requires a ‘double’ approach. On the on hand there is the photograph as part of a structure of masscommunication, on the other hand there is the photograph as a loose ‘document’. Firstly I will handle the ongoing discussion that photography remains a relatively ‘new’ type of source. We could even extend this discussion by enlarging it to all visual media as our society still seems to have problems, despite being drowned in images everyday, with placing the visual within a right context.


3.1 The Possibilities of Photography within (interdisciplinary) historical research.


“Photography contains all characteristics of a source: a medium that fixates reality, visualizes representation and, insofar there are no external factors, preserves unchanged.” [61]


I would like to use the quote above from Gunter Waibl as a starting point for criticizing the continuing discussion on the use of visual material for historical research. As there are many calls since the 1960’s for an interdisciplinary approach of historical events it seems to me that leaving out photography from historical research would be an arbitrary and injust decission.

In the last decades there has been an increase in the use of, for example, statistics as an interdisciplinary method for valuable (historical) research. Texts were browsed through and divided into countable units in order to become a more complete overview of the content of the source and thus eventually a more accurate analysis of the material. Recently more and more questions are asked about the accuracy of consulting sources using this statistical method.[62] Does this method not show a vague notion of 19th century historiography, a vague touch of positivism by making everything quantifiable and thus easier to document? Could this also help to explain why a more complicated and not quantifiable method using visual images was put aside? Starting by the end of last century with historians such as Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897) and Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) images and paintings started to be used as valid (social-) historical sources. In the 1930’s, the Brazilian sociologist-historian Gilberto Freyre (1900-1987) started employing the evidence of pictures and photographs and in the 1960’s, Raphael Samuel and his contemporaries became aware of the value of photographs as evidence for nineteenth-century social history, helping them construct a ‘history from below’. The turning point came in the 1980’s after the publishing in book form of the conclusions of ‘the evidence of art’ history-conference in the US with contributions from, among others, Simon Schama.[63] It became clear that not only the political or economical field but also the cultural field could function as immense source for historical research.[64] Furthermore, why would visual images have to be satisfied with a role of mere ‘illustrations’ of written historical studies when the impact of images has been proven crucial in structuring the collective memory of societies. More and more ‘reality’ is perceived and transmitted using visual methods. This implies that the historiography will have to face these evolutions and answer it’s needs.[65]


This does not mean that photography can be used as a single source putting aside all other sources such as written texts. As I will show below the interation between image and caption for example can be extremely revealing. Photographs should be considered as –again as all other sources –only fragments of a larger  historical reality. As it demands specific linguistic capacities of the historian studying written texts of a specific culture within a specific time period similar capacities are demanded of the historian studying visual material.[66]


The photographs part of a historical research come in many different forms and qualities. They can be an original print or negative found in an archive or a reproduction in a book, newspaper or magazine. An important part of the  research consists of finding back the original (first) print of a photograph, or even better the negative. This often happens by reattributing the image to its author. The author and the original constitute, in photography, the equivalent of the historical source. By doing this the photographs are not isolated in a symbolic role but they become real documents susceptible to helping develop a historical knowledge. Beyond this, these photographs played and are still playing a considerable role in the elaboration of the memory of those events.[67]

Until the 1930’s, Suomen Kuvalehti (SK) as most other illustrated magazines did not mention the names of its photographers. This does confirm, despite the magazine’s name, the opinion that at the time a photograph was seen as a mere “illustration” of the text. Consequently, it does complicate the attribution of photographs to one or more photographers. SK seems to have mainly used the services of ‘freelance’ amateur photographers. As there was no photographers association at the time and most of the magazines archives containing valuable information were lost retracing the photographers is a very difficult and time-consuming project. Decades later this leads to a number of photographs being used in publications on the civil war without any attribution. During the past decades, many of the negatives and original texts of the early issues were destroyed by accidents and during the 1980’s, the SK archives were split up. One part went to Otava publishing house in Helsinki the ohter stayed with the current publisher of Suomen Kuvalehti Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet.


Not only the quality of the original photograph has to be sufficient also the reproduction which will be studied should be, keeping the possibilities of the project in mind, as good as possible. Sometimes the actual organisation of the archives, despite being a nobel cause, actually diminishes the information value of the photograph. As C. Cheroux points out[68] the widespread reproducing through microfilm results in a double loss of information. The quality of the image side is decreasing and the backside, very often containing valuable information is lost..Furthermore this adds to (incorrect) use of the photograph and instead of respecting the ‘documentary’ value the emphasize is on the mere symbolic value.

A possible alternative to avoid this loss of information will be presented both in theoretical and practical way in this thesis. As will be shown below the digitalization of photographs does not only simplify the browsing through available material it also avoids the loss of information inherent to microfilm.


If we consider the photographic ‘documents’ used in this thesis we notice a lot of the practical problems mentioned above. The source material from Suomen Kuvalehti was taken from the original newspapers prints and microfilm. Due to the good quality of the printpaper and a satisfactory print technique the digitalized reproductions of the photographs used on Finnish Civil War Photography are satisfactory. The opposite can be said about the volume (1916) of the magazine that was consulted on microfilm. The photographs lost all their contrast and depth and when reproduced are reduced to a print of black and white tones and without gradations. The photographs on microfilm could not be used in this research while their digitalized counterparts revealed even more details and offering the possibility of zooming in. In this case we could say that microfilm is satisfactory for written texts but completely inconvenient for the preservation of photographs.


3.2 Photography and the notion of objectivity


What is the relation between photography and the objectivity of representing reality? How extensive is the deformation of reality through photography?

The tendency of 19th century society in documenting the world in images implicitely meant that there was a believe that ‘reality’ could be fixated. Masscommunication tools such as illustrated magazines were seen as a possiblity to spread this documenting project and show ‘the events of the world’.[69] In one issue of SK commenting on the events in 1919 post-war Germany[70]  the following caption was added to a photoreportage: “According to the original photogaphs Suomen Kuvalehti received from Berlin.” This implies that seen the photographs are ‘original’ they are considered to be an objective representation of  the events. Photographs are of course never a objective representation but they are Richtbilder: the result of a personal proces of creation representing a visual communication of the emotional relationship between subject and reality.[71] In other words the photographer is responsible for the construction and thus the ‘meaning’ of the photograph.

One could argue that eventually the information provided by photographs can easily be misinterpreted and thus undermine the accuracy of the research. Eventually though, despite all critical analysis, we are forced to ‘believe’ in the existence of the represented object the actual representation. Trough representation the object gets it’s place in time and space. Eventually the relationship between the image produced within a certain ‘system’ of representation and it’s relation with the contemporary forms of masscommunication, reflecting the collective and individual perception, should provide sufficiant information.[72]

A definition of what representation includes can be found in Richard Dyer’s typography of representation[73].

1 re-presentation – this consists essentially of media language, the conventions which are used to represent the world to the audience;

2 being representative of – the extent to which types are used to represent social groups;

3 who is responsible for the representation, how the institution creating a media text influences representation;

4 what does the audience think is being represented to them

Most of these notions will be enlarged in the paragraph below on media analysis.


3.3 A Methodological Framework for the analysis of (press -) photography


In general people assume that photographs allow us to catalogue and order historical persons, objects, and actions and they ‘document’ what happened during the last two centuries historical periods. This is of course a very naief approach of photogaphy and results in the confirmation of th e use of the image as ‘illustration’. When using photography as a historical source there are two lines of inquiry. First: Which sociohistorical forces influenced the origin, production, dissemination, function, ideology and survival of visual images? Second: How did visual images themselves influence social and/or historical mindsets, conditions or events? This brings us to a description of the different elements of meaning in historical images.

In what follows I will first reproduce the methodology of David D. Perlmutter[74], who has created a theoretical base for using visual images  in historical research. As this method is mainly usefull for the analysis of media photography and most of the photographs were found in the archives lacking a larger context I will also add more specific iconographic notions. This notions provided by the studies of Gunter Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen[75], two linguists, concentrate on the actual image.

In part 2 I will apply these methods and notions on two photographes of the Finnish Civil War, one published and one unpublished.


3.3.1  An introduction for image-analysis: Visual Historical Methods The Elements of Meaning in Historical Images


Production Meaning

Pictures are constructed material objects: we may ask the questions: How (by which physical production processes) was this image created? Who (creator and patrons) produced this image? What organizational, normative, or bureaucratic procedures and protocols influenced the production? In addition to establishing an image’s provenance or parentage, knowledge of how it was produced may be helpful in understanding its content.


Content Identification Meaning

This meaning subsumes four types of manifest content (what is to be seen rather than what is to be inferred) in the image. All of these may assist the historian in reconstructing past objects, events and lives:

(1)Object identification determines what living and material objects are shown in the image. However, the historian also attempts to identify the object’s particular visual qualities and its relationship to its historical circumstance.

(2)Spatial identification asks two questions: where was the image made and where are the contents shown to exist?

(3)Temporal identification also involves answering two questions: when was the image made and what temporal setting is represented as existing within the image?

(4)Narrative identification: What objects and characters engage in which actions in the images, and how are these events ordered and structured to tell a story, tale or a sort of visualized anecdote.


Functional Meaning

What function did the image serve in the provenance of its creation? Was its function private (in the home) or public (in a newspaper)? Was it used in a certain way, for a certain end (e.g. photojournalism, police criminal files, ornamentation,...) The identification of function is critical to understanding an image-maker’s intentions.


“Expressional” Meaning

A picture may have an effective, evocative, or emotional meaning that comprises two realms. What emotions are represented as being expressed by the subjects within the image? What emotions are meant to be elicited from the viewer? This expressional meaning will be enlarged in chapter four when we discuss the way we watch photographs showing violence.


Figurative Meaning

Here a host of possible devices are suggested, all analogous to literary tropes. Generally this is what the image’s context, content, form or style suggest abut other things, perhaps not even visible in the frame or discussed in the associated words. Common examples include methaphorical or synechdochical meaning. In general tropes are created by conventions of culture and history. However, it is suggested that there are alliterative meanings that meanings that are cross-cultural and transhistorical due to universal human experience.


Rhetorical-Moral Meaning

Such a meaning expresses the persuasive goal of an image that was intended by its author, patron, and/or displayer. The historian attempts to ground his or her interpretation in the political or ideological context of the image’s existence, especially in cases of mass-produced imagery in the service of a state or institution. The picture may contain moral, instructional, spiritual, or aesthetic qualities that are meant to be embodied and exemplified by the persons, objects, events or styles in the image. This meaning is closely linked to hegemony an will also be discussed in chapter four.


Societal or Period Meaning

What is the meaning of an image in relation to the times and the society in which it was created? Is it an expression of some wider movement or social ferment? The German term Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) is often used to denote some dominant stylistic trend, sociability, or taste in forms of cultural life or even politics.


Comparative Meaning

The principle of comparison in visual imagery has been addressed in great detail by Gestalt psychologists.[76] It is a fundamental premise of filmmaking and photography that different meanings can be created by juxtaposing or associating different objects within a frame (mise en scène) or between frames (editing).  The Variables of visual analysis


Context Variables

Visual research cannot focus solely on information resident within the image itself. It is self-evident that images rarely arrive for inspection without being accompanied by information that affects our reception of the image and our interpretation of its meaning. Context then may be reduced into two areas.

The first area is the physical context. This is simply the location and setting in which the image is or was encountered within the historical period studied. The visual historian should attempt to distinguish some general pattern between the population of raw images (taken in the field by the photographers) and their later status (publication or burial in the archives).

The second area is the verbal context divided into four clusters of word variables that modify the meaning of images. First of all there is signage (1) (words within the frame). These are typically posters, letters, documents, signs and clothing visible within images and containing readable words or recognizible symbols. Secondly there is the caption (2) a set of words close to the image and explicitely linked to it. Thirdly images are often discussed or referred to in the body text (3) of published works. Last, and most problematic, is the discourse cluster (4), the knowledge and tradition associated with the image. This may comprise known facts or value judgments about the image, the authors and the era-that is, the information the reader brings to the images.


Content Variables

Generally these refer to manifestly observable and nominally classifiable objects (people and things) within the image. The most obvious categorization scheme is one based upon identifying and counting the appearance or the implied presence of certain things or persons in the visual image. Alternatively, some feature within the image can imply that an object is present but immediately outside the frame. The most common variation is a shadow of an object or person falling within the frame: we still read it as being attached to the image. The epressions, gaze or gestures of the characters or their behaviors may signal some thing or person’s out-of-frame presence. Categories of comparison (association, juxtaposition, or oppostion) are extremely useful in visual analysis. (A good example of this is photograph kan_13)


Formal Variables

There are innumerable ways in which the form of an image can be constructed. Moreover, a great deal of what images mean is conveyed by such techniques. It is ironic, then that historical research on images has focused almost exclusively on content, not form. An obvious reason is the ease of coding the presence of objects and the difficulty and ambiguity of coding camera or stylistic techniques. The content more closely corresponds to nouns in verbal language, while the form can only be coded with extensive and somewhat imprecise explication and extensive understanding of the visual medium of communication.

The four categories used to judge those things or persons dominating the visual image are: (1) height within the frame: the determination of which subjects or objects occupy space farther up in the frame; (2) surface area within the frame: each object takes up a certain amount of physical space in proportion to the frame (this ratio does not change if the image is enlarged or reduced but it does change if the image is cropped); (3) mass wihin the frame: the inferred three dimensional bulk or weight of objects in the frame; and (4) vertical angle of viewing: from what angle, measured north-south on an imaginary


Narrative Variables

The categories constructed to assess narrative meaning may be thought of as genres, tales with certain uniform characteristics that allow them to be grouped together. In still pictures, narrative is inferred from the stance, body postures, attitudes, expressions, and implied actions of the subjects in the frame. Visual coding units are not usually exhaustive or mutually exclusive, because fine gradations or subtle differences may occur between items in the same frame or separate frames. The scales used in visual analysis are thus often nominal or ordinal since precise quantitative differences (e.g. those that would alluw us to construct interval or ratio scales) are rarely measurable or meaningful.


3.3.2 Composition and it’s Meanings


In what follows I will discuss six terms which are considered crucial structuring principles in photographq and two compositional axes (vertical and horizontal) which provide basic organising principles in visual composition, and are fundamentally important principles of meaning in Western cultures.



‘Salience is, again, not objectively measurable, but is the result of a complex interaction between various features of the elements: size, distance, sharpness of focus, colour contrast, colour saturation, placement in the visual field (elements not only become heavier as they are moved towards the top, they also appear heavier the further they are moved towards the left, due to an asymmetry in the visual field, and also of quite culture specific factors such as the appearance of a human figure or a potent cultural symbol). And just as it is the function of rhythm to create a hierarchy of importance among the elements of temporally integrated texts, so it is the function of visual weight to create a hierarchy of importance among the elements of spatially integrated texts, to cause some to draw attention to themselves more readily than others.’[77]


Balance and balancing centre

‘Being able to judge the visual weight of the elements of a composition entails being able to judge how they balance. Taken together, the elements create a ‘balancing centre’ – the point, one might say, from which, if one conceived of the elements as parts of a mobile, this mobile would have to be suspended. Regardless of whether this point is in the actual centre of  the composition or off-centre, it often becomes the space of a central message, although it may also be an empty space around which the text is organised.’[78]



‘The function of the vectors has already been discussed above, most of the time they are ’lines’ originating from and a part of what is represented (outstretched arms, branches of trees, structural elements of buildings,…). Vectors may also be formed by abstract graphic elements, leading the eye from one element to another, beginning with the most salient element, the element that first draws the viewer’s attention. Vectors of this kind can be formed by relative size of co-present images, angles of images, headlines, and many other typographical elements.’[79]


Reading paths

It follows that a composition sets up a ‘reading path’, a particular trajectory of the movement of the hypothetical reader within and across the different elements (beginning with the most salient elements and moving to less salient elements of the composition). The form it takes is of crucial importance: whether one reads outwards, in concentric circles, from a central message which forms the heart, so to speak, of the cultural universe, or in a progression moving inexorably forwards, from left to right, conveys a fundamental and significant cultural message.

It should be noted that it does not imply that the reading path encoded by the producer of the text (and hence the reading position suggested by the text) is the reading path actually followed by any specific reader. Given that what is made salient is culturally determined, members of different cultural groupings are likely to have different hierarchies of elements of salience.



‘An important dimension of composition consists in the framing of the visual elements. This may be a matter of an actual frame, or of frame-lines surrounding the composition or of parts thereof, but it also may be realised in other ways. The elements of a spatial composition may either be marked off from each other by various features (frame-lines, discontinuities of colour hue or saturation or of visual shape,…) or connected by means of cohesive continuities (visual ‘rhymes’ of colour, shape,…).’[80]



‘Perspective produces centres of its own and, by doing so, contributes to the ‘hierarchisation’ of the elements of the composition. As a result the viewers may either relate perceptively to the composition, so that the composition is ostensibly based on the viewer’s perspective/position, or not, so that the composition is not ostensibly based on the viewer’s position/perspective.

Layout is not just a matter of formal aesthetics and of feeling, or of pulling in readers; it also marshals meaningful elements into a coherent text, and does this in ways which themselves follow the requirements of code specific structures and which themselves produce meanings.’[81]


Vertical axis

‘In advertisements the top space of the picture is the space of the ideal, the most highly valued, the ‘promise’, while the bottom space is the space of the real, the ‘here and now’, the less highly valued. In advertising the top contains the images, the promise and the bottom the language and explication of the product. In science, on the other hand, the top contains the abstract, the general while the bottom contains the empirical, the specific. The hypothesis is that this is one particular instance of a more general meaning which attaches to vertical structures in our culture. That which is most highly valued is a social/cultural construct, and thus what is most valued will vary from group to group - from advertising to science, from child to adult. Consequently, we do not always find the same kinds of things at the top of a layout. Nevertheless, the structure provides a powerful heuristic device for uncovering whatever it is that is most valued, most significant.[82]


Horizontal axis

‘Next to the vertical axis with its principal of vertical opposition, there is the horizontal axis with its principle of complementarity. After comparing several pictures we could generalize and say that the right would seem to be, in each case, the side of the ‘new information’ of what the reader must pay particular attention to, of the ‘message’. It follows that the left is the side of the ‘already given’, something the reader is assumed already to know, as part of a culture. This structuring is ideological in the sense that it may not correspond to what is the case either for producer or consumer of the image or the composition; the important point is that information is presented as though it had that status or value for the reader, and that readers have to read it within that structure, even if that valuation may then be rejected by a particular reader.’[83]


The theoretical structure to analyze photography described above will now be linked to the other aspects of this research being media, archives and new media. In Part 2 I will then specifically focus on the notion of violence in photography and thus further enlarge this methodology. Finally, in Part 3, I will analyze the photographic material combining the methodologies of Part 1 and 2.



4. Media Analysis


As one of the goals of this research is the comparison of published and unpublished photography of the Finnish Civil War it is useful to give a basic overview of some media principles. [84]  Furthermore I will enlarge the notions of Ideology and Hegemony while they are in my opinion crucial for a better understanding of the photographic material ‘representing’ a conflict with social-economic roots.


4.1 Basic Media Principles


1) The difference between the message and the meaning

The physical text of the message, printed, sound or image is what we directly perceive and what is in a certain way ‘fixed’ in time and space: a photograph is dated and taken on a specific spot. The idea behind the transition-model of communication[85] is that the content of the message reflects the meanings and values of the messenger, that the content of the message can be derived from the message itself and that the receivers will understand the message as it is intended to be understood. Out of the fixed message we can not deduct the meaning(s) of the text passed through to the public or what the perception of the text by the public is. These meanings are not obvious or fixed because of the multi-layered and ambiguous characteristics of language. A source should be used in its context of creation fixed in time and space.


2) The complex relation between media messages and ‘reality’

The fundamental question is: Does de content of media represents social reality and if it does, which and whose reality does it represent? There is an overrepresentation of dominant social and economic values; social elites and authorities are visible and have more access to the media, this implicates a ‘reflection’ of social inequality.


3) The determinants of ‘bias’ and distortion

Bias or distortion occurs as a consequence of the social and intellectual backgrounds of the communicators, journalists and other professions active in the media. All this leads to a distortion and sometimes even twist of reality.


4.2 Ideology and Discourse


        The notions of ideology and discourse are crucial for the reading of written texts but also for the ‘reading’ of photography. The two are intertwined with each other as ideology becomes visible in texts and photographs through the discourses employed. A technical definition would state that ideology is a ‘world view’, a more or less coherent system of beliefs, used to make judgements about society. At the core of all ideologies is their relationship with a society’s power structure.[86]

Ideology is not a monolithic set of ideas indeed it tends to be relatively flexible allowing itself to adapt to changing conditions of material existence. The dominant ideology of Western society is that of the bourgeoisie, or the owners of the means of production. It follows that according to this ideology society should benefit most those who have most money.[87]

Consequently the dominant ideology does not solely structure the operations of the economy, it also forms the basis for more fundamental social interaction. The crucial point for studying media messages is that ideology does not act as a ‘window on the world’, but shapes our view of the world trough structured messages. Ideology appears to be reality because it conceals its own construction.[88]


The number of discourses we have is determined by socialization and education. The same text can always be read using different discourses. Discourse is not just a way of describing the world, it is at the centre of subjectivity. In fact the whole notion of individuality is an ideological construct and is expressed within the discourse of subjectivity. Or as Althusser puts it: ‘because we believe in the freedom of individual consciousness we do not realize that we are reproducing the values of bourgeois ideology in the way we think.[89]


A practical example of formal elements used for making meaning in society through the media and photography are stereotypes.[90]

Stereotypes are an invaluable aid to understanding the world and all stereotypes must have some kind of truth (appear) inside or they would not have so much influence on our lives. Although media has a very strong influence on the dissemination of stereotypes, they are not created by the media, they are concepts which are part of everyday life.

Stereotypes are only effective if they are believed to be a view of a group which has a consensus.  Of course, as many of the people who hold the stereotype actually derived their view from the stereotype, then the consensus is more imagined than real. Despite this, much of the power of stereotypes exists because they appear to have the status of consensus. What stereotypes represent, however, are not beliefs based upon reality but ideas which reflect the distribution of power in society; in other words, stereotypes are not an expression of value but of ideology.


The scientific method for analyzing and ‘decoding’ the discourse or ‘structure’ of a text or photograph is discourse analysis. It is a sub discipline of linguistics with an interdisciplinary character and influenced by Structuralism, linguistic anthropology and semiotics. A methodology of discourse analysis specifically for photography and media is included above in the parts on notions such as vertical and horizontal axis.


4.3 Hegemony


Above I mentioned that the overrepresentation of dominant social and economic values reflects within the message or image the social inequality within society. This inequality within Western society is what Gramsci[91] described as a hegemonic alliance between the rulers and their subordinates, in which the right of the dominant class to rule is accepted. This because the system of (free-) elections only gives us the possibility to choose out of consensus parties, which makes radical changes (in a democratic way) impossible. So the dominant classes do not merely control the coercive forces of society, such as the police, army and judiciary, but they also exercise cultural leadership.[92] The values of the dominant classes become the norm through the conventions of representation used by mainstream media. It is through the media that the meanings which we use to make sense of our lives are often structured.’[93]


Bourgeois Society with it’s tendency, it’s urge towards mass-communication acknowledged the problem of language already in the beginning of the time-period of material and mental production (beginning of the 19th century) the problem of language.[94] More people should and would be reached through visual messages. Thus, most visual and pictorial histories reproduce the established patterns of historical thought in bourgeois culture. By doing so in a ‘popular’ fashion, they extend the hegemony of that culture, while exhibiting a thinly veiled contempt and disregard for popular literacy. The idea that photography is a ‘universal language’ contains a persistent element of condescension as well as pedagogical zeal.[95]

This again emphasizes the importance of an extensive knowledge of a broader background in which specific photographs should be placed. After all the photographs used now to ‘retrace’ history originated from institutions such as press associations, publicity corporations and government propaganda offices at the time.



5. The Status of the Archives


5.1 The Archives as a ‘construction’ [96]


The notion of “collecting” or developing a “photographic project” originates in 19th century bourgeois culture. These projects were not only developed out of a curiosity or the pursuing of the dream of creating a universal language. They tried to establish a global collection of information to be used as some kind of encyclopaedia by different institutions and manifest a compulsive desire for completeness. By classifying – and thus also stereotyping- the archival perspective is closer to that of the capitalist, the professional positivist and the bureaucratic than it is to that of the working class.[97]

Archives are property, either of individuals or of institutions, and their ownership may or may not coincide with authorship. One characteristics of photography is that the authorship of individual images and the control and ownership of archives do not commonly reside in the same individual. The purchase of reproduction rights under copyright law is also the purchase of a certain semantic licence. This semantic availability of pictures in archives exhibits the same abstract logic as that which characterizes goods in the marketplace. Clearly archives are not neutral; they embody the power inherent in accumulation, collection, and hoarding as well as that power inherent in the command of the lexicon and rules of language.

Archives constitute a territory of images; the unity of an archive is first and foremost that imposed by ownership. But these photographs only compose a minimal part of what once existed. The surviving photographs are only a small part of an invisible whole and in that sense can only serve as ‘partial witnesses’[98]


In all archives visited during this research the largest part of the photographs were ‘liberated’ from the actual contingencies of use. For the historian this liberation is mainly a loss, an abstraction from the complexity and richness of use, a loss of context (see below). Since photographic archives tend to suspend meaning and use, within the archive meaning exists in a state that is both residual and potential. These potentials change over time; the keys are appropriated by different disciplines, discourses, ‘specialities’.


All archives use a specific system of taxonomic or diachronic orders.[99] The first are based on sponsorship, authorship, genre, technique and so on while the second follow a chronology of production or acquisition. These two ways of ordering an archive already indicate an underlying notion that goes beyond just “collecting and organizing photographs.”

At any stage of photographic production the apparatus of selection and interpretation is liable to render itself invisible. Archivists, editors or curators claim to merely pass along a neutral reflection of an already established state of affairs. Even if one admits, as is common these days, that the photograph interprets reality the archive simply seems to catalogue the ensemble of reflections. Thus the ‘naturalization of the cultural’[100] is repeated and reinforced at virtually every level of the cultural apparatus. Photographic archives by their very structure maintain a hidden connection between knowledge and power.


5.2 The state of the (photo-) archives in Finland


         All photographs used in this thesis were found spread over several archives[101]. The place where they are found should normally seen help the historian determine their origins, trace their makers, original use and so on. In other words give the possibility to apply a funded historical critic as described above on them.

The problem with the photographs used here is that identical prints were found in different archives and the originals were spread, more or less equally, over institutions with different ideological backgrounds.[102]

This means that the written texts and subtitles and the context in general of these unpublished photographs would turn crucial for interpreting these photographs. However it also makes them more vulnerable to misunderstandings or falsifications of the context by for example the adding of comments during later years. These falsifications are hard to trace unless we would examine them through date determining scientific methods (composition of paper, inktypes, etc.) that were due to limitations of this research impossible to use. The only way we can use them is by linking the texts to the archives where the photographs are found and finding out how they got into the archives in the first place. As it will become clear in Part 2 the notes added by the archivists in the different archives were interpreting the photographs following specific ideological lines.


The accessibility to the files containing photographs in most archives is quite high despite the parallel use of diachronic and taxonomic methods. The War Archives (Sota Arkisto) use both a taxonomic (cities and counties) and diachronic (divided in years) method. To overcome the inconveniences of working with both methods a digitalization of the photography files was started. This enables researchers to browse through several key words within each file. Despite the advantages linked to informatization (see below chapter 5) only some files were currently digitalized. Many of the photographs had more recent comments and -not always very accurate- footnotes added by the archivists. The slow digitalization and the unwillingness of a very bureacratic archivist made research inside the War Archives time consuming and unsatisfactory.

The cooperation with both the Peoples Archives (Kansan Arkisto) and the Workers Archives (Työvaen Arkisto) was optimal. Here photographs were again filed in both diachronic and taxonomic order. In the Peoples Archives, part of the ‘1918-collection’ has been digitalized and can be accessed through the web.[103] The cost of copyrights was minimal and digital reproductions were made available at the Kansan Arkisto. Again both on the website and in the files inaccuracy, clearly to be traced trough digitalized enlargements, occurred in the added comments. At the Työvaen Arkisto I was allowed to do the digitalization of the images myself, which is of course the ideal way of working with photographs



6. Principles of New Media for Historical Research


6.1 A Short History of New Media [104]


In 1833 Charles Babbage began designing a device he called “The Analytical Engine”. The Engine contained most of the key features of the modern digital computer. Punch cards were used to enter both data and instructions. This information was stored in the Engine’s memory. A processing unit that Babbage referred to as a “mill”, performed operations on the data and wrote the results to memory; final results were to be printed out on a printer. Daguerre presented his daguerreotype-process on the 19th of August 1839.

We should not be surprised that both trajctories – the develompment of modern media (photography) and the development of computers – begin around the same time. Both media machines and computing machines were absolutely necessary for the functioning of modern mass societies. The ability to disseminate the same texts, images, and sounds to millions of citizens helpd assuring the spread of dominant ideological beliefs within societies. Also essential was the ability to keep track of citizens birth records, employement records, medical records, and police records.


In the 1890’s modern media took another step forward as still photographs were put in motion. In January 1893, the first movie studio, Edison’s “Black Maria”, started producing twenty-second shorts that were shown in special Kinetoscope parlors. Also in 1890 the US Census Bureau started using electric tabulating machines designed by Herman Hollerith. In 1911 his Tabulating Machine Company joined three other companies and formed the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. This company, with Thomas J. Watson as its head from 1914 onwards, would become in 1924 the “International Business Machines Corporation” or IBM.


In this way it becomes clear that the two basic conditions, the obtaining of still and moving images and the processing and stocking of these images intertwined with text or sound, necessary to come to “new media” emerged, although developped independently, during the same timeperiod(s). Symbolically seen the fusion of both aspects can be found in the developement of the first working digital computer by Zuse in 1936. One of his innovations was using punched tape to control computer programs. The tape Zuse used was actually discarded 35mm movie film.


6.2 The Principles of New Media [105]


Numerical Representation


All new media objects, whether created from scratch on computers or converted from analog media sources, are composed of digital code; they are numerical representations. This fact has two key consequences: (1) A new media object can be described formally (mathematically); For instance, an image or a shape can be described using a mathematical function. (2) A new media object is subject to algorithmic manipulation. For instance, by applying appropriate algorithms, we can automatically remove “noise” from a photograph, improve its contrast, locate the edges of the shapes, or change its proportions. In short, media becomes programmable.

Converting continous data into a numerical representation is called digitization. Digitization consists of two steps: sampling and quantization. First, data is sampled, most often at regular intervals, such as the grid of pixels used to represent a digital image. The frequency of sampling is refererred to as resolution. Sampling turns continous data into discrete data, that is, data occuring in distinct units: people, the pages of a book, pixels. Second, each sample is quantified, that is, it is assigned a numerical value drawn from a defined range (such as 0-255 in the case of an 8-bit greyscale image).


This means that ‘new media language’ is profoundly different from the language we use to communicate structured through semiotics. Discrete units of modern media are not units of meanings in the way morphemes are. The most likely reason modern media has discrete levels is because it emerged during the (Second) Industrial Revolution. It reached its classical form when Henry Ford installed the first assembly line in his factory in 1913. The assembly line relied on two principles. The first was standardization of parts, already employed in the production of military uniforms in the nineteenth century; The second, newer principle was the separation of the production process into a set of simple repetitive, and sequential activities that could be executed by workers who did not have to master the entire process and could be easily replaced.


The principle of numerical representation is both responsible for the replacement of traditional written and printed media by new (electronic) media and, in the longterm, the conservation of all written and printed texts and photographic material. Digitization provides a copy of historical documents before ink starts fading, paper begins to fall apart and magnetic media accidentally or timewise demagnatize. Furthermore it does not only provide a “security” copy but also makes the documents accessible, through the World Wide Web[106], to more researchers by providing copies of the new media and prevents the originals of wearing out by frequent consultation.[107]




A new media object consists of independent parts, each of which consists of smaller independent parts, and so on, down to the level of the smallest “atoms” – pixels, 3-D points or text characters. These elements are assembled into larger-scale objects but continue to maintain their separate identities. An example of modularity is the concept of “object” used in Microsoft Office applications. When an “object” is inserted into a document (for instance a JPEG image into a Word Document), it continues to maintain it’s independence and can always be edited with the program originally used to create it.




The numeral coding of media (1) and the modularity of a media object (2) allow for the automation of many operations involved in media creation, manipulation, and access. Thus human intentionality can be removed from the creative process, at least in part.

By the end of the twentieth century, the problem was no longer how to create a new media object such as an image; the new problem was how to find an object that already exists somewhere. If you want a particular image, chances are it already exists – but it may be easier to create one from scratch than to find an existing one. Beginning in the nineteenth century, modern society developed technologies that automated media creation – the photo camera, film camera, tape recorder, videorecorder, etc. These technologies allowed us, over the course of 150 years, to accumulate an unprecedented amount of media materials – photo archives, film libraries, audio archives. This led to the new stage in media evolution – the need for new technologies to store, organize, and efficiently access these materials; The new technologies are all computer-based – media databases; hyermedia and other ways of organizing media material such as the hierarchical file system itself; text managment software; programs for content-based search and retrieval. Thus automation of media acces became the next logical stage of the process that had been put into motion when the first photograph was taken. The emergence of new media coincides with this second stage of a media society, now concerned as much with accessing and reusing existing media objects as with creating new ones.




A new media object is not something fixed once and for all, but something that can exist in different, potentially infinite versions. Instead of identical copies, a new media object typically gives rise to many different versions. And rahter than being created completely by a human author, these versions are often in part automatically assembled by a computer. The logic of new media thus corresponds to the postindustrial logic of “production on demand” and “just in time” delivery logics that were themselves made possible by the use of computers and computer networks at all stages of manufactering and distribution. Here, the “culture industry” (a term coined by Theodor Adorno in the 1930’s) is actually ahead of most other industries.


The ‘variability principle’ covers different particular applications of which the following are used in presenting the researchresults of this thesis.

Media elements are stored in a media database; a variety of end-user objects, which vary in resolution and in form and content, can be generated, either beforehand or on demand, from this database. At first we might think that this is simply a particular technological implementation of the variablility principle, but in a computer age the database comes to function as a cultural form in its own right. It offers a particular model of the world and of the human experience; It also affects how the user conceives the data it contains.


In hypermedia, the multimedia elements making a document are connenected trough hyperlinks. Thus the elements and the structure are independent of each other. The World Wide Web is a particular implementation of hypermedia in which the elements are distributed trough out the network. By following the links, trough hyperlinking[108], the user retrieves a particular version of a document.

In presenting the primary sources of a research project in a media database the historian can not only present specific information but also, through the use of hyperlinks, point out relations between for example two photographs. He does not only describe but also, by a simple click, makes vissible what he is trying to prove. This creation of a “hyperlink-network” beneath the visual surface of the media database is not neutral. As in traditional written texts the “writer” implicitely uses a discourse in presenting his study. The crucial  difference with a written text though lies in the fact that a media database as presented in this thesis will be “read” in a different order by one or different “readers”.


Another way in which different versions of the same media objects are commonly generated in computer culture is through periodic updates. For instance, modern software applications can periodically check for updates on the Internet and then download and install these updates, sometimes without any action on the part of the user.

As this study does not claim to provide a complete and final collection of Finnish civil war photography this notion of periodic updates is very important. As years pas by “History” is constantly rewritten; archives open up, new sources are found, existing material is re-interpreted, etc.. In the case of this study this means, the burial untill today of unclassified photos from 1918 in city and private archives. The author is fully aware of the information to be found in mainly private archives but investigating into this information would go far beyond the initial intentions of this study. Nevertheless this study can and hopefully will be gradually extended in the years to come. It is only the World Wide Web that can provide the researcher, taking into account the financial cost of printed publications, with a worldwide forum for his researchresults. These periodic updates can easily be reached through clicking the hyperlink in the original work.


One of the most basic cases of the variability principle is scalability, in which different versions of the same media object can be generated at various sizes or levels of detail. Different versions of a new media object may vary strictly quantitatively, that is, in the amount of detail present.

For the historian working with photographs this basic case of variability is another clear advantage of a media object while it gives the viewer the possibility of zooming in and out on specific parts of the photographic document.


The principle of variability exemplifies how, historically, changes in media technologies are correlated with social change. If the logic of old media corresponded to the logic of industrial mass society, the logic of new media fits the logic of the postindustrial society, which values individuality over conformity.




From one point of view, computerized media still displays structural organization that makes sense to it’s human users (images feature recognizable objects, text files consist of grammatical sentences,...) from another point of view it’s structure now follows the established conventions of the computer’s organization of data (different data structures such as records and lists, separation between algorithms and data structures).

Because new media is created on computers, distributed via computers, and stored and archived on computers, the logic of a computer can be expected to significantly influence the traditional cultural logic of media; that is, we may expect that the computer layer will affect the cultural layer. Cultural categories and concepts are substituted, on the level of meaning and/or language, by new ones that derive from the computer’s ontology, epistemology, and pragmatics. New media thus acts as a forerunner of this more general process of cultural reconceptualization.



Part 2: The notion of violence and it’s visual representation


After defining a methodological framework for a general analysis of photography in part 1 I will now try to investigate the visual representation of violence. Again there will be a difference between the photographs included in a media context and those found in the archives.

First of all I will try to determine what is meant by the term violence. As it will become clear ‘violence’ is a very large concept that only gets a specific meaning when attached to a specific situation or conflict.

Secondly I will give a short overview of armed conflicts specificly focusing on civil wars and the major international conflict, World War I, directly influencing the Finnish civil war. These will help to provide a larger framework and enable me to focus on specific topics of visualisation of violence.

Following the specific visualisation of violence in international conflicts I will return to the specific subject of this thesis by giving an overview of the development of violence in Finland. Here it will become clear that the outburst of violence characterizing the 1917-1918 period was not a ‘normal’ evolution in Finnish society. In the last chapter the position within society of Suomen Kuvalehti will be described and the representation of violence within the magazine will be ananlysed 


1. Defining violence


1.1 Norbert Elias’ Theory of Civilization


In handling the notion “violence” and by researching it’s origins it becomes clear that providing an abstract definition is a difficult task. As a starting point and a meaningful use of this notion in what follows we can, or should, start with the “Theory of Civilization” as developed by Norbert Elias.[109]


1.1.1 The Civilizing Theory


The main premise of the civilizing theory originated by Elias is the fact, in itself indisputable, that in normal everyday life people tend to become peaceful and renounce violence. Norbert Elias understands this change as a psychic process (psychogenesis), behind which lie changes in society (schizogenesis). According to Elias, the process of pacification begins from the highest stratum of society and spreads from there down through the social scale until the whole of society has become pacified. This process is in essence a cultural one, and like most cultural change it had its origins in the changing values of social and intellectual elites. Until they are civilized, people are incapable of controlling their feelings and emotional behaviour. According to Elias, the state plays a central role in this development. The pre-modern state monopolized the use of violence and in this way forced its subjects to renounce it. People had to control their aggressions and instincts, or the state institutions would punish them.[110]


The basic premises of the civilizing process theory provide an easy explanation for the fact that the more populous centres tended to become pacified before the outlying regions and the coastal areas before the interior.[111] This phenomenon exhibits the same hierarchical progression – a movement from a more developed level to a less developed one - that in Elias’ theory takes place between the different social strata in society.

In the beginning of the 20th century the concept ‘civilisation’, mainly in Western Europe, refers to a social position, including specific codes of behaviour, of the ruling classes unifying aristocratic and bourgeois elements. The notion ‘civilisation’ was used by western civilisations to refer to a completed process. Through the formation of the State apparatus, consequentially making bigger groups of people dependent on other people, a monopoly of violence occurs.[112] This monopoly, also called ‘legal violence’ is practised by army and police services. In the end ‘civilisation’ is never a homogenous entity, specific groups partly or completely escape the violence monopoly.[113]

But this ‘civilized’ behaviour can rapidly decline when social fears and the feeling of insecurity re-emerge. The human capacity of acting rational collapses and the established authorities are challenged when social groups, through physical struggle, put pressure on the equilibrium between the actual social relations and those symbolized under the form of laws.[114]


1.1.2 Extensions of the theory by Jonathan Fletcher


According to Jonathan Fletcher[115] Elias is aware of the ideological and normative connotations the term ‘civilisation’ generates and puts this at the centre of his definition. He does not interpret violence as contradictory to ‘civilisation’. The process of civilisation means a gradual, partial and unexpected long term pacification of human societies within, and in between, (national) states.

Fletcher differentiates three criteria of decivilisation, logically deducted from Elias’ criteria for civilizing processes[116]: (a) A shift in the balance between restrictions dictated by others and the self control towards these restrictions, (b) the development of social norms of behaviour and emotions stimulating the raise of a less equal, stable and differentiated pattern of self-control and (c) a reduction of the possibilities of mutual identification between groups and persons. Societies in which these criteria occur are characterized by an increase of fears, insecurity, danger and unpredictability and a growing amount of violence in public, increasing inequality and tensions in the power balance between established groups.


1.1.3 The concept of violence [117]


“Violence” is difficult to define without creating a restrictively specific or a uselessly abstract general category. Consequently violence can only be defined in context. But it should be possible to develop a working conception which is not intended to be universal and which would avoid an unproductive relativism. Elias clearly refers to physical force when employing the term violence. He uses the word Gewalt in his German publications, which generally indicates force, but its meaning in German is somewhat more differentiated. It may refer simply to power or coercion, or it may have state (staatsrechtliche) connotations (as in Gewaltenteilung or Gewaltentrennung) where an implied separation of legislative, executive and juridical powers is intended.


In everyday speech, violence tends to refer to the (usually sudden) exercise of physical force inflicting injury or damage on humans, animals or things. More precisely, violence with respect to humans would include actions which infringe physical integrity, such as torture, wounding, killing and rape, or destruction by impact or arson. Fletcher suggests that this is identical to the way in which Elias uses the term violence throughout his work. This conception refers to the direct violation of physical integrity and is the way the term should be interpreted when I talk about ‘the representation of violence’ in this thesis.


For Elias, violence is seen as an inherent feature of human social life with which humans must learn to cope. But its total elimination is doubtful and possibly even undesirable. Violence takes various forms and degrees and consequently every form of control of violence implies the threat of violence and a certain degree of the use of violence.

One of the most important issues in Elias's work concerns whether violence is rationally chosen as a means of securing the achievement of a given goal (instrumental), or engaged in as an emotionalIv satisfying end in itself (expressive), a distinction which itself changes through time. He traces the taming of  Angriffslust and the rise in the rational application of violence both within and between states: the growing sophistication in the technologies of violence. There has been a shift in the balance between the generation of violence through expressive forms towards more instrumental forms.

The standards of expression vary both within and between societies. Within the European civilizing process, there have been four notable transformations associated with the taming of expressive aggression (Angriffslust). A rise in the repugnance threshold with respect to witnessing or perpetrating violence expressively; an increase in the strict taboos surrounding violence in the form of the super‑ego or conscience within the person, accompanied by a sense of guilt associated with violent actions; a dominant trend of placing violence 'behind the scenes of social life'; and an increase in the planned use of violence as the result of a general increase in planning and calculation.

But the role of instrumental violence within colonization processes seems to have been neglected by Elias. This is important because it means that Elias underestimates the extent to which the internal pacification of European states was necessarily accompanied by the use of instrumental violence against 'outsider' populations, for example, in the slave trade or through imperial expansion. As the actual violence, both instrumental and expressive, was ‘exported’ from the European civilizations – again to consolidate the position of the ruling classes within these same civilizations – ‘new forms’ were adopted. One of these forms for example, the symbolic violence in linguistics, was described by Pierre Bourdieu[118] and will be referred to in Part 3.


Concluding we could say that Elias points out that civilizing processes depend upon the control of violence. In Elias's explanatory model of state formation, larger landowners were drawn into a violent competitive elimination contest, without which the attendant suppression and control of violence over large areas and the development of lengthening chains of interdependence could not occur. Within the European civilizing process, the propensity of most people to abstain from aggressiveness increased, in conjunction with state formation and pacification processes.


1.2 Georges Mosse – The Brutalisation of European Societies


Because of reasons mentioned below in chapter 4 the concept of ’brutalisation’ will not be fully worked out in this thesis. While Mosse’s theory, with it’s qualities and failures, has added specific aspects to the research on the visual representation of violence and has links with the armed conflicts described in chapter 2 I decided to maintain this paragraph.


In his book De la Grande Guerre au totalitarisme. La brutalisation des sociétés européennes[119] Georges Mosse investigates what he calls ”the myth of war”.

By studiying the development of european societies following the First World War (WWI) he tries to explain the rise of fascist ideologies in Germany and Italy. The two essential notions in his theory are on the one hand the sacralisation of the war, in a later stage turning into banality vis-a-vis the war, and on the other hand the brutalisation of European societies.


The myth as a notion takes a special place in this proces. Originating during and intensified after WWI it is the link,  the connecting element between WWI and the Second World War. The rise within the German and Italian societies of Fascism was made possible by the massacre the ’old’ regimes had created and directed. The loss of belief in religion and nation and the construction of a new social order were based on the frontline experiences.[120] Moreover it was the sacralisation of ideals such as viril friendship, physical suffering, courage and the overcoming of agony as presented in post-war literature that supported these ’new orders’.

In this sacralisation process Mosse creates an almost religious cult of the voluntary soldier fallen on the field of honour.[121] These very often anonymous soldiers are honoured an comemorated by numerous monuments. But these monuments comemorating the saviours of the nation pass by the massive and unnecessary human losses. Consequently this ’cult of commemoration’ would go trough a process of democratisation. Widows and orphans would receive recompensations for their losses and ceremonies were held.

This democratisation of war sufferings and sacrifices would inevetably result in a banalisation of these events. This banalisation would take place through a process of production and merchandizing of objects and images of the war such as postcards, gadgets and toys. The trivialization of the war experience and the reducing of the sufferings eventually contributes to the next conflict, in this case the Second World War.


Warfaire loses it’s extraordinary and inhuman aspect and the cult of notions such as ”friendship” and ”the enemy” is re-introduced in society. Cinema and theater take up and represent these military seen honourable values and assure the continuation of these values throughout consecutive generations. By doing so they safeguard the spirit of defending the Nation at all costs among younger generations.

But this banalisation not only transfers ”noble” ideas of defending the state. Underlying they also transfer and stimulate feelings of frustration and violence to the field of politics during peace time. On this level the ultimate goal during the interbellum in different european societies would remain very simple: the annihilation of the political opponents.

In post-war Germany Mosse examplified this resulted in seeing politics as ”a battle that only ends with total surrender of the opponent.” The verbal violence included in quotations as this one would stimulate racisme and anti-semitism and inevitably result in physical violence.[122]



2. The representation of violence in armed conflicts: the photographic evolution from the Crimean War to the Spanish Civil War.


Starting with the Crimean War, the first war that had photographers assigned to it, in 1854 and ending with the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), this selective overview contains the evolution of war photography. Constructed impressions of battlefields, or ‘theatres of warfare’, would prove to contain specific characteristics and create new experiences influencing societies both at the moment of publication and in later decades. Or as Alan Sekula put it: “This experience characteristically veers between nostalgia, horror and an overriding sense of the exoticism of the past, of its irretrievable otherness for the viewer in the present.”[123]


2.1 The Origins of war photograpy - The Crimean War


The first war that was actually reported on both in text and image, was the Crimean War (1853-1856). The first calotypes of this conflict were taken by the Romanian Carol Szathmari but of his 300 photographs, including one of actual fighting, few have surived. In June 1854 Richard Nicklin and two assistants were sent out by the British War Office to take photographs for documentary purposes. On their return their ship sank off Balaclava and no calotypes survived. What remained as testimony of the events of that year were the articles of William Howard Russel. The Times journalist gave accurate descriptions of the military movements and criticized the tactics used by both sides.[124]

But as the production of photographic “news” was fostered by commercial interests Roger Fenton was commissioned, beginning of Febraury 1855, by the publishers and printsellers Thomas Agnew & Sons. Instead of battles, the dead and wounded, the field hospitals, and the devastation wrought at Sebastopol, Fenton photographed the unloading of military equipment in the harbor, encampments, soldiers resting and graves. As a former painter and a lawyer his aim was to produce tasteful views of picturesque scenes, as required by Queen Victoria, rather than to convey an accurate impression of war. The “artistic effect” referred to by Fenton[125] can be achieved equally well by photographing a battery of cannons or a mountain of corpses, by powder-smoke or a camp. In photography, identicalness, resemblance, and truthfulness would, from now on, have relevance only as different interpretations of representation; the distinction between false and true representation is applicable only where photography is perceived to be a medium of information.[126]

The difference between the techniques of the various media for recording events was, from now on, the decisive criterion for quality, that is to say, for the authenticity of the event. The act of picture-making was to be judged by the time taken for its execution, that is, the exposure time.[127] The documentary character of photography lay in its supposed truthfulness based on the technology used, not in the scenes represented[128]. The medium had not yet achieved such a decisive change in perception as to enable the photographer or the viewer to break free from a time-honored pictorial aesthetic.


2.2 The American Civil War (1861-1865)


The American historian Henry Wysham Lanier, in the foreword of the Photographic History of the Civil War, wrote that the American Civil War is the only major conflict in world history that can “really” be illustrated “with a pictorial record which is indisputably authentic, vividly illuminating, and the final evidence in any question of detail.”[129]


The first “picture book” of a (civil) war was made during the civil war by Mathew B. Brady. Brady appeared at the front for the first time at the battle of Bull Run, Virginia on the 21th of July 1861. Between January and April 1862 he trained more than ten photographers such as Alexander Gardner, Timothy O’Sullivan and George N. Barnard. In the four years of destructive war – the first modern war in terms of the media and military technology – these photographers took over 8000 photograhs.[130] Brady and his photogaphers were present at all the great battles, but almost all their photographs show these places before or after the devastation wrought by the battle[131]. Some pictures were posed – some even retrospectively – and some of his assistants sometimes had to play the part of dead soldiers. Except for these falsifications, other photographs showed both the machinery of killing and the disfigured victims on both sides with unprecedented directness. It was mainly in Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War published in 1866 that the real horror of the war became clear. The only problem remaining was the limited distribution trough the media of the photographs documenting this period of American history at the time.

In December 1862 the New York Times would characterize Brady’s photography as follows: “The photographer who follows in the wake of modern armies must be content with conditions of repose, and with the still life which remains when fighting is over. When the artist essays to represent motion, he bewilders the plate and makes chaos.[132]

By the beginning of the 20th century gravures were replaced by photographs as the printing press was capable of reproducing photographs. It was believed that this would add an extra touch of  “realism” to the events that were described. On the other hand, replacing an image of a lower and other nature, the photograph had the status of a simple illustration.


2.3 The First World War – German photography at the front[133]


When in 1914 the First World War (WWI) broke out the technical means for photographing war were severely improved. Not only did the camera’s get lighter due to the invention of the telegraph in 1907 images could theoretically be distributed much faster.[134] Due to practical problems the full scale use of telegraphed images would be postponed until after WWI. Despite the technical improvements enabling massification of word and images the spreading of ‘testimonies’ of events remained difficult. The military command censured both written and photographical reports on the events of the Great War. Official information and photographs were on both sides collected by self-censured military journalists and provided by an official press office. Officers wrote so called eye-witness reports from the frontlines and almost never provided image material. This incorrect representation of the war was later on strengthened by authors describing the events or later on commenting on photographic material of the events with a strong tendency to heroize the events. As opposed to these representations there were also amateur photographers – soldiers documenting their everyday reality[135].


In the beginning these photographers were attracted by the ‘exotic’, they saw foreign places and met foreign people. Gradually, as the idea of a short and glorious war faded, they got the feeling of participating in a world event and so the subjects and objects of their photography shifted. Their ‘reality’ became more complicated and in most cases even ungraspable.

German photography clubs started sending unused camera’s to the front and followed a few months later by the photographic industry increasing it’s production of materials. All this to be able to “Permanently fixate different moments and situations of the battlefields”.[136] In other words the industry discovered, despite the prohibition of cameras at the front by the army, a new market and was as always very eager to make money out of it. In the Spring of 1916 when the beginning deception and loss of moral were noticed, the focus of the industry started to shift towards the home front.


The official photography of the war was in the hands of 19 photographers, most of them court photographers, who got a special permission of the German State. They had to travel on their own expenses, were risking their lives without any recompensation and in the end had to pass their photographs trough the army censorship. These state measures led to the originating group of professional photographers working without an official permission and selling their images to illustrated magazines and postcard printers. Eventually this would lead to the selling and publication of photographs of some of the soldiers amateur photographs while it provided them with some extra money at the frontlines. The ally of the German emperor, the Habsburger monarchy, stimulated the documenting of the war by soldier-photographers. They were at the spot and while there could as well provide the military, scientists and the home front with ‘photographic documentation’.


So what is the information we can get out of these thousands of amateur photographs? First of all there are the written texts on the back of the photographs sent home by the soldiers. Texts and oneliners such as “This is how we live!”, “This is how we fight!” and “This is how the Iron Cross has changed me!”. All these comments indicating the low moral and tiredness of the war, and the endlessness of the whole event. The photographs show soldiers on their own, with friends or in groups within the theatre of warfare: ruins of houses, villages and complete cities conquered upon the enemy. But there is of course also the aspect of documenting a personal history by placing oneself, alone or within a group, in time and space as a (temporary) survivor within the Great War as a world event. The logic of these recurrent themes is very simple: those were the only moments there was time to photograph, the rest of the day the soldiers were fighting. Real battle scenes were not photographed. Towards the end of this ‘photographed war’, with a breaking point halfway 1916 the material became more interesting. The topics change into the truly existentialist experiences of the war. The positive and hopeful tone of the earlier photographs changes into showing death and the grey everyday reality.

The photographs seemed to be a reconciliation between the human part of the soldiers and their role as fighting machines or between the soldier and the unfamiliar surroundings he found himself in. One ‘index’ was significant: They were all looking straight into the camera. This would proof that the amateur photography did not only stimulate the self-assurance of the soldiers but also strengthened the survival strategies. But the main theme of the soldiers’ amateur photography were the consequences of the war, the experience that everything could be devastated and consequently was devastated was fascinating to most of them. Ruins of churches, windmills, enemy tanks and so on became everyday experiences.


The next step was the photographing of the dead[137]. The photographed corpses fallen in battle were always those of the enemy shown as some kind of totem. The fallen soldiers of the own army on the other hand were always presented in a specific, respectful way buried on cemeteries. In this way again emphasizing the combination of patriotic and religious meaning this war was based on. The German soldiers fell serving the good cause and supported by God and were already on their way, unlike the enemies, to heaven.

The medium that could have stimulated the questioning of the war and expose the emptiness of political rhetoric’s failed to do so. Maybe photography, by mainly producing trophies and souvenirs and not showing the everyday suffering and cruelty even stimulated the continuation of the war.


The end of the First World War meant the end of the ‘Old World’ -society and a final devaluation of the use of religion. It also changed photographers and reporters, as others lost their image of God they lost their notion of objectivity.[138] They were used for means of propaganda and were not able to tell the truth about the atrocities on the battlefield due to the censorship of the governments. Journalists and photographers now openly abandoned the notion of objectivity - that is for those who believed in it before WWI. As they were only seen by their government as an instrument of propaganda they believed they might as well report along the lines of their own beliefs or ideology. Or as a contemporary journalist would say ‘Bloodless reporting on brutal wars and human catastrophes was over.’[139]


2.4 Germany after the First World War: The Spartacus League (1918-1919)


One of the consequences of World War I described above and the eventual defeat of the German Empire was the stepping down of Kaiser Wilhelm on the 11th of November 1918. This left the country in ruins and created a political vacuum in which all political parties varying from the extreme Right to the extreme Left wanted to impose their vision upon the defeated German citizens. While the allies defeating Germany in January 1919 started their negotiations on the degree of punishments that would eventually lead to the Versailles Treaty in April of the same year, Germany experienced a period of agitation and revolutions.

Already on the 8th of November Independent Socialists in Munich had forced the abdication of Bavaria's King Ludwig III and proclaimed a Bavarian socialist republic. The port cities along the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were falling into the hands of sailors' and workers' and soldiers' councils in the wake of the naval mutiny at Kiel in early November. Berlin's radical leaders of the leftwing Spartacus League, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, were eager to transform Germany into a republic of ‘workers and soldiers councils’ (a Räterepublik) in imitation of the soviet republic being established by the Bolshevik leaders in Russia.


On a party congress held from the 30th of December 1918 untill the 1st of January 1919 the Spartacus League was transformed into the Communist Party of Germany. Meanwhile, the Spartacists had encouraged demonstrations in December that led to the abortive Spartacus Revolt in Berlin in January 1919. On the  15th of January Luxemburg and Liebknecht were arrested and murdered in Berlin by members of the conservative Free Corps (Freikorps), who had seized control of the city's police presidium.

The elections on the 19th of January 1919, which for the first time included women, produced a resounding victory for Friedrich Ebert's Social Democratic Party. Three of every four voters gave their support to political parties that favoured turning Germany into a democracy. After months of agitation Germany was to become a democratic republic. The assembly began its deliberations on the  6th of February 1919, choosing to meet in Weimar, where it believed itself less vulnerable to radical political interference than in Berlin.


The events above are an interesting point of reference for this thesis while they were extensively covered both in text and image in Suomen Kuvalehti (SK).[140] Finland was recovering from an armed conflict with it’s roots in the refusal by the bourgeois parties of reforming society’s structures. After the German defeat in World War I similar reforms were now asked by the leftwing political forces in Germany. Before November 11 the political forces in Finland were clearly in favour of good relations with the later on abdicated German emperor. 

The photographs and footnotes in the January issues reporting on the events are not only ‘authentic’ as added by the redaction they are implicitly supporting the bourgeois political forces and later on the Social-Democratic Weimar government. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were not executed by the Free Corps but respectively ‘lynched by the angry crowd’ and ‘shot while trying to escape’. The Spartacists also ‘snatched a fine curtain’ to use it as a negotiation flag. Captured Spartacists ‘have to proceed with their hands held over their heads to prevent them from attacking their guards.’ According to SK the Spartacists were thus unwanted by the own population, unreliable and had no respect for ‘common’ values within a civil society. Consequently SK projected, all it’s ideas of the Finnish ‘Reds’ on the German Spartacists.[141]


2.5 The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939[142]


The Spanish Civil War was the first conflict during which small portable cameras such as the Leica or Ermanox, and faster, more lightsensitive films were used. These two technological achievements allowed photographers to depict, for the first time, the battle as it was unfolding. Photographs of war action were no longer only showing the outcome of hostilities or soldiers demonstrating their skills in staged war situations but the actual battle scenes as they were taking place. A photograph taken by Robert Capa showing a Spanish Republican soldier hit by an enemy bullet would become the symbol of this development of war photography. [143]


2.5.1 The Photo-essay and the new style of reporting


This Civil War was not only marked by the improvement of photographic possibilities it was also the war which dissolved what was left of the notion of ‘objective and neutral reporting’. Graphic designers convincingly linked text and quality photography creating narrations that were rather suggestive than demonstrational.

These narrations were inspired by the cinematographic art that was using the dialectical interaction of text and image. The application of this narrative structure- also called photo-essay - would prove to be very effective in manipulating mass audiences.[144] Photography as the main medium of mass influence would only be outdated the moment television appeared and spread during the 1950’s and 60’s. The photo-essay had an amazing efficiency while photography was able to make a static audience share the experiences of world events. But possibly the most important aspect was the function of the frame. The frame encouraged the audience to forget all activities that were outside the framing: the world was compiled and seen in a reduced format. The photographic rectangle controlled the borders of the gaze.

Journals and magazines such as Life in the USA, Picture Post and the Daily Herald in the UK and L’Illustration and Vu in France used hundreds of photographs to document the events in Spain. During the conflict magazines chose sides, either supporting the Republican forces or the Insurgent troops of Franco but all using the photo-essay to convince their audience of the justice of the supported cause.


2.5.2 The Pro-Republican press


The Republican minded press would put the stress on the solidarity of the popular front depicting the soldier, worker and businessman fighting side by side, in short the fight for the survival of Democracy. These ideals were defended in Magazines such as Regards and Vu in France and the Daily Herald and Picture Post in Britain. Remarkable was that despite their rather left ideas the Communist elements among the Republicans were to be downplayed in most of the articles published in these magazines. This to avoid all negative connotations and in the meanwhile undermining the Insurgent rhetoric saying all Republicans were Communists. 

Visually this was achieved by portraying revolutionary symbols such as barricades and torsos of Republican soldiers in the French press. These symbols go along the lines of the French revolutionary tradition and mentality. The photographs in the British press on the other hand show the government troops taking up their weapons to defend their government. The emphasis here lays on the authority of the troops as legal defenders of the country and it’s citizens and thus along the lines of the British idea of justified resistance.[145]


The civilians were portrayed as the victims of the modern warfare technologies used by the Insurgent troops and it’s allies. Any notion of the home as shelter and private domain was negated by the experience of modern war. Refugees were shown on their ways into an indefinite future and their affinity with such journeys in the past was emphasized.[146] Time and location were generally not specified, the cause of their flight explained only in the vaguest terms, while their status as victims was often clearly inscribed in the camera angle employed.[147]


2.5.3 The Pro-Insurgent Press


The pro Insurgent press in both France and Britain tried to use more mythical themes in convincing it’s audience of their cause. Courage and discipline were praised as attributes of the Insurgent soldier just as they were of the militiamen; likewise the army’s benevolence and the broad popularity of its cause. In magazines like L’Illustration and Match in France and The Daily Mail and The Illustrated London News in England the actions of the Pro-Insurgent  troops were supported and justified. This did of course not mean that both armies were interchangeable. Sympathetic representations of Franquist soldiers differed for instance in the lack of connections drawn between the Insurgents and the people of Spain. Recruitment photographs were rare, images showing the transition from civilian to soldier non-existent. Instead these publications promoted a paternalistic ideology for example showing Nationalist soldiers offering food to abandoned children. But the best propagandist move was the linking of the Insurgent cause with the Catholic Church.[148] Franco’s so called holy crusade against communism was to become incontestably the single most powerful propagandist tool of the civil war. Able to group the church and the military in the one stable, it was also able to absorb failure – any instance of capture, injury or death- under the banner of martyrdom. The pro-Insurgent press used this and other pictures, showing Republicans with weapons inside churches, as the ultimate proof of the sacrilegious character of the Republican ideologies. The insurgent propaganda machine was thus expertly channelling popular religious enthusiasm into support for the Insurgent cause.

One aspect of the Insurgent configuration however, was not so easily accommodated by the crusader myth and indeed threatened to undermine the entire edifice. This was the engagement of Moorish troops, 24 000 in total, so during the first week of hostilities and the entire conflict. It proved hard to incorporate these Muslims in a Christian Crusade and their presence in Spain was a godsend to the propaganda machinery of the Popular Front.[149] During the war they were shown while attending Christian celebrations and fraternizing with Spanish Insurgent soldiers but the ambiguity of the whole situation became clear in the latent racism in comments within the pro Insurgent press.

In portraying the civilians and refugees the pro-Insurgent press of both nations favoured the closed, resolved narrative form. It showed the refugees having reached their destinations, their passage complete. The causes of their flight were of little interest.


2.5.4 The representation of the war in the international press


If the French and British press displayed considerable correlation in their portrayal of Spanish civilian life besieged by war, this was not a product of any transparent reproduction of reality on the peninsula. Instead, these similarities arose from a reservoir of preconceptions about Spanish society.[150]


Already present within the popular consciousness of Britain and France, preconceptions that guided the eye of the photographers, of the editors that selected the pictures, of the publications themselves which attempted to offer their public images that communicated most to them. As such, these representations proved revealing less of the experience of ordinary Spaniards encountering for the first time in history the impact of technologic war, than of the shared assumptions through which the British and French viewed and portrayed that experience. The terror inspired by (German) aerial bombardment aroused considerable photographic interest in the press of both nations, the French in particular concerned with the damage it wrought to individual lives. The meticulous recording of the air‑raid experience suggests that what was being expressed through these images was less the experiences of the civilian Spanish than the unconscious fears of the British and French at the prospect of modern war.

The foreign press photographers, quasi‑anthropologists, thus travelled to Spain in search of new and publishable knowledge and sent home images which corresponded directly to the preoccupations of their culture. Behind each image lay an idealised notion of Spanish society confirmed or subverted by civil war; this notion drew from and fed into the collective imagination of Britain and France. Each image depended upon these ideals and preconceptions, furthermore, in order to take effect as propaganda; con­tinuity, adaptation or disruption of civilian life was only meaningful in rela­tion to them. The photographs chosen for publication did on one level represent Spanish civilian life in war, but that representation must be recog­nised as refracted through a culturally specific lens. It was above all the collective fears, ideals and expectations of societies distant from Spain that were formulated and given substance in these photographs.



3. The Evolution of Violence in Finland


In his 1998 study Heikki Ylikangas formulates several critics on the civilizing process theory as developed by Elias.[151] He tries to show that the results of his historical research, starting in the 16th century, on the violent crimes[152] within Finland do not correspond with the claims of the theory.

His main attacks on the theory itself are the following.[153] First he spots a tautology or circular argument: the practice of excessive violence is characterized as original uncontrolled behaviour, and then uncontrolled emotional behaviour is asserted to be the cause of violence. Secondly, if before the phase of civilization people’s behaviour was characterized by uncontrolled and impetuous excess, one would assume that they would have shown it particularly when they were confronted by naked violence. One would expect people with such mentality to have immediately tried to slay anyone who had taken the life of the nearest and dearest, or at least to demand the death penalty for the killer in court.


3.1 Violence in Finland in the 19th and 20th century


By the last quarter of the 19th century, a dramatic change in the rates of violence in Finland occurred when the supply of labour began to exceed demand. The availability of casual labour lessened the need for farmhands on annual wages and increased the dependence of the work force on the employers, who were able to select their work force from a multitude of applicants. In this way there was a city proletariat emerging from the rural overpopulation and consequently leading to an increase of violence within the cities. A form of “unofficial” control partly helped to reduce the amount of violent acts. Tenant farmers decided to divide the “big house” and the surrounding land amongst several sons instead of handing them over to the eldest of the brothers. In practice, this division would often be interpreted by these tenant descendants as an unwillingness of landlords to reform their policy.


In the 20th century, the first peak period of criminal violence occurred during the years 1905-13.[154] During this period the national murder rate rose to over five per year per 100 000 inhabitants.[155] The situation was worst in Southern Finland, in the provinces of Uusimaa (Helsinki, Espoo and Hanko) and Viipuri, and mainly in the towns and industrial centres. [156] The period of violence started in 1905 so it might be supposed that the violence was rooted in the political events of that year. The fight against russification and for parliamentary reform came to a head with the general strike at the beginning of November at the instigation of the Social Democratic Party.


Ylikangas argues that the link is provided by the Social Democratic Party and the dominant position it managed to obtain. Socialism and violence recruited their adherents from the same sections of the populace, the industrial workers and the landless rural population.[157] The political gains and the social influence acquired by the left inevitably led to a decisive change, from the criminal angle, in the situation of the lower social orders. Their dependence upon the upper orders diminished. In other words, the unofficial controls[158] over the lower orders were weakened. Members of the lower orders gained more scope and freedom to exhibit deviant and abnormal behaviour, without having the direct threat of unofficial sanctions hanging over them. A situation had thus been created, in which the impotence of unofficial sanctions permitted the unconscious and spontaneous outburst, in the form of increased lawlessness, of a concealed social protest caused by the divergences of opportunities for success.


Between 1914 and 1916, the incidence of crimes of violence remained within tolerable limits. In 1915 only 2,4 capital offences per 100 000 were recorded. During the First World War, the lives of many people were affected by restrictive regulations. The consumption of alcohol, as a stimulator of aggression, was one such item which officialdom sought to restrict and official controls were thus tightened up.

The figures of 1917-19 show a tremendous leap in the incidence of capital offences, but since these figures cannot be broken up to show the numerous political murders, these years were to left out of the survey.[159] It is however likely that civil violence, “normal” capital offences, was also great during these years, because in the years immediately following violence occurred on a scale which on a national level and over such a long period has not been exceeded either before or since. During the period 1920-32, the murder rate rose to an average of 8,4 per year and per 100 000 inhabitants. The Southern provinces still topped the list.


3.2 Finland and the post- civil war period


“The political unrest and especially the civil war of 1918, which accompanied Finnish independence undoubtedly played a part in this wave of violence. This should however be seen as essentially a catalyst. The civil war cannot be taken as a major cause for violence, since criminal activity did not decline as the rebellion faded from immediate memory. Moreover, the central province in the rebellion was Häme, which only came third in the crime tables. The persistence of violence must therefore be attributed to something other than the war of 1918.” [160]


It is however possible to look at this phenomenon from a very different angle. From 1919 to 1932, prohibition was in force in Finland. Nevertheless, despite the ban, or more likely because of it, cheap and potent alcohol smuggled from abroad was readily available. Demand was also met by illegal domestic liquor. From the researches of Salmialla[161] it can be seen that during the period 1920-29, the number of perpetrators and victims of capital offences who were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the offence was at least as high as during the period 1904-13, if not higher. [162]

Nevertheless, a closer look to the available numbers would seem to speak against alcohol as a factor. The number of those dying of alcoholic poisoning appreciably declined from the period 1921-25 to the period 1926-30 whilst the number of capital offences rose. Secondly, prohibition was ended on the 5th of April 1932, but the incident of violent crime had already begun to decline before then and this decline continued throughout the thirties, when the consumption of legal alcohol at least was rising with some regularity. The above evidence would seem to show, in Ylikangas’ opinion that violence cannot satisfactorily be shown to have been linked with the alcohol factor.


The author strongly suspects that the main driving force behind the high rate of capital crime originated in the same set of conditions which were met during the period 1905-13. World War I merely caused a temporary break in what was in actually a continuous peak period. To support this interpretation it must be shown that unofficial sanctions were ineffective. “Although the former Red Guards greatly suffered in the aftermath of the rebellion, it is not impossible to find some justification for this assumption. The treatment of ‘the rebels’ was limited to harsh punitive measures; the political system was not permanently altered to the detriment of the left. An indication of the weakness of unofficial sanctions is the fact that the Communist Party was able to function perfectly openly, merely changing it’s name, and by the fact that the workers were able to set up extensive communist-organised work stoppages and strikes and to victimise those on work-sites who had fought for the government.”[163]


3.3 Re-framing Ylikangas


It is difficult to support the claims made by Ylikangas in the paragraph above. The Communist Party was not at all “able to function perfectly” due to the restrictions forced upon it by the new government. As a matter of fact there was no party left. The main leaders of the revolution were killed during the war and executed during the months after the war and those still alive had fled to the Soviet Union.


In Ylikangas opinion the rise of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Finland from 1905 onwards can be seen as a factor of destabilisation within the Grand Duchy of Finland. The rise of the SDP finally gave a voice to the workers class and the rural proletariat in Finland.

The mainly Swedish speaking bourgeois landowners tried to keep the local tenant farmers tied to rules that seen in their European context were completely outdated. From 1905 onwards, after the defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, it was not only the lower classes showing their dissatisfaction but also the Finnish nationalist minded landowners. The rise of the (landless) farmers and the unemployed originated thus in a mixture of distorted relationships between different groups of the population. The SDP tried to achieve a better division of labour and sought zealous for a legally protected status. Despite being the largest party in the Eduskunta few improvements were realised.



4.  The representation of the Finnish civil war and other armed conflicts in Suomen Kuvalehti.


4.1 The origin of Finnish periodicals and Suomen Kuvalehti


By the mid-19th century 20 different magazines had been published in Finland of which most disappeared after a short period due to the limited readership and strict censorship of the Russian rulers. Swedish speaking magazines most of the time had a larger circulation and lasted longer than their Finnish counterparts. From the 1850’s onwards, the range of traditional types of magazines was expanded with periodicals for new professional groups, specific ideological groups and hobbies, and also by women's magazines, children's magazines and illustrated magazines. The oldest (professional) magazine in Finland is the  medical journal Duodecim, now called Suomen Lääkärilehti, and was founded in 1885.[164]

A stimulating factor in the rise and consolidation of Finnish speaking magazines was found in the publishing of the Kalevala epic in 1849 by Elias Lönroth.[165] The publishing of Kalevala was the first step in acknowledging Finnish as an official language and thus the first step in creating a Finnish reading audience. This freedom of press evocated a strong reaction of Russian nationalists and an extensive russification programme was forced upon the Finnish population. Eventually this would lead to the measures announced in the Russian February Manisfesto in 1899 and consequently the riots in 1905. Untill 1917 preventive Russian censorship was implied and newspapers and magazine were given warnings or were suspended for varying periods.


Suomen Kuvalehti (Finnish Illustrated Magazine), founded in 1873 was together with Julius Krohn's Maiden ja Merien takaa (1864-66), and K.J. Gummerus' Kyläkirjaston Kuvalehti (1878-1918), the first illustrated magazine in Finland. Suomen Kuvalehti (SK) of which the ‘illustrated’ refers untill 1914 to the publishing of rather simplistic drawings illustrating written texts was sponsored through advertisements by the Finnish upper class and reported on national and international political events, sports and culture.


4.2 Suomen Kuvalehti circulation numbers


In the year 1917[166] the circulation was 12 000 copies and by 1920 the circulation reached 35 000. Compared to the daily press in 1917[167] Suomen Kuvalehti had a rather small circulation but on the other hand it was the only magazine or newspaper “illustrating” her copies with photographs.

As far as the circulation for the period of 1917-19 is concerned, we do know

that in 1917 12 000 copies have been printed. However, it is uncertain whether all these copies have been sold or subscribed.[168]

4.3 The coverage of international events in Suomen Kuvalehti before the Civil War


In 1916 due to the censorship of the Russian state mentioned above SK reported in a tone that was carefully chosen not to upset the Russian ruler or other states involved in the First World War. The drastic changes in societies all over the world following the outbreak of the First World War would gently force the journal into taking a more outspoken stand. Untill March 1917 the journal reported alternating on both the German and Allied side while being carefull not to offend the Russian Tsar and his interests. After the Kerenski government took office in March 1917 abdicating the Tsar the focus in international reporting was turned from the World War to the March Revolution and its consequences. While the situation in Russia was rather confused the

magazine shifted towards a pro-German stance. The Germans booking new victories on the western battlefield after the closing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty in which they secured their eastern borders seemed to be able to decisively defeat the allied troops. Moreover the German army engaged itself in sending its Baltic division to Finland in March 1918 to help the White army in crushing the last parts of the Red Guard.[169] German soldiers were shown fraternizing with Finnish soldiers and German officers were photographed while paying tribute to Finnish victims. SK thus supported the ideas of certain groups within Finnish politics to install a monarchy with the German prince Friedrich Karl von Hessen as king.[170]


4.4 The photographic representation of violence in SK: 1916-1920


Despite the fact that I am very critical of the use of statistics in historical research and share the views of Caroline Brothers mentioned in Part 1, I carried out a random sample survey on the SK issues of the 1916–1920 period.[171] By doing so, I took in account all photographs showing violence and divided the notion ‘violence’ in five different categories. These categories were: Infrastructure: all photographs with as a main subject showing damage to infrastructures such as public transport such as railway stations and harbours, private and public companies and institutions, civil housings, churches and cultural institutions. Victims: all human beings (civilians and soldiers) killed due to the consequences of armed conflicts.  Wounded: All human beings (civilians and soldiers) wounded due to the consequences of armed conflicts. Prisoners: all persons taking captive during armed conflicts. Soldiers: all armed men part of an organised group, belonging to nation-states or opposed groups within a nation-state, participating in warfare. As there is no photography of actual fighting, most of these photographs show soldiers preparing or practicing for battle.



The photographic representation of violence was clearly influenced by the political position of the Finnish state and its involvement towards the specific conflict. An example can be found in the amount of attention paid to conflicts that took place around the same time. The Spartacus movement in Germany (see above) was extensively covered trough photographs and text while for instance the Irish Revolution was hardly, even in the written parts, mentioned.


4.5 Photography of the civil war in Suomen Kuvalehti


As already argued in Part 1 the fate of photography in the media depends not so much on the content of the image itself as on its placement, on the extent that it is moved from one setting to another, and the way it is used to narrate events, or to support newspaper stories.[172]

The lines of reporting in SK are supported by the ideological background advocated by the Finnish ruling class. Industrials, tradesmen and smaller businessmen mainly from the Helsinki region advertised in the illustrated magazine and thus financially supported its existence.[173] Before 1917 the Finnish elite, although under Russian rule, had its specific and uncontested place within society. The country was kept outside the First World War (WWI) while at the same time benefited from a looser attitude from the Russian ruler. WWI was reported on a in a specific way (see above), implicitly showing sympathy for the German Emperor while on the other hand not offending the Russian censorship. Next to the reporting on WWI the magazine mainly focused on culture, sports and ‘lifestyle’ topics. In other words, it showed a peaceful and relaxed Finnish society that had its specific position in time and space. This representation of ‘stability’ of society confirmed the position of the social elite in control of society as far as tolerated by the Russians.


At the outbreak of the civil war in January 1918 this ‘stable’ society is under attack. Despite the loss of Helsinki to the Reds the magazine continues to be published.[174] As shown in the graph above the focus of the visual presentation of the war is mainly on destroyed infrastructure and soldiers preparing for battle. Two weeks after the outbreak of war the magazine shows show a large amount of men of different age groups who, seemingly out of free will, joined the White Army. The fact that they were more or less forced into the army - following the idea :”If you are not with us you are against us” – was left aside. The Red rebels and ‘Ruskies’[175] were trying to prevent the independence of the country and betraying the Finnish ideals.


The damage of the war is mainly material and no bodies of White soldiers are shown on the battlefield. Opposed to Red soldiers paying for their betrayal with being left behind in the mud or gutters of the city[176] the White soldiers die heroically. They are not shown until the war is won and are then presented as martyrs of the nation waiting in their coffins to be buried. Before the end of the war only one exception was made, showing the “fraternal grave of 16 members of the protective guard who lost their way and were deviously murdered by Red Guards on the cemetery.”[177] The footer both justifying the legality of the “protective” White Guard and at the same time placing the Red Guards in the illegality while they are not only illegal but also “murdering” their prisoners. The fallen Red soldiers on the other hand were shown lying “in piles of approximately 50 the total mounting up to 1200 bodies” on the outskirts of the cemetery[178] Significant is the poor and slightly blurred printing of the photograph as opposed to the quality of the other photographs in the magazine and the copies found in the archives.[179]

After the war the ceremonies show the respect of the omnipresent new leaders of the country reflecting the ideals of a civilized society. In the months after the final victory and the large victory parade on May 16 1918, all portrait photographs of the soldiers who had ‘sacrificed their lives for Finland’ were published in SK. They had their photographs published and consequently – they had been fixated in time –would never be forgotten.[180]


After the battle of Tampere (see below) the Red prisoners of war were gathered on the Tampere Market Square. They mounted up to ten thousand and “it took from 9 am until 9 pm” before the counting was completed. This again added to the glory of the White Army because they captured the stronghold of the Red Guard and took an immense amount of prisoners.[181] The Red Guards were reduced to numbers and would be removed from the public space. Prison and work camps were set up in different parts of Southern Finland to punish and re-educate the ‘rebels’. The conditions of imprisonment in the camps were a humanitarian disaster and after a few months eventually led to international complaints. The British government linked the recognition of the new Finnish State to an improvement of the living conditions in the prison camps. The Finnish government reacted by releasing some prisoners and reducing sentences. To ease the minds of the supporters of the new regime and the international public opinion a photo essay on the Tampere prison camp was published in SK. The living conditions and treatment on the photographs seemed human and the whole infrastructure resembled a normal prison. But the footers of the photographs were still not to be misunderstood. The meal queue was organized “according to military discipline” and “many prisoners who were suffering from among others Spanish Fever were given proper nursing care in clean hospitals.” The authorities took up their responsibilities and “tried to bring the traitors of the fatherland up as proper citizens serving enlightenment.” In other words the ‘traitors of the fatherland’ were a group of uneducated and unorganized anarchists who didn’t even have proper hospitals to treat basic sicknesses.


As Suomen Kuvalehti during these years was the only illustrated magazine in Finland representing national and international events it had some kind of ‘monopoly’’ on the visual perception of events. As photographs at the time were still believed to have a highly rewarded status concerning veracity the impact of these few photographs on a certain part of the population should not be underestimated. What photojournalism covers has implications for historical understanding. The role of photography exposes the way moral concerns and ethical codes exist in everyday public discourse in one of the ordinary industries of the day.[182]





When concluding the history of war photography linked to the modes of representation above, we can distinguish more or less three tendencies. These tendencies show the links between the technical evolution of photography, the impact of the (visual) media on perception and the awareness of the governing institutions in using the media for specific purposes.

Firstly there was the tendency towards and ‘aesthetical’ reporting on conflicts closely linked to the value of veracity ascribed to photography. The events referred to are roughly taking place between the 1850’s and 1900. Although there is a clear difference between the photographs of Fenton, showing military infrastructure and aftermaths without bodies, and for example Matthew Brady. Brady gives overviews of the devastation of the battlefield including the corpses of the fallen soldiers of both sides. Although the photographs mainly function as a ‘photographical proof’ of events, the soldiers faces are not shown. The quality of the photographs, in the sense of constructing a ‘meaningful’ photograph and not a mere illustration, is varying. The value of the photographs as a ‘historical document’ is also undermined by the knowledge that regularly assistants functioned as actors (in this case as bodies) to add a specific atmosphere to the photographs.

Secondly, we have the photographs of the First World War and the two conflicts directly or indirectly originating from it: The Finnish Civil War and the Spartacus League. Here we are confronted by ‘raw’ image material showing the horror of warfare in a very direct way. Photographs are not constructed in a specific, meaningful way but take on the role of a visual testimony. This is also linked to the development of the Kodak snapshot camera enabling soldiers to record their personal experiences. As the military introduces censorship, it recognizes the impact of photography published in the media on the public opinion. Although the media – and propaganda – started to multiply and spread in fast growing amounts, these wars would still be decided on the battlefield by the, mainly drafted, younger generations of the different nations or the ideological groups within the nations.

Thirdly, and as the preface of our ‘televised wars’ of the last decades, we have the conflicts that are decisively influenced by their visual representation in the media. The Spanish Civil War had the dubious honour of having its events covered in text and image as no war had been covered before. The introduction of the photo essay gave a new dimension to the illustrated magazine. The impact of the photograph was no longer mainly depending on the footers or comments by editors. Professional photographers were assigned and created, and with an eye for aesthetic qualities, carefully constructed photographs supporting the cause of one of the parties. In doing so, they tried to gain the sympathy of the public opinion abroad and eventually hoped for financial or military support from governments for the cause. Politics, economics, media and photography were linked even more from that moment onwards.



Part 3. The Finnish Civil War and the photographic representation of violence


1. Photography in Finland


The history of Finnish photography during the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century mainly coincides with the history of the first amateur-photographers’ club in Helsinki. The Swedish-Finnish members produced photographs in a pictorial tradition showing landscapes, city views and portraits. It would take until the 1930’s before a Finnish, more progressive, equivalent would be founded introducing ‘New Photography’ in Finland. The rise of illustrated magazines in Finland like Suomen Kuvalehti and its link to the growing amount of photographers will be discussed in chapter four.


1.1 The early years and the founding of the Fotografiamatörklubben i Helsingfors


During the 1850’s, several commercial photographers were active in Helsinki, but the first portraitstudio of  E. Hoffman opened along Esplanadi, the main boulevard of Helsinki, as late as 1860. Technical support for all other amateur-photographers was found in the pharmacy of Girsen who himself was very interested in the scientific aspect of photography. The meetings of  the Finnish amateur-photographers in his home would be the initial step leading to the founding of the ‘Fotografiamatörklubben i Helsingfors’ (FiH) in 1889.

The founding was celebrated in the prestigious Kämp Hotel in Helsinki, and the two main figures behind it were the Swedish baron Hugo Schulten and Daniel Nyblin (1856-1923) who was born in Norway. While the former was mainly involved in the organizing of the club as a branch of the Svenska Fotografiamatörföreningen in Stockholm, the latter started giving photography classes to members of the club and to some schoolboys. By 1920 the total amount of photographers in Helsinki would mount up to 863 of which 194 were so called atelier photographers. In the other main cities in South Finland, Turku (177) and Tampere (137), photography would remain a more personal and less widespread occupation.[183]


One of Nyblin’s pupils was Alfred Nybom (1879-1963) who later travelled to Berlin and Vienna and became a distinguished portraitist before returning to run a portrait studio in Helsinki in 1908. Another, Harald Rosenberg (1883-1931), would become a professional photographer and was Finland’s first official press photographer for Veckans Krönika (Diary of the Week) and Helsingin Kaiku (The Echo of Helsinki). In 1909 he would become the first police photographer in Helsinki.

But Finland’s perhaps most important photographer during this era was not a member of the FiH. This travelling photographer and author was Into Konrad Inha (1863-1930) who published the work Suomi kuvissa (Pictures from Finland) in 1896. In 1894 as a non-member of the FiH, he had published his by now classic work From the Song-Lands of the Kalevala, compiled during a journey in 1894 with Finnish writer Kusti Karjalainen. Together they explored the Viena region in Karelia[184], which is considered as a mythical area for the Finns, as it is regarded as the home land of the national epic Kalevala.[185]  The photographs narrate the living conditions of the inhabitants of this vast region and the specific culture they developed.


1.2 Internationalization in the early 20th century


Through photographers like Nybom and Wladimir Schohin (1862-1934), a shopkeeper in Helsinki, new tendencies and ideas were introduced to the club. FiH associated itself with the international 'Seccessionist' movement involving other clubs and organizations in Europe and America, notably the London-based Linked Ring and the Photo-Secession founded by Alfred Stieglitz in New York. Like other societies, FiH organized major open exhibitions, although they found that the professional photographers were not interested in taking part in them. Prizes went mainly to those employing typically pictorialist techniques, resulting in 'photographic studies of nature as well as portraits which might almost be taken for hand- painted water-colors, pastels or black crayon drawings by some eminent impressionist artist'.[186]  Schohin would later on gain international reputation as an early color photographer using the new color-sensitive plates developed by Lumière (see above).

Walter Jakobson (1882-1957) was a bit of an outsider as an FiH member. He was not only a skilled amateur photographer but also tree times the World Champion and the Olympic Champion in figure skating. Dark tones dominate in his work and he chose sparingly and dramatically lighted subjects. His favourite topics, city views, show us parts of Helsinki photographed in rainy weather with gleaming wet asphalt and outlines softened by drizzle and mist. His photography calls to mind the views of Paris by Atget.

As with many other photography clubs, the FiH was a conservative organisation and remained fixed in its pictorialist past when photography elsewhere moved on. In the 1930s the impact of the 'New Photography' inspired by the Bauhaus was seen mainly in the Abiss Group and the work of such photographers as Heinrich Iffland and Björn Soldan.


The conservatism of the photographic establishment has also been a factor in the slow acceptance of photography in art and design education in Finland. The formal art and technical education system in Finland was first largely based on the English model, and continued to draw inspiration from this. In England, although photography courses began in 1839, they were a part of technical rather than art education. Although in the 1920's the UIAH[187] was teaching a wide range of 'industrial skills', photography was not among them. Even when the Graphic Arts department was established in the late 1920s to meet the needs of the new advertising industry, its courses did not include photography. In 1934 a two year part-time evening course was started, but this was discontinued in 1939, although there were still some courses for commercial artists in the school of Graphic Arts. Although the need for courses in photography was recognized in an official report in 1944, it was not until 1959 that a new 'Department of Photographic Art' was founded.


In 1888 when the Kodak box kamera was introduced, Daniel Nyblin reacted in the following manner: "Has this magic formula added to the improvement of photography, to its enhancement as science and handicraft, or to its popularization as a means of developing the powers of observation and the promotion of artistic sensitivity? No, most certainly not! It has not fostered amateur photographers, but it has created ‘snapshotters’ whose numbers are legion. Snapshotters, who push the button taking their snapshots without discrimination, hardly reasoning why. Worse than the Sunday sportsmen who let loose on anything that moves, these snapshotters have pointed their cameras at all and everything, and with surprise and serene pride found that they really have taken pictures, mostly bad, but in their own eyes always excellent, since they have been holding the camera.”[188]

It was clear that Nyblin did not recognize the impact the snapshot would have in later decades. From the 1930’s onwards fast and light cameras would take over at a moment when the FiH ideals were already obsolete.


In 1917-18 Finnish photography found itself, even more than in other countries in Europe, in a very specific position. The technical possibilities, both cameras and reproduction equipment, were more or less monopolized by the (Swedish speaking) Finnish upper class. Due to the high cost of all materials, no middle class, let alone working class, individuals could afford photographic tools. With a few exceptions there was no real alternative for non-FiH members as the ‘art of photography’, both technical and semiotical, was submitted to strict rules supervised by the club. Individuals like Into Konrad Inha would, on the level of his subjects, diverge from these regulations and Viktor Barsekevitsch in his portraitstudio in Kuopio photographed both Civil and Red Guards in the last weeks before the outburst of the war.

This overal situation of Finnish photography helps us to explain the state of illustrated magazines and journals in 1917. The political forces opposed to the conservative and bourgeois leadership formed after the October revolution could not gather the funds for a political alternative to Suomen Kuvalehti (see below). Not only was the cost for printing a magazine using half tone techniques too high, the cost of photography itself was already an insurmountable obstacle. Significantly, Finnish photography would catch up during the 1930’s with New Photography trough the Finnish speaking Kameraseura club.



2. Photography of the Civil War


Handling the photographic material on the civil war found in different archives requires an approach that fundamentally differs from the use of photographs within a media context as presented in Part 2. The texts - and the ‘context’ as a whole – accompanying the photographs were mainly added after the events and the reliability proved to be low.[189] Furthermore there is always something to say in response to traumatic photographs, and their denotative silence is always open to assimilation by connotation, signification and language.[190]  When photography is used as a ‘source’, there is a reconstructive approach with an identification of all elements found within the photograph. In this case, there is a need for classification of a large amount of visual material that composes a historical document. The photograph is analysed with the (objective) historical background in mind. [191]

2.1 The representation of executions


Fixing an event like an execution on a photographic plate always, and rightly, arouses a lot of suspicion. Very often the executed can not be identified due to the angle or distance of the camera. In most cases the photographer is unknown – or wants to be unknown – implying that both the ‘author’ and the subject represented remain unidentified. We depend on the comments of witnesses or the interpretations of archivists. The comments on the photographs provided by the archivists were not often very accurate and were more descriptive than analytic.

Few photographs – all showing Red Guards being executed by White Guards - were found showing an actual execution[192] and in only one case a photograph of both the execution and the ‘outcome’ were found. Again the credibility is rather low as these are photographs of photographs and no more specific information on its context is available. Two of the photographs found in the Kansan Arkisto give a clear view on an execution.[193] The executor(s) can be identified and even the victims appear in focus. While kan_07 is almost an ‘over-representation’ of the act of execution, and thus in my opinion staged, kan_01 leaves me with some doubts concerning veracity.

Consequently the photographs showing the results of the execution are in my opinion more revealing. The bodies of the executed are shown laying on the ground and in several cases can be identified.[194] Hands are tied up behind the backs of the victims and the bullet holes can be seen in the wall behind them. This leaves in my opinion few doubts about the veracity of what is represented. Furthermore the ‘backing’ of what looks like a whole village on kan_32 (see below) proves the hostile and vindictive atmosphere.

One photograph, kan_03, has a comment claiming it represents one of a series of mass executions. Groups of hundred soldiers had to dig their own mass grave and were consequently shot and buried in it. Again it is hard to determine whether this was a mass execution or a place where Red soldiers were gathered for mass burial. Another photograph, kan_13, shows a mass execution of female prisoners in the area of the Hennala camp near Lahti with only the legs of the soldiers showing inside the frame. This as opposed to kan_14 were a mass grave was dug next to the Workers Hall in Keuruu and was later on, photographed by J. Kukkonen, filled up again without being used. We can state that despite the claims made by several researchers about the number of executions, there was little photographic material of acts of executions to be found.


2.2 The representation of the fallen (Red) soldier


Again, as in SK, all the corpses represented in the photographs found in the archives are those of Red Guards. A large amount is taken after the conquest of Tampere (see below). The comments on the photographs vary from “fallen Red Ruskies” to the very ironical “A Red who has fulfilled his guard duty faithfully”.[195] The faces of the bodies are mostly uncovered and are sometimes photographed from close range.[196] An extremely cruel close up is tyo_24 showing “the head of a very young Red torn open by a shrapnel”. Also the presence of “women fighting in men’s clothes” seemed to be worth mentioning on the backside of the photograph. If they were not gathered for mass burials the corpses of the Red Guards are shown left behind where they fell in battle. Corpses frozen in the snow and later on when the thaw set in lying in the mud or in the gutters of the streets even when they already started to decay[197]. The fallen Red Guards were represented as a social group who had lost basic rights within society because of their betrayal of the nation. Consequently because they had turned against society, they were deprived of the right to be represented with normal human respect. This perception of the Red Guards as traitors was continued after the war when all men and families who had fought for, or were known to have supported the Red cause, lost all their civil rights.


2.3 The fall of Tampere through the objective


Towards the end of March and the beginning of April 1918, the civil war was decided in favour of White Finland by German troops and Mannerheim’s White Army. The German Baltic Division had embarked in Hanko from which it advanced towards Helsinki without meeting much resistance. The capital would finally be conquered after modest resistance by mid- April. At the same time Mannerheim and his troops were besieging Tampere, the last stronghold of the Red Army. Here the Red Army put up its last desperate resistance before large quantities of Red families and the remaining soldiers would flee towards Lahti and eventually be captured. Between April 3rd and 7th several hundreds of soldiers, mainly Reds, were killed.[198]


The battle of Tampere is by far the best documented battle of the whole war both in text and image. In the photographs found in the archives all categories mentioned above are well represented. The specific character of the battle – ‘the last stance’ – can, in my opinion, be retraced in the photography. Not only are large parts of the city clearly swept away by the heavy bombardments and fighting but also the amount of bodies depicted in these photographs is larger than those from other battles.


The main areas represented in the photographs are the Kalevankangas cemetery, the Lindell school and the Näsilinna hospital and bridge. Whole series of photographs[199] of the Kalevankangas cemetery taken from different angles and reproduced in various qualities were found in all archives and in SK (see above). Some of the soldiers are naked and can be identified as they lay with their face towards the camera. As opposed to the photograph that appeared in SK (see above) it is noteworthy that the dead Reds are not only gathered for mass burial - they are gathered on the outskirts of the cemetery. This again supports the claim that the Reds are ‘outkasts’ and thus do not deserve to be buried individually or with any ceremony and definitely not on the cemetery, as the cemetery is considered as place reserved for ‘good and loyal’ citizens. The number of bodies, according to several sources mounting up to 1200, was so large that one photographer tried to compose a panoramic view of the piles of bodies.[200] The panorama which consists out of 4 parts is in my opinion, although it is hard to determine, a composition mixing enlarged elements on the right with more global views on the left side. The tree lines of the background are not only broken –which would be normal in ‘composed’ panorama – they also have different depths. This could mean that the intention of this collage was the enlarging of the number of corpses.

The second well documented place is the yard of the Lindell school. The  comments added in the archives about the bodies shown on the photographs  vary from “Reds executed gathered in…” to “ Dead Reds taken from the hospital.” It is very likely that the school yard functioned as a place were executed Reds, Reds fallen in battle and deceased victims of war from the school/hospital were gathered for burial.

One of the last battles for Tampere took place around the bridge of Näsilinna at the Näsijärvi Lake. Three photographs from different perspectives[201] show the Näsinlinna hospital area next to the bridge damaged by the fighting and surrounded by corpses. Other photographs concentrate on the destroyed residential areas near the centre of the city and the havoc in the inside of the Greek Orthodox Church.[202]

Several photographs showing imprisoned Reds were found but all of them were of such a bad printing quality that only one was included on Finnish Civil War Photography.[203] The amount of prisoners mounted to several thousands – ten thousand according to SK - of which most were imprisoned later on in a camp near Tampere together with Reds from other areas.[204]



3. Application of the theoretical approach: Images of the Finnish Civil War


Below I will apply the methodological framework developed in Part 1 on two photographs of the Finnish Civil War. In this way I will clarify the difference in use and possible impact on the viewer of the represented violence. The first photograph is taken from the Suomen Kuvalehti (SK) issue of  May 1918 and shows the streets of Tampere after the conquering of the city by the White Army. The second photo, found in the Kansan Arkisto (the People’s Archives) is unpublished and has no further contextual information. Both photographs have in my opinion a structured meaning.


3.1  Drawing a concrete line between the Reds and the Whites - Suomen Kuvalehti


The first photograph [205] which is taken on the streets of Tampere shows us a woman looking at a victim of the fights between the Whites and the Reds. It is taken from a frontal angle and clearly has a central perspective. The frontal angle means that we see something in which we are, as a viewer, involved, something that is part of ‘our world’: the world as it was experienced by the Finns in the first months of 1918. The represented participants are seen from eye level, but due to the position of the photographer, clearly standing in a street going upwards, the scene is seen from an angle between eye level and a low angle. The woman is shown in medium long shot, while the rest of the participants are shown in long shot, again stressing her position as the main subject in this image.


The image has a high credibility degree, although it is in black & white, if we take in consideration the technical possibilities of 1918, not only of taking the picture but also the printing in the magazine. It has a sharp focus and the balance of light and shadow seem normal. The setting is detailed and shows us a street in Tampere, which can be traced even today, with different elements (two dead bodies and the corpse of a horse) referring to the battle that has been fought there.


It is clearly a presentational picture trying to inform us, although clearly ideologically coloured (see above), and it is meant to be understood in a ‘natural’ way. The photograph is taken after the ‘liberation’ of Tampere by the White armies from the Reds so it is taken as a ‘proof’ of the conquer of the city. The situation shown is a reactional process; the direction of the glance of the main participant leads to the ‘phenomenon’ in this case the body laying in the gutter. A vector is formed by the look of the woman towards the dead Red soldier. Her body language expresses her horrified emotions while she is looking at different bodies trying to identify someone she knows. Another vector is formed by the man behind her reaching out his arm towards (or next to) the other dead soldier. We could even say that all four people standing behind the woman also create a vector guiding towards the second dead body. All these separate vectors are a part of the main vector which creates together with the people at the right of the picture looking to the left, a dramatic feeling. Another vector connects different points in the image running from the woman looking at the dead body over the dead horse and cart back to the other people on the sidewalk.


When we analyse the vertical axis, the bottom space is the space of the here and now, the reality of the events. On the horizontal axis the left-side is clearly the side of ‘the given’ in this case the facts of the war, while the right side, embodied by the people watching the scene, shows ‘the future’ namely the way these people will have to deal with the events in the future. The woman stands on the sidewalk, while the dead soldier lies in the gutter, and they are separated from each other by the border stone of the sidewalk, which functions as a borderline between the living and the death in general. The dead are lying in the gutter and the mud while those alive are walking on the more civilized sidewalk again reproducing the above mentioned division between the (upper class) Whites and the less deserving Reds. From the composition elements of the image it becomes clear that the photographer knew how to create a dramatic feeling within an image and had received a specific training as a photographer.


The anchorage beneath the text says ‘ A shocking sight from the streets of Tampere after the city has been taken. People are looking for their family members among the bodies which no one has yet had time to take away.’ Although Suomen Kuvalehti reflects the ideology of the White Regime (see above) the comment in the anchorage at first sight seems to be relatively neutral. There is no mentioning of Reds or Whites. But the verb ‘korjata’ in Finnish has a clear negative connotation while it is usually used with things like garbage or a mess. This indicates that the bodies are not thought to be very dignified. Interesting is also that the caption claims that people are looking for their family members which reflects a typical religious value, a value of bourgeois society.


3.2 Taking communal revenge - Kansan Arkisto


The second photograph[206] analysed is taken from the Kansan Arkisto 1918 Files. The exact date and location are unknown. It is taken from a frontal angle on eye level and has a central perspective showing the outcome of an execution of Reds by Whites.

The credibility level is high, again taking in consideration the technical possibilities of the time, as the focus is sharp and the light is clearly daylight. It is again a presentational picture: it shows the events during the last weeks of the civil war during which the Whites retaliated for the executions of their soldiers in the beginning of the war and arbitrarily executed Reds. It is clear that they are Whites as two of the armed guards, in the left and right corner of the picture, are wearing a white armband. Due to the position of the bodies, all lying on their back and most of them with their hands behind their body, and the amount of bodies in an ‘open’ space there is no doubt that this was an execution.


The long shot is divided in the middle by the distance the crowd has taken from the executed soldiers. There is no clear division between left and right on the horizontal axis but the vertical axis is clearly divided in two parts. The lower part shows us the reality of the moment; the execution of Red soldiers and the upper part the people, at least part of them directly, and most of them indirectly, responsible for the execution. Again there is a clear division between ‘the past’ and ‘the future’ we could even say that there is (again) a certain hierarchy. As the ‘executors’ are looking straight into the camera they seem to be proud of their action and express their support for the White regime in their country. In the language of every aesthetics, frontality means eternity, in opposition to depth, through which temporality is reintroduced, and the plane expresses being or essence, in short, the timeless.[207] The whole group (village?) literally backs up the White soldiers responsible for the execution. The setting is undefined, as we do not know the exact location and there are no points of reference. Most likely the setting is situated at the countryside or at the outskirts of a city. Seen from the way the people are dressed, the succession of the events of the war and, most of all, the condition of nature the picture is probably taken in the second half of March or beginning of April.



General Conclusion


With the outbreak of the March Revolution in Russia the Finnish upper class, mainly consisting out of landowners, industrials and nobility became aware of the changing social relations within society. Although they recognized the treat of a left-wing inspired revolution, they fatally refused to take in consideration the growing industrial working class and its demands for labour organisation reforms. While elsewhere in Europe the ‘old regimes’ strongly supported by religious worldviews massacred each other, and finally lost their economic world hegemony to the New World, the Finnish upper class still believed in organizing the young nation according to these outdated principles. The attempt of installing a monarchy can be considered as the ultimate exponent of fossilized ideals in a rapidly changing and modernising world. The fact that the independence from the Russian Empire in the end of 1917 was made possible due to the Bolshevik revolution had a bitter taste and alarmed the bourgeois politicians even more. To protect the population from the increasing agitation and violence of unsatisfied and hungry workers, ‘Protective Guards’ financed by the upper class were put up. From that point onwards and due to the combining of all conservative and right wing forces in parliament forcing the Social Democratic Party (SDP) into the opposition (despite being the biggest party) they profiled themselves as the legal governors of the country.


Consequently the ‘opponents’ of the new state/monarchy had to be eliminated. A campaign in the parliament and media to undermine the power and credibility of the SDP was started. The outcome was that the extreme left wing of the SDP, further stimulated by the October Revolution, gained more support, leading to the outbreak of war in January 1918. In the written media the ‘Reds’ or ‘Red Ruskies’ were constantly stereotyped. The term became a ‘short cut’ to a complex set of assumptions reflecting the views on society of the Finnish upper class.

After the outbreak of war the importance of (visual) media, as the main source of information, increased in further influencing the stereotyping of ‘the Other’ to eventually reach some point of consensus within society. Linked to the actual international position of Finland the Reds were not only violent and unreliable but became the traitors of the country. They were said to ally with the Russian soldiers left in the country and had the intention to prevent the independence of the country and become part of a big bolshevist Russian state. Thus the myth of fighting a  ‘War of Independence’ was born.


Suomen Kuvalehti clearly lived up to its role in visually stereotyping the revolutionaries. As in other illustrated magazines in other countries during this decade the emphasis still lay on the footers and the accompanying texts. The photographs in some articles were still mere ‘illustrations’ and their meaning was directed toward a visual proof of the described events. Already in an early stage of the war the Red Guards were represented as defeated. Dead soldiers, exploded armed train cars and finally a panoramic view of all prisoners on the Tampere Market Square had to convince the White Finland supporters of the defeat of the revolutionaries and the return to a stable society. In doing so the magazine functioned as an instrument of the Vaasa government with the use of the notion ‘propaganda’ lurking behind the corner. The White Regime assured itself of the right to decide on which image material was suitable to be shown to the public. Already they, as political regimes today considered a positive self-image in the media as a top priority and thus clearly recognized the impact of images on society and the need to control them. The ultimate and unconditional support of the White regime is found in a publication presenting the prison camps. At a moment of multiplying international complaints on respecting human rights, the ‘photo reportage’ shows proper living conditions while in reality thousands of people died of famine and diseases.


The photography of Suomen Kuvalehti was carefully chosen and furthermore was accredited its meaning. It was part of a bigger structure emphasizing the hegemonic position of the upper class ideology. As there was no national counterpart for the magazine or any interest from the international (photographic) press, other visual historical documents could only be found in the archives. Archives are ideologically different structured institutions with a specific way of functioning and collecting (photographic) documents. As these photographs were at the time owned by the photographers and were - even until now - unpublished they did not influence the visual perception of the events at the time. Curiously they all depicted similar subjects and also the technical style and construction was very similar. All photographs showing White victims of war, if they ever existed, had already left the archives a long time ago – if they ever made it there. Despite no specialized war photographers were accredited, as would become the habit in later decades, the photographs irrefutably have a value as visual historical documents. Bodies of Reds are shown laying in the gutter, in the mud and laying in piles to be mass buried. In short, the revolutionaries were represented as the scum of the earth, not to be treated with any human respect. They show the ‘mentality’ of a class within society, implicitly supported by the Finnish clergy, trying to legitimate its newly attained position.

When in January 1918 the Civil War broke out almost all photographers belonged to the (Swedish speaking) upper class and thus created photographic documents that were clearly directed by a 19th century bourgeois vision on society. Their urge to document – another 19th century notion - the gain of control over society would eventually provide us with more information than only showing the elimination of their ideological opponents. The lack of human respect in treating prisoners and organizing arbitrary executions later on is already shown in the photographs of the corpses of the revolutionaries. While fighting the battle over the power in society using ‘civilized ‘and moral values in its discourse and visually documenting the events through supporters, the White regime revealed its true face. Unlike for example the war photography of the Spanish Civil War published in the European media the photographs published in Suomen Kuvalehti, even when they lacked a counterpart, did in my opinion not influence the outcome of the war.


Part 4: CD ROM


Finnish Civil War Photography ( macromedia flash)




home lijst scripties inhoud  


[1] The SDP was founded in 1903 at the Forssa Congres and committed itself to achieving a socialist society, principally through constitutional means, with the reform of the constitution being the first priority. But the program also envisaged that it’s objectives might have to be enforced through a revolutionary general strike.

[2] Obtaining 80 out of 200 seats in the new Finnish Eduskunta, the new unicameral parliament.

[3] Traditional tenant farmers making up 1/5 of the rural inhabitants and the only ones to oppose to landowners on various occasions.

[4] A. UPTON , The Finnish Revolution, 1917-18, University of Minnesota Press, Mineapolis, 1980, p 27.

[5] P. ARIKAINEN, I. HETEMÄKI & E. PÄRSSINEN E. (ed.), Suomen historia 6, Romantiikasta modernismiin rajamaasta tasavaiiaksi, Weilin & Göös, Espoo, 1987, p 134.

[6] This Home Guard would from January 1918 on form the core of the bourgeois troops, the White Guard

[7] Letter from the ‘Helsinki Red Guard’ announcing its existence to the Helsinki Worker’s Council, September 3 1917.

[8] A. UPTON, op.cit., p115.

[9] Together with Hufvudstadsbladet, Helsingin Sanomats Swedish pendant, the most popular bourgeois newspaper at that time.

[10] Kuusinen (1881-1964) joined after finishing his academic studies the Finnish Workers Association in 1906. From 1908 to 1913 and in 1917 Kuusinen was a member of the Parliament and from 1911 to 1917 he was chairman of the Social Democratic Party. During the Civil War (1917-18) he was minister of education of the Red government, called People's delegation. Kuusinen would also become the Prime Minister of the puppet Terijoki government installed by the Soviet Union on December 1st 1939 after their invasion of Finland.

[11] S. HENTILA, O. JUSSILA & J. NEVAKIVI, From Grand Duchy to a Modern State: A Political History of Finland since 1809, Hurst & Company, London, 1999, p 101

[12] Unicameral Finnish Parliament

[13] S. HENTILA, O. JUSSILA & J. NEVAKIVI, op.cit., p 110

[14] A. UPTON, op.cit., p 140

[15] Central Trade Union Organisation

[16] A. UPTON, op.cit., p 168

[17] Also called Vaasa Senate

[18] Vaasa is a regional town in the southern part of the Pohjanmaa district (West Finland)

[19] Manner (1880-1936) would at the end of the war flee to Russia were he would help in organizing the Finnish underground Communist Party. His failure in organizing a new revolution would eventually lead to his purging and  that of many of his supporters in Stalin’s Gulag during the 1930’s.

[20] Valtionarkisto, Kansanarkisto, liikeasiainosasto D

[21] A. UPTON, The Finnish Revolution, 1917-18, University of Minnesota Press, Mineapolis, 1980, p359.

[22] J. PAAVOLAINEN, Poliittiset väkivaltaisuudet Suomessa 1918. I Punainen terrori, Helsinki, 1966, p238.

[23] Numbering in total 42 000 soldiers by the end of January 1918

[24] During a very brief period the Russians loyal to the Red cause amounted to some2000.

[25] After the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on the 3rd of March a 1918 all Russian soldiers officially had to leave the country

[26] Originally these volunteers left Finland in 1916 to receive training in Germany to fight the Russians an obtain Finnish independence. By doing this they also escaped from possible Russian conscription during the First World War.

[27] These Jägers officially could not return to Finland until after the Civil War. 200 of them were send to a work camp in Germany (Altona-Bahrenfeld) during the war.

[28] The language at the headquarters was Swedish, the language of the bourgeois elite

[29] England was asked as well but showed no interest in Finland

[30] Diplomat of the White government residing in Stockholm and pleading for Swedish assitance against the Finnish revolutionaries

[31] H. SOIKKANEN, Kansalaissota dokumentteina, II, Helsinki, 1967, p87.

[32] Except for the Aland Islands conflict where after the inhabitants voted pro Sweden, the Swedish army occupied the territory. In the end of May they would leave the Island again before, the German troops on their way to Finland arrived.

[33] Due to the capitulation of Germany on the 11th of November 1918 the Finns decided to install a republic instead, and in December 1918 the Finnish speaking bourgeois party split into the National Coalition Party (in favour of a monarchy) and the National Progress Party (in favour of a republic).

[34] These included: a peace treaty, a trade and maritime agreement and a secret assurance that Finland would reimburse Germany for all costs relating to its military assistance.

[35] The city was ‘liberated’ by the Germans on the 12-13 th of April.

[36]S. HENTILA, O. JUSSILA & J. NEVAKIVI, From Grand Duchy to a Modern State: A Political History of Finland since 1809, Hurst & Company, London, 1999, pp110-112.

[37] The white propaganda machine used the regular stories to shock it’s citizens – murder of victims before the eyes of their families, sadistic torture of victims before death, priests crucified with bayonets on their own altars, mutilation of corpses …

[38] On the whole, also the Lutheran clergy had a deplorable record. As the head of the village some figured as incendiaries who urged on the killing of the Reds.

[39] The orders by Mannerheim for the assault on Tampere (the 26th March) said: “during the conquest of Tampere it is to be strictly observed that an enemy who surrenders is to be treated as a prisoner of war and that no action shall stain the clean record of Finland’s white army.” (S. JÄGERSKJÖLD, Mannerheim 1918, Helsinki, 1967, p253.)

[40]  S. JÄGERSKJÖLD, Mannerheim 1918, Helsinki, 1967, p253.

[41] “On the Karelian front, Russians- whether they were Mensheviks or Bolsheviks- did not live many hours…among the Karelian troops smouldering Russophobia was principally fired by the concept of the Russian as the centuries-old destroyer and enslaver of our people. Altough usually Russians who were taken prisoner were shot at once, it was chiefly because we regarded them as representative of the bad qualities of their race… personally I felt repugnance about executing prisoners – except for Russians.” (P. Susitaival) (J. PAAVOLAINEN, Poliittiset väkivaltaisuudet Suomessa 1918, II Valkoinen terrori, Helsinki, 1966, p87)

[42] Some of the Ostrobotnia Russians, who had surrendered to Mannerheim on guarantee of their lives, were subsequently killed: about 100 were victims of a mass killing at Joensuu in April. Nearly all the 200 Russians captured at Tampere were slaughtered, and the capture of Viipuri was followed by an indiscriminate massacre of Russians.

[43] M. TIKKA, "Lappeenrannan puhdistus. Lappeenrannan valloitusta seurannut poliittinen väkivalta 25.4. - 15.5.1918". (”The Purging of Lappeenranta. The Political Violence after the Conquest of Lappeenranta 25.4. – 15.5.1918”.) The University of Tampere, the Department of History, Finnish History, 1998.

[44] J. PAAVOLAINEN , Poliittiset väkivaltaisuudet Suomessa 1918, II Valkoinen terrori, Helsinki, 1966, 256p.

[45] J. FLETCHER, Violence and Civilization, An Introduction to the Work of Norbert Elias, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1997, 218p.

[46] N. LACEY, Image and representation: Key Concepts in Media Studies, London, Mac Millan, 1998, p6.

[47] Idem, p57.

[48] Idem., pp 57-68.

[49] R. BARTHES, Mythologieën, Amsterdam, Arbeiderspers, 1975,  p251.

[50] G. YULE, The Study of Language, Cambridge, 1997, p122.

[51] M. FRIZOT, A New History of Photography, Könemann, Köln, 1998, pp 233-234.

[52] Idem, p238.

[53]  Since spools of film took up less room than plates, classic box-cameras got smaller, eventually giving way to folding cameras, one side which folded down, pulling out the inner chamber like an accordion and exposing the lens.

[54] M. FRIZOT, op.cit., p 359.

[55] The image to be transmitted was wrapped around a cylinder and traversed by a narrow pencil of rays which then strikes a selenium (photo-) cell. This transmits a current of an intensity proportional to the transparent opaque sections of the original image. On the arrival of this electric signal, the intensity of the light is restored on a  light-sensitive film thus reproducing the original image in negative. (M. FRIZOT, op.cit., p 366)

[56] M. FRIZOT, op.cit., p 362.

[57] This is if we do not take the photo-collages and posters of f. ex  A. Rodchenko in account and insist onconsidering them as “art”-photographs. Although one could argue that this is an arbitrary distinction.

[58] M. FRIZOT., op.cit., p 414..

[59] A. BARRET, Les premiers Reporters-Photographes, 1848-1914, Paris, A. Barret, 1977, p 6.

[60] Frizot M., op.cit., p 368.

[61] G.WAIBL, Fotografie und Geschichte (I), Fotogeschichte, Frankfurt, 22, 1986, 6, p 4.

[62]  “ The historians studiying mentalities using statistical methods by which they ‘measure attitudes by counting’ are confronted with another problem. Quantification tends to presuppose a correlation between the number of images published and their influence on the viewing public, although influence as such can never be precisely measured; such methods are insensitive to visual conventions that can invest a single image with considerable power while an entire series of less impressive examples, although registering significantly in a quantitative analysis, may make little impact...” (C. BROTHERS, War and Photography, London, Routledge, 1997, p12.).

[63] P.BURKE, Eyewitnessing, The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence, London, Reaktion Books, 2001, p16.

[64] E. KUNT, Fotografie und Kulturforschung, Fotogeschichte, Frankfurt, 21,1986, 6, pp13-18.

[65] G. WAIBL, op.cit, p8.

[66] C. CHEROUX, Mémoire des camps, photographies des camps de concentration et d’extermination nazis (1933-1999), Paris, Marval, 2000, p 234-235.

[67]C. CHEROUX, Idem, p19.

[68] C. CHEROUX, Idem, p13.

[69] G. WAIBL, Fotografie und Geschichte (III), Fotogeschichte, 24, 1987, 7, p 9.

[70] See appendixes on Finnish Civil War Photography : sk_04

[71] G. WAIBL, op.cit., p 3-4.

[72] G. WAIBL, op.cit., p 9-10.

[73] R. DYER, Taking Popular Television Seriously, Lusted and Drummond, London, 1985, p126.

[74] D.D. PERLMUTTER, Visual Historical Methods. Problems, Prospects, Applications, in: Historical Methods, Chicago, 27, 1994, 4, pp. 167-184.

[75] G. KRESS & T. VAN LEEUWEN, Reading Images, London, Routledge, 1999, 288p.

[76] The Gestalt theory is a interdisciplinary general theory which provides a framework for a wide variety of psychological phenomena, processes, and applications. According to the theory it is the interaction of the individual and the (specific)situation in the sense of a dynamic field which determines experience and behavior and not only drives (psychoanalysis, ethology) or external stimuli (behaviorism) or static personality traits (classical personality theory).  Connections among psychological contents are more readily and more permanently created on the basis of substantive concrete relationships than by sheer repetition and reinforcement.

[77] G. KRESS & T. VAN LEEUWEN, Reading Images, London, Routledge, 1999, p.96.

[78] Idem, p96

[79] Idem, p 97.

[80] Idem, p97.

[81] Idem, p98.

[82] Idem, p98.

[83] Idem, p102.

[84] G. DENECKERE, Historische kritiek van woord en beeld in de massamedia, Vakgroep Nieuwste Geschiedenis, Academiejaar 2001-2002, .

[85] The comunicationmodel as developped by Shannon and Weaver (1949)

[86] N. LACEY, Image and representation, London, Mac Millan, 1998, p98.

[87] Idem, p98.

[88] Idem, p101.

[89] G. KRESS & T. VAN LEEUWEN, Reading Images, London, Routledge, 1999, p133.

[90] R. DYER, Taking Popular Television Seriously, Lusted and Drummond, London, 1985, pp130-133.

[91] Htttp://

[92] F. ROSENGARTEN (ed.), Antonio Gramsci, Letters from Prison, New York Columbia University Press, 1994, 431p.

[93] KRESS & VAN LEEUWEN, op.cit., p136.

[94] G. WAIBL, Fotografie und Geschichte (III), Fotogeschichte, 24, 1987, p 9.

[95] A. SEKULA, Reading an archive: photography between labour and capital. in: Evans (J.) & Hall (S.), Visual Culture, the reader, Sage Publications, London, 1999, p188.

[96] A. SEKULA , op.cit., pp181-192.

[97] A. SEKULA, op cit., p185.

[98] C.CHEROUX, Mémoire des camps, photographies des camps de concentration et d’extermination nazis (1933-1999), Paris, Marval, 2000, p12.

[99] A. SEKULA , op. cit., p185.

[100] R. BARTHES,  Rhétorique de l’image, in Image-Music-Text, New York, Hill and Wang, 1977,  p51.

[101] For a specified list  with the archive references see Finnish Civil War Photography.

[102] An explanation for this spreading of photographic material can be found in the post-war events described in the ‘Framework’ of this research.


[104] L. MANOVICH, The Language of New Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 2001, pp21-26.

[105] L. MANOVICH, op.cit. pp27-45.

[106] The digititization of the English Pathé Film Studio’s archives and it’s worldwide accesibility through the company’s  website ( in November 2002 as an example.

An example directly linked to this thesis is the website of the Vapriikki Museum in Tampere (

[107] This also implies “added” information such as the paper and ink used, printing technique, etc. 

[108] A hyperlink creates a connection between two elements, for example, between two words in two different pages or a sentence on one page and an image in another, or two different places within the same page. Elements connected through hyperlinks can exist on the same computer or on different computers connnected on a network, as in the case of the World Wide Web.

[109] N. ELIAS, The Civilizing Process, Oxford, Blackwell, 1994, 576p.

[110] H. YLIKANGAS, What Happened to violence?, pp17-19.

[111] H. YLIKANGAS, op.cit, p 19.

[112] Also see Part 1 - Hegemony

[113] J. FLETCHER, p24.

[114] J. FLETCHER, Violence and Civilization. An introduction to the work of Norbert Elias, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1997, p82.

[115] Idem, p47.

[116] Idem, p83.

[117] Idem, p47.

[118] P. BOURDIEU, Ce que parler veux dire: l’économie des échanges linguistiques, Paris, Fayard, 1981.

[119] G. L. MOSSE, De la Grande Guerre au totalitarisme. La brutalisation des sociétés européennes, Paris, Hachette Littératures, 1999.

[120] P. CONRAD, De Metamorfose van de Wereld, Antwerpen, Manteau, 1999, pp 237-267.

[121] Despite the role Mosse attributes to the voluntary soldiers they formed only a small minorty in for example the French and German army. Most of the young men were drafted.

[122] Between 1919 and 1923 324 political murders were commited including the assasination of the Jewish minister of Foreign Affairs Walther Rathenau in 1922.

[123] [123] A. SEKULA, Reading an archive: photography between labour and capital. in: Evans (J.) & Hall (S.), Visual Culture, the reader, Sage Publications, London, 1999, p190.

[124] M. FRIZOT, A New History of Photography, Könemann, Köln, 1998, p138.

[125] “...for as you will see from the enclosed prints the sites of here have not a trace of the kind of artistic effect that could be successfully reproduced by a quick sketch, consisting rather of wide expanses of open country covered with innumerable details” (Fenton in a letter to his publisher W. Agnew, April 9th 1855 – M. FRIZOY, op.cit., p138.)

[126] M. FRIZOT, op.cit., p139.

[127] Idem, p137

[128] See Finnish Civil War Photography - Appendix – The Crimean War

[129] T. MILLER (ed.), The Photographic History of the Civil War, New York, 1911, vol.I, p30.

[130] M. FRIZOT, op. cit., p144.

[131] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix and Links - Photography of the American Civil War

[132] H. VON AMELUXEN, Von der Vorgeschichte des Abschieds, Fotogeschichte, 43, 12, p34.

[133] B. VON DEWITZ, SchieBen oder fotografieren?, Fotogeschichte, 6, 2, pp49-59.

[134] See Part 1 – 2.1 A  Short Technical History of Photography

[135] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Links – First World War

[136] Unknown author, Verkauf kleiner Apparate an unsere Feldgrauen, Photographische Industrie, 1914, 42, p2. (B. VON DEWITZ, op.cit., p52)

[137] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix and Links – First World War

[138] R. VRANCKX, Anderhalve EeuwOorlogsjournalistiek, De Standaard, 80, 31, p21.

[139] Idem, p21.

[140] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix – Berlin 1919 / Spartacus Movement

[141] See cd rom – Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_17

[142] C. BROTHERS, War and Photography, London, Routledge, 1997, pp35-141.

[143] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix – Spanish Civil War. Ironically this photograph would be contested by many people as being a staged image. In recent years more and more documents have been found confirming the authenticity of the photograph.

[144] C. CAUJOLLE, Presse et photographie, une histoire désaccordée, Le Monde Diplomatique, 49, 582, pp26-27.

[145] C. BROTHERS, op.cit., pp35-36.

[146] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix – Spanish Civil War

[147] C. BROTHERS, op.cit., p142-143.

[148] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix – Spanish Civil War

[149] See Finnish Civil War Photography – Appendix – Spanish Civil War

[150] C. BROTHERS, op.cit., pp190-191.

[151] H. YLIKANGAS, What Happened to Violence?, Hakapaino, Helsinki, 1998, 275p.

[152] Violent crimes in the sense used here are officially noted down capital offences i.e. murder, manslaughter and fatal assaults.

[153] H. YLIKANGAS, op.cit., p 20.

[154] H. YLIKANGAS, Major Fluctuations in Crimes of Violence in Finland. A Historical Analysis, Scandinavian Journal of History, 1976, 2, 1, p88.

[155] With a population around 3 000 000 people this means that a 150 persons were killed during violent acts every year in the Grand Duchy of Finland.

[156] In Sweden for instance the number of victims of crimes of violence per 100 000 was only 1,2.

[157] H. YLIKANGAS, op.cit., p 90.

[158] ‘Unofficial’ control as used above would be a form of social control with a high symbolic value and separated from the control and punishments by the authorities of the state.

[159] H. YLIKANGAS, op.cit., p 91.

[160] Häme had an average rate of 8,9; Viipuri 12,9 and Uusimaa (Helsinki / Espoo) 10,7.

[161] B. SALMIALLA., Tutkimus rikollisuuden lisääntymisen syistä, Komiteamietintö, vol 16, 1931

[162] H. YLIKANGAS, op.cit., p 91.

[163] H YLIKANGAS, op.cit., p 93


[165] See below – Part 3

[166] Before 1917 no circulation numbers are available

[167] For 1917: Helsingin Sanomat (49 946), Swedish speaking Hufvudstadsbladet  (39 000) and the socialist Työmies (79 900)

[168] These numbers were provided by the current publisher of Suomen Kuvalehti Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet.

[169] See above

[170] F.K. von Hessens portrait was shown on the cover of SK nr 37 of 1918  followed by a portrait of the “The future Queen of Finland‘, princess Margareta of Hessen” on the cover of the following issue.

[171] The SK issues were not available from the start of the First World War consequently the sample survey starts in 1916.

[172] J.TAYLOR, Body horror, Photojournalism, Catastrophe and War, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1998, p18.

[173] See cd rom: Finnish Civil War Photography – Suomen Kuvalehti – sk_18

[174] No specific information was found on the location of the redaction during the first four months of the year but I assume they fled with the political top of the bourgeois parties and most of the White supporters to Vaasa.

[175] Derogative term for Russian soldiers.

[176] See Finnish Civil War Photography: Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_13, 19. Photograph sk_19 will be further analysed in Part 3.

[177] See Finnish Civil War Photography: Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_15.

[178] See Finnish Civil War Photography: Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_22.

[179] See Part 3 Chapter 2.

[180] See Finnish Civil War Photography: Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_18.

[181] See Finnish Civil War Photography: Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_14.

[182] L. HENDERSON, Acces and consent in public photography, in Larry Gross, John Stuart Katz and Jay Ruby (eds.), Image Ethics. The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photography, Film and television, New York, Oxford University Press, 1988, pp91-107.

[183] H. SINISALO & R. TÄHTINEN, Suomen valokuvaajat 1842-1920, Suomen valokuvataiteen museo, Helsinki, 1996, p11.

[184] This region of Karelia was and still is part of Russian-Karelia

[185]Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) signed the preface to the first edition of Kalevala in 1835 .This collection of thirtytwo cantos had been compiled from oral poetry which for the most part Lönnrot himself had recorded among the  unlettered folk in the backwoods districts of Northeastern Finland  and those parts of the Russian Province of Archangel where Karelian (a language closely related to Finnish) was spoken. Fourteen years later, in 1849, Lönnrot published an enlarged version of Kalevala, the edition which has become known to the world as the Finnish national epic. The publication of both editions was widely acclaimed in Finland, for they fuelled the aspirations of the emerging national movement. Paradoxically until the later decades of the nineteenth century Kalevala was probably more widely read in translation than in the original. But for most Finns this did not matter. It was the 'myth' of Kalevala that was important during those early years after the first publication: the myth that Lönnrot had recovered from oblivion an ancient literary tradition of beauty and majesty.

It was this myth that did so much to bring about the changes in hearts and minds necessary to open the way for the elevation of Finnish to a national language and the achievement of a Finnish national consciousness.

[186] B. CARPELAN, The First 100 Years, A History of The “Fotografiaamatörklubben I Helsingfors”, Helsinki, Repro Art OY, 1989, p27.

[187] The UIAH or Univeristy of Industrial Arts of Helsinki was founded in 1873.

[188] B. CARPELAN Carpelan, op.cit., p25.

[189] The comment of the archives on the photograph in kan_10 claims to show executed Red Guards lying on the ground. After zooming in on the digitalized version it becomes clear that the Reds laying on the ground are resting (and wounded) soldiers.

[190] J. TAYLOR Body horror, Photojournalism, Catastrophe and War, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1998, p54.

[191] C. CHEROUX, Mémoire des camps, photographies des camps de concentration et d’extermination nazis (1933-1999), Paris, Marval, 2000, p15.

[192] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_01, 07 / tyo_01, 11.

[193] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_01, 07.

[194] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_25, 32, 42 / tyo_06

[195] See Finnish Civil War Photography –tyo_14,22 / sota_02.

[196] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_36.

[197] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_44, 45.

[198] For more specific information on the battles of Tampere and Helsinki see Finnish Civil War Photography – Links – Finland 1918.

[199] See Finnish Civil War Photography – tyo_05 / kan_06,08, 09, 26, 27, 30, 40, 44 / sota_22.

[200] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_50

[201] See Finnish Civil War Photography – tyo_04,15 / kan_12

[202] See Finnish Civil War Photography – sota_11, 21 / kan_24 / tyo_08

[203] See Finnish Civil War Photography – sota_01

[204] See Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_22 - 24

[205] See Finnish Civil War Photography – sk_19

[206] See Finnish Civil War Photography – kan_32

[207] P. BOURDIEU, Photography, A Middle-brow Art, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1990, p76.