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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Official Photos & the Hattifatteners

This past week we all got copies of official photos that were taken in early September, and I thought I'd share some of them with you.  The idea is that that they use the group photos on the website and Collegium publications.  The individual photos here are more for a pr magazine that gets sent out to a more general population; that's why Ted's in them--he's the human interest story.  My "official" individual photo is already up on the Collegium's website (my page).  (BTW, the group photographer was Veikko Somerpuro; we were asked to give his name if we distributed his photos anywhere, which seems only fair.  The group photos will blow up MUCH larger if you click onto them.)




Here's everyone for this year, at least as of the fall; some of the folks only have a 4-month appointment unfortunately.  I'm in the second row, as you can see; my fellow EURIAS fellows are the man behind and slightly to the right of men (William, who's the archeologist at Pompeii) and in the front row with the blue sweater (Rogier, who works on the philosophy and institutionalization of science).  Among the others you may have or will probably hear about are some of the other front row folks, who are the pub and Töölö Towers group, and the staff members, who are on the far right side sitting on and around the ledge.  They've really made my move here so much easier!  Kneeling near the back are some of the Russian scholars you may have heard me mention, too, who are part of the pub and dinner crowd and who are in the same hall as me, as is the short haired woman kneeling in the back.  Here it is: faces to go with the setting!  (The photo was taken on the steps of the original University of Helsinki building which is just around the corner from the Collegium.)

Here's another big group photo, just taken from a different angle.


Compositionally, I think I like this one better, although I could've lived without being right in front.  I think the other one does better at letting you see everyone, though.

A few days later, Antti, who handles our PR (among many other things), came to take photos for our brochures.  He really wanted Ted in them, so we had to figure out a day when we were both free AND it wasn't raining.  Then, too, part of the gimmick was to have something representing our research in the photo.  For William and Rogier, that wasn't too bad; you can find lots of archeological and scientific images.  But ghosts!  Antti solved the problem by bringing a stuffed version of famous Finnish ghost character called a Hattifattener from a TV series, "The Moomins."  That's the white thing in the photos, and my favorite description of it comes from one of my favorite blogs about Finland from an expat's point of view: Note from Lapland (The link is to the specific page about the ghost character, but the whole site's a hoot).

In any case, Antti instructs me to play with the Moomin while trying to keep both Ted and me in the shot and making it obvious that it's the Moomin ghost, the Hattifattener.  Supposedly every Finn will get the reference, although from a non-culturally-saavy perspective, you can interpret that Moomin in a series of not-so-straightforward ways  (I'm TRYING to be clean here.)

Antti took dozens of pictures, but these were the three he thought were the most successful.  As you can see, Ted thought the Moomin was meant for him.  Antti thought Ted's antics were hysterical until he realized that Ted mean to disembowel it--not exactly the fun and fuzzy image he was apparently going for! :-)


Here you can see the Moomin really easily, but I just look too precious for words.  It didn't make the cut.


Here I'm trying to keep Ted from tearing apart what is clearly a terrified Moomin and to look like this is all in a day's work.  Not exactly the most academically respectable image! :-)  About 5 seconds later, Ted had jumped up on me in his pursuit of the Moomin.


Finally, a reasonable picture of both Ted and me, although I will remain speechless about the Moomin!  This is the one that's going in the brochure.  I'm actually quite happy with the picture, although it made me realize that I need to get my hair cut soon!  (The appointment is next Saturday.)

Given that USC has still not even managed to publicize that I got the EURIAS, I'm a bit amazed and amused at the very professional pr machine here.  I guess here it's okay to be a European historian. :-)

Moomins -- what was the designer on when he thought of those?

1 comment:

  1. Now I know what we're all getting for Christmas ... Moomins! ;) (That really is a great pic of you and Tedly!)

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