Kvinnornas Helsingfors: en kulturhistorisk guide [Women’s Helsinki: a culture-historical guidebook]

6 May 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kvinnornas Helsingfors: en kulturhistorisk guide
[Women’s Helsinki: a cultural-historical guidebook]
Red. [Ed. by] Anna Biström, Rita Paqvalén, Hedvig Rask
Helsingfors: Schildts, 2010. 251 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-50-2007-9
Finnish-language edition: Naisten Helsinki: kulttuurihistoriallinen opas
ISBN 978-951-50-1994-3
€ 34, paperback

A group comprising fourteen women has addressed the question of what the map of Helsinki would look like seen through women’s history: what are the most significant places and monuments; what traces of women’s history could one read in the fabric of the city? This book portrays various eras in the city’s history from the 16th century onwards, along with profiles of female pioneers in fields from architecture to parliamentarians, from early political activists to present-day squatters. Helsinki has often been called ‘the city of women’ due to the large influx of women who came to work in the Finnish capital, particularly in the early 20th century – the increase in the number of office girls even boosted the publishing and film industries. In his Finnish letters written in the 1890s, Spanish author and diplomat Ángel Ganivet expressed his horror at the bicycling women of Helsinki. This book also includes pieces written by prominent contemporary women, from Finnish President Tarja Halonen to author Pirkko Saisio.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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