samedi 18 octobre 2008
Shootings in Finland
Finland that wants to remake and repolish its image in the world has unhappily been on the front pages of European papers for its American-style shootings. Twice have young students opened fire on their schoolmates, killing several of them and then committing suicide. Now has a teacher shot his wife, their two children and himself. One reason of this could be the fact that rifles and other weapons are more accessible in Finland than in most other countries in Europe. But couldn't there be a psychological factor too? I remember the ideas of my friend, the Finnish writer Johannes Salminen who thinks that there are some inherent tensions and hidden conflicts in the modern Finnish society. There is very little urban culture in Finland, as most of its people are only first- or second-generation towndwellers. They have preserved many features of peasant psychology, but at the same time the Finnish towns are remarkably dull, there is little of the relaxed, lively urban atmosphere we can see even in neighbouring Sweden and Denmark, not to speak of older European cities. The praised finnish modern architecture is not very humanе, it has created masses of concrete boxes for people who would need a different, softer, not so thoroughly designed and planned environment. The Finnish towns and townships invite you either to leave for a trip to forest or lakeside or to drink. And Finns are heavy drinkers. And, as we see now, sometimes trigger-happy too. I don't feel at home in the well-planned finnish towns. I could even say that there is too much architecture in Finland. I understand the rich Finns who try to spend their old age in places where there is not much architecture in the modern sense of the word, in Italy, Spain or Provence, in buildings that were built in the traditional way, in towns that came into existence little by little, without any central planning. Or as it is said too -- where there is more architecture without architects.