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Jouko Lehtola’s Finnish Youth, Dazed
"A Smoke in Kaisaniemi Park", 1999Photography Jouko Lehtola, courtesy of AALTO

Capturing fleeting moments of Finnish youth

Late photographer Jouko Lehtola filtered heartbreak, hickeys and parties through a lens in this candid documentation of Helsinki’s 90s teens

“I try to capture innocence and rage. Anyone who has been a teenager knows it ain’t fun. It’s not a very nice situation,” Jouko Lehtola, the late photographer who captured teens burgeoning on early adulthood as they kissed, danced and discovered the world around them, once said. For over two decades, the Finnish creative documented his surroundings in Helsinki, honing his fascination amongst the city's ever-changing face of youth. Far from just a voyeur, Lehtola was deep amongst it – the raves, parties, heartbreak, tears, hangovers, hickeys, pimples and tattoos, all found themselves immortalised by his lens. Now, his work is being honoured in a 50-page tome titled Finnish Youth. Published by AALTO, the book is a thick documentation of red mohawks, patched leather jackets, greasy hair and Coca Cola-imbued moments from the 90s and early 00s – one that opens a window onto the fleeting moments of Finnish youth.

Finnish Youth is available now from AALTO