The photo archives of the National Museums of World Culture holds around one million photographs, collected over more than a century. Many of them are portraits of people unknown to us. Sometimes there is a name, but more often the information is only about location, year and photographer.
Photographs are unique historical documents preserving gazes and events from a specific time and place. They tell different stories and show how we have perceived the mundane, different, beautiful or uncomfortable. They can help us remember persons and events that have disappeared, been repressed or banned. The camera lens freezes the moment when the present and the past meet.