LGBTQIA+ history and changes in communication in Finna Luokkahuone

Date published

In Finna Luokkahuone (Finna Classroom), the extensive collections of museums and archives become teaching materials. The latest material packs process the original sources in ways that enable a variety of uses both in independent study and at schools.

The free material packs of Finna Luokkahuone are based exclusively on original sources. Gaining access to original sources encourages learners to find new connections and to look at phenomena from different perspectives.

The idea of a material pack focusing on LGBTQIA+ history began when Iris Olavinen, who works in the Labour Archives, was browsing through the photo archives of the Finnish LGBTQIA+ rights organisation Seta. The photographs document a history that has always existed while often kept hidden.

“The photographs show both the history of activism as well as the actual work that was done for human rights. We hope that this material pack will increase awareness of sexual and gender minorities and LGBTQIA+ history. The photographs are also used to discuss concepts such as identity and self-expression,” says Iris Olavinen.

The materials offer an easy way to integrate LGBTQIA+ history into teaching.

“We believe that the topic is not widely covered by textbooks, and that not all pupils encounter this theme in their daily lives. We want to give young people new perspectives on the topic and thus foster growth,” states Olavinen.

The Sateenkaarielämää material pack on LGBTQIA+ history was created collaboratively by the Labour Archives, the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas and the NGO Friends of Queer History. 

Find out more about the material pack >>

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Image: Participants in Tampere Pride in Hämeenpuisto, 2005. Finnish Labour Museum Werstas.