Kaleva is a fun magazine covering the graffiti scene across the region of Lapland and the northern city of Oulu in Finland. The content is a right-old mixture of legal walls, semi-legals, commuter trains, freights, rooftops, and tags. Various figures make an appearance along the way such as road maintenance vehicles, random people relaxing on park benches, and an assortment of characters climbing, bending, and leaning out of boats whilst creating graffiti.
The front cover shows an image of two cops, who appear to be taking the details of the photographer, standing in front of a wall of graffiti. We’ve all been there – chilling at a remote spot that no one bothers about until the local constabulary turn-up ‘cos they I know it’s an easy way to bump up their stop-and-search targets, or whatever the equivalent is in Finland. The police featured on the front cover of Kaleva aren’t alone in their pursuit of vandals however as the mag is full of their eager colleagues. Another one is caught on camera taking her own shot of a half-finished piece – whether it’s for her personal collection or not is less clear.
A splendidly cheeky piece featured in Kaleva adorns the side of the potnapekka; a sightseeing ‘train’ that trundles around Oulu. One of those tacky pretend steam engines that slowly drives excited kids and their bored parents along to the funfair. Protected by a low white picket fence the bright yellow train in the picture seems like it wouldn’t be out of place in the Land of Oz. Perhaps the mysterious chrome graffiti that appeared on it one night added to the magic of the journey for the tourists the following morning…
Being Scandinavia there’s obviously snow, but there also seems to be a preponderance of water courses and, more unusually, glasshouses. The last of which I guess are the rural-industrial surface of choice in the Finnish hinterland. Finally, in what is Kaleva’s own irreverent style, the publication ends with a spread of cops and their vans in front of various graffed up walls. 😎