Meeri Koutaniemi (b. 1987) is a Finnish photojournalist who wishes to take photographs that make the viewers react. In recent years she has photographed freed child slaves in Nepal, Chechen asylum seekers, Mexican gay men with HIV and African girls who have suffered from genital mutilation. Koutaniemi’s goal is to abate discrimination, political oppression and violence towards women. She believes that photographs can sensitize people to other people and cultures and – at best – inspire them to make a difference themselves.
Koutaniemi’s photographs have been awarded on many occasions. In 2013 and 2014 she won several categories in the Press Photo of the Year competition organized by the Finnish Press Photographers Association. At the International Photojournalism Festival of Perpignan 2014 in France she won the Daily Press Award for her series featuring two Maasai girls who had undergone female genital mutilation. Koutaniemi has said that her photographs don tell it all: “A photograph is a question.”