2017 Photos

Table Rock Nebraska

Long Term Projects   3rd

Markus Jokela (Finland)

Long Term Projects, third prize stories


Table Rock is a small rural community in the northeast part of Pawnee County, Nebraska, in the USA. It was named for a unique rock formation near the Nemaha River. In 1992, Table Rock had 308 citizens; in a 2015 census the population was 255. Most people living in Table Rock spend their whole lives there. Some try moving to larger places, but often return to raise their children in their hometown. As with many other Midwestern towns, work is difficult to find. Farms around Table Rock provide employment for some, others seek jobs in neighboring communities.

The photographer is interested in the mundane aspects of everyday life. He first went to Table Rock in 1992. He and a colleague had been commissioned to do a story on American life, and the colleague closed his eyes and put his finger on a point he thought was the middle of the map. That turned out to be Table Rock. In 2009, the photographer became curious about what was happening in the town and so returned. He made a few further visits in the years that followed. For the most part, little had changed.

Commissioned by: Helsingin Sanomat

Partner events:


George Mason University

About the Event:

The Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. invites you to a unique evening of photography, literature and discussion on freedom of the press.

The Embassy of Finland, together with the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center at George Mason University and World Press Photo, celebrates the award-winning photography of Finnish photojournalist Markus Jokela and his series of photographs of Table Rock, Nebraska.

Join us for a reception and a chance to hear George Mason students’ captions and impressions related to Jokela’s images followed by a discussion and Q&A on the current state of freedom of the press with Pulitzer-Prize winning American journalist Clarence Page and Finnish journalist Laura Saarikoski.

This event is part of the World Press Photo Exhibition taking place in November in Washington, D.C. and in other cities across the globe.

For security reasons please RSVP HERE by Thursday, November 2, 2017.

About the host:

The Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C.
The primary goal of our work is to enhance the Finnish-U.S. relationship. We are in the United States to strengthen Finland’s role as a U.S. companion and to enhance well-being and safety as well as competitiveness, trade and investments in both countries.

George Mason University
The Alan Cheuse International Writers Center at George Mason University celebrates the art of creative writing as a means of international dialogue, education, and understanding. At its core, The Cheuse Center facilitates the exchange of international creative writers and writing in order to help foster the tolerance and understanding a more connected world requires.


Monday, 6 November


6:30 PM


Embassy of Finland
3301 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

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