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Anna Baijars

Anna Kristina Baijars
Born September 27, 1966 Helsinki

Master of Arts (General Literature), University of Helsinki, 1994
Small Business Diploma, Small Business Centre, Helsinki School of Economics, 1994

Publishing Director, Gummerus Publishers, 2013-
Publishing Director, WSOY, 2008–2009
Publishing Director, Gummerus, 2005–2008
Publishing Manager, Gummerus, 2000–2004
Project Secretary, Union of Finnish Writers, 1994–1996
Religious Education Teacher, Roihuvuori Lower Secondary School, 1991–1992
Script Supervisor, Finnish Broadcasting Company, 1988–1990

Photo: Marek Sabogal
Written by Anna Baijars (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by John Calton

Culture Finlandaise, and not a stuffed shirt in sight

Thanks to the University of Helsinki I got to study in Paris, one of the first to be offered an Erasmus student exchange. I had earlier spent a year travelling around France doing voluntary work, to the point where the French lifestyle had become thoroughly familiar. My year spent at the Sorbonne was valuable in terms of working life, literary studies and my choices in life. In the end I wrote my Master’s dissertation on the French historical novelist and académicienne Marguerite Yourcenar. Working at a publishers I have been happy to have been given the chance to make contemporary French literature better known in Finland.

France became a part of me. At present I am chairperson of the foundation board for the Finnish Institute in Paris, and I get to help generate a more interesting impression of Finland. The institute, which is just across the road from the Sorbonne, is the place for offering up Finnish design, techno music, industrial design as well as food and urban culture alongside high culture, science and the arts. The Finnish brand lives, as does the concept of culture. But there’s not a stuffed shirt in sight, as the piece in the newspaper has it.

  • Otto Talvio ”Instituutissa ei pönötetä” (’no stuffed shirts in the Institute’), Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, April 25, 2015. Accessed April 30, 2015. (In Finnish)
The Finnish Institute in Paris.​
The Finnish Institute in Paris.​


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