Uniarts Helsinki wants to have an active presence in public discussions on social issues and bring forward its own perspective: the arts. From the beginning of September, the Main Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre will provide a space for artists and experts from various fields to engage in discussions on social phenomena. In addition to the multidisciplinary discussion, each event will also present art connected to the evening’s theme.
“We want to bring together experts from different fields and create a platform for warm-hearted, insightful discussion that even the audience can be a part of,” says Eveliina Olsson, Uniarts Helsinki’s Director of Communications and External Relations.
Discussions at the intersection of art, research and society
The first-ever Taidepiste event will take place on 3 September 2020 after the opening of Uniarts Helsinki’s academic year. Rap artist Paleface, music history researcher Saijaleena Rantanen, and folk musician and music journalist Amanda Kauranne will take the stage to discuss Finns’ radical music and revolutionary dreams in the past and present. Paleface & Laulava Unioni will perform battle anthems of the labour movement.
The event will take place in the Main Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre, and it will be live-streamed to an outdoor audience area at the Kansalaistori Square. The discussion will be in Finnish, but a recording with English subtitles can be viewed later on the university’s YouTube channel.
At the end of September, writer Silvia Hosseini, journalist Aleksis Salusjärvi and chair of the University of the Arts Student Union Sofia Charifi will come to Taidepiste to share their views on the importance of role models. In October, researchers Ina Juva and Riku Saastamoinen together with freelance writer and podcast host Mona Eid will discuss power structures, roles, and school bullying. Before the end of 2020, Taidepiste will also tackle themes such as organised violence and professional soldiers as well as slow art and the importance of making an effort.
Art enriches the dialogue
The five discussions scheduled for the autumn are just the beginning: Taidepiste will be a part of Uniarts Helsinki’s activities at least until the end of 2022. This autumn’s discussions will be in Finnish, but the plan is to also organise discussions that will be had in English. The public is welcome to submit their suggestions on themes and content to be featured in future events.
“Sometimes the best way to wrap our heads around alternative worlds is, in fact, through art. We need a way to discuss important, topical themes on an equal and respectful footing,” Uniarts Helsinki’s Rector Jari Perkiömäki says.
Besides the discussion, all events will also include a portion of either music, fine arts, theatre, dance, poetry, or performance art. Art picks up where the discussion leaves off.
Taidepiste will be organised once a month in the Main Foyer of the Helsinki Music Centre starting from September 2020. The event series is sponsored by the Louise and Göran Ehrnrooth Foundation.