Posts Tagged ‘culture


267/2011 celebrating transformation

The title is the name for a storytelling festival taking place this week. Tonight I attended a Scandinavian storytelling contest. All the five Scandinavian languages were represented, and it was fun to try and get the story, without actually understanding many of the words. I can just about follow Swedish but Norwegian, Icelandic, and especially Danish are hard, almost impossible for me.

The venue was an old bar in town, with these multicoloured retro lamps. Good setting for the colourful, multilingual event!


231/2011 culture by the riverside

231/2011 culture by the riverside, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Another great evening of art and culture by the riverside in our European capital of culture. Acrobatics inside glowing bubbles gliding on the water. Reminded me of the old British cult series – the Prisoner. “I am not a number, I am a free man!”


224/2011 save me!

224/2011 save me!, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

For a few weeks I’ve been spotting colourful seal statues around town. It is an environmental arts project, part of the European Capital of Culture year.

Artist Stefan Lindfors designed the fibre glass seal statue, and then they were given to 40 different artists to paint and decorate. Once completed, they were taken to different locations – in front of public buildings, in parks, in malls etc.

The purpose is to promote the protection of the Baltic Sea, where the seals have not been doing too well recently. Each seal is numbered, and has a little info board, drawing attention to what each individual could do to save the endangered sea environment. The statues will stay in place till the end of September when they will be auctioned, and the money, of course, will be donated to environmental causes.

Good idea but already some of these art pieces have been vandalised and ruined – most likely by irresponsible youngsters. So sad!

Here is my set of pictures of the different seals.


220/2011 ‘saunalab’

220/2011 ‘saunalab’, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Quite an unusual art project – 4 tiny artsy saunas around the town, for about 4-5 people to rent at one time (you can’t fit any more in there). This yellow onion sauna stand next to the outdoor swimming where I do my water aerobics twice a week. Novel idea for the European culture capital – and very apt for Finland, the country that gave the word ‘sauna’ to the world!


050/2011 let the sunshine in

050/2011 let the sunshine in, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Finally got to check the new LOGOMO stage of our Culture Capital, while watching the massive production of ‘Middle-Aged Hair’, with over 200 ordinary volunteer residents of our town. Looked as if many of them were taken right back to their youth by the familiar hippie tunes.

It was an interesting project, together with the Social Services and Health Care Department. They also did research into the effects of cultural activities on middle-aged people’s health, and the performers were given regular medical checks. Must have been a demanding, but wonderful adventure into self-expression!


049/2011 R.I.P. blue house

049/2011 RIP blue house, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

How becoming of the European Cultural Capital 2011. Despite protests, and plans how to save and relocate this culturally valuable ‘Blue House’ (built in 1902!) in the centre of our town – down it comes. Money talks, and before we know it, a nondescript concrete monster will be in its place. What a disgrace!


015/2011 the grand opening

015/2011 the grand opening, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Turku has now officially opened its year of being one of the European Capitals of Culture. I’m afraid, some of my fears of what the year will have in store, materialised with the opening spectacle tonight. I’m sorry to say that it smacked of a huge media event, where all that counted was that it looked good on TV, but who could care less about the 50 000 people who turned up along the riversides, defying the biting cold of almost minus 20 degrees Celcius! Big screens were erected around the town for people to watch the live TV broadcast of a massive light, fire and sound show, by the group ‘Walk the Plank’ from England (why not domestic artists??). I had decided in advance not to even try to photograph any of the show, but to concentrate on seeing and experiencing it for real, without looking through the camera lens. In the end, I didn’t hear or see a lot, the area was simply too vast for the show make an impact on people standing further away. But the fireworks were spectacular! Just makes me wonder how many millions were shot up in the air with them, which could have been spent on improving the poor working conditions of many artists in our town.

But not to sound overly critical and negative, I did enjoy some of the ambience of the evening. Seeing thousands of people make their way along the riversides and across the ice, briskly and in a very determined manner because of the cold, was true evidence of our national charasteristic ‘sisu’ (guts, perseverance, endurance).

Hundreds of school children had been recruited to carry lanterns in processions, to bring light to the darkness, and to guide people to the spectacle area. I really enjoyed seeing them bundled up warmly, so earnest and serious, carrying out this special assignment.

But, once again, why on earth did willow branches of the frames have to be imported from England, to a country covered in forests!? I must say, though, that the lanterns did look nice in the dark night, and later on, hoisted up the masts of the old museum ship.

A special ‘River Aura symphony’ had been ‘composed’ for the occasion. It consisted of church bells in different parts of the town, and horns and sirens of boats moored along the riversides. Walking towards the opening venue, these totally unpredictable sounds and their echos on both sides of the river created quite a unique atmosphere. Experiencing this alone made it worthwhile leaving the cosy warmth of home, and freezing out there for a couple of hours.

All in all, I had quite a surreal feeling most of the evening, almost like being in a sci-fi movie. The unexpected sounds in the dark, the masses of people and bright lights of the spectacle made me expect a flying saucer to land any minute, a bit like in ‘Close Encounters’. But no aliens appeared – at least to my knowledge.

Ho hum! I’m glad I went although the very best moment of the evening was getting into the hot sauna waiting for us at home, and defrosting our fingers and toes!


June 2020

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