City art programme Baltic Circle 2016

The 2016 City Art programme of Baltic Circle Festival takes a closer look at the social relations and social material in Finnish society today with special programme Finland – Developing Country of Social Relations and it also sets its foot to the suburbs of Kaarela district in northern Helsinki with three-year project “Carnaval”.

Finland – Developing Country of Social Relations

Curated by Satu Herrala, Anna Jussilainen, Hanna Nyman and Willem Wilhelmus

The brand of Finland shows and image of a country at the top of development and statistics. However, if you look at development from the social point of view, the situation appears different. Relationships are the foundation of a good life and the core of cultural development. How could the cultural and social know-how of immigrants help shape the future society? Could the new points of view release and shake the old patterns of behavior?

The project is based on the UN's new Agenda 2030. It aims at environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development. The new targets apply to all countries of the world, not only to the so-called developing countries.

We will examine the Agenda through the present situation in Finland, where loneliness, exclusion and lack of social skills are becoming national problems. The public debate is characterised by hate speech and the like-minded retreat each into their own camps.
The programme consists of a series of performances, a workshop and a club night. The series has three works that explore social situations as the starting point and material for an artwork. The theme will also be explored in the workshop, with an invitation to shape a new kind of world and search for surprising solutions. In addition, we have invited three writers to view Finland as a developing country of social relations, each one from their own perspective.

The programme is realised in collaboration with Arts Promotion Centre Finland and also supported by Kone Foundation.

Monitor Man

Yassine Khaled

15-20 November, different locations in Helsinki

In the performance Monitor Man, Yassine Khaled creates a compelling image and embodiment of virtual communication in public space. He wears a helmet that has an iPad with a real-time connection to a person outside of Europe. With this work, he wants to physicalise the real borders between countries. The performance opens a random possibility for a meeting between people who are physically far away from each other, but who can get close by using current technology. It also manifests the restrictions in an individual’s freedom to move, as well as unequal constraints between nationalities.


Matraquita Soher

16 November, Allas Sea Pool

(A)part is a performative installation consisting of parts that takes place around the collective process of taking a sauna. The performer starts a process that, like fire, needs to be kept alive. (A)part evolves around presence, otherness and echoes. The performer and audience merge throughout the evening. Together they activate different layers of meaning with simple actions that work with essential elements of the sauna and the human body – heat, water, breath and steam – that beyond specific traditions are fundamental to humankind. (A)part emerges without a linear narrative: it’s a cycle, a repetition, a collective. It develops in compounded parts where participation is always a possibility but not a requirement. One can join out of necessity, empathy or curiosity; passive as an observer, active as a witness, or engaged as an accomplice. There is no failure or success. (A)part is a construction made by many or by just one, the performer.

Play House


19 November

A flat filled with dozens of people, drinks, food, music… and then what? YKON invites you to play and experiment with the conventions of social interaction. This evening will show whether simple, low-tech game mechanics can radically alter how people relate to each other. Welcome to the suspension, deconstruction and general messing around and reconfiguration with social interactions. Welcome to a collective journey to something else than party as usual. Welcome to Play House!

Reshaping the possible Finland


15 November, Maneesi, Cirko – Center for New Circus

The workshop explores the possibilities of shaking up the old patterns and creating new cooperations. Participants will form multi-disciplinary groups and work creatively with urgent issues of their choice after an interactive panel discussion. The focus is on practice, collaboration and interaction dialogue between different cultures and disciplines to find unexpected viewpoints.

Love me in November Club

DJ Mama

15-19 November, Cirko – Center for New Circus

Pub Kippari in Kontula is Helsinki’s most superb party joint because it is hosted by the legendary DJ Mama from Lebanon. The Love me in November club night sinks into Mama’s rich sounds, also ringing with her own history. Having worked as a belly dance teacher and restaurateur, Mama spins Arab disco and African rhythms.


Maija Hirvanen

A venue in a van! Baltic Circle has invited the choreographer and artist Maija Hirvanen to work in the Kaarela district in Helsinki over three years. Hirvanen will be working in a space inside and around a specially tuned van, holding performance workshops for the people living in the neighbourhood and in the Helsinki region. The project culminates as a public space performance piece entitled Carnaval in 2017–2018, directed by Hirvanen and devised by the project team, together with the local participants and invited guests. The visually stunning van with its mini black box theatre at the back works as a mobile venue for the twisted performance carnival. Through this vehicle, one will encounter artistic actions that create social spaces and situations, making visible different boundaries in the city environment with an attempt to alter them. The main focus of the project is in the preparation process of the upcoming event. Carnaval is a choreography for cars and people, consisting of costumes, dancing, rhythms and noise. Hirvanen and working group will be testing and developing the project throughout 2016–2017. The project is part of the Helsingin Malli initiative of the City of Helsinki Cultural Office. During the 2016 Baltic Circle festival, Hirvanen and Masalin will be offering a sneak peek of the upcoming project in the form of a private ride in the extravaganza van for the festival guests and goers.




15-20 November, 2016