Who does the city belong to?

04.06. - 06.06.2015

Image Credits


04.06. - 06.06.2015


Museumsakademie Joanneum

Meeting point

Helsinki (FI)


250 €, reduced price 200 € (The reduced fee is available to students, trainees, unemployed people, and employees of this year’s cooperation partners.)

External registration

Please register via e-mail.





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About the

While the world looks at Helsinki as a place of education, design and culture, the city is currently experiencing some huge upheavals. This excursion will consider Helsinki as a contested terrain in two senses: First, in terms of the continued existence of historico-political conflicts in connection with constructing the national identity, and second with regard to the current transformation of local museums and educational institutions away from a welfare state organisational structure to a neo-liberal one, including both systems’ respective conditions, discourses and forms of expression. Our look into the past will focus specifically on the significance of the Finnish Civil War of 1918 in the formation of the nation of Finland and the question of how this manifests itself today. Questions in this regard arise in the National Museum of Finland, the Mannerheim Museum, the Ateneum Museum of Finnish Art, the Gallen-Kallela Museum, the Alvar Aalto Museum, the Museum of Workers' Housing as well as the Suomenlinna fortress island. Our look at the present is devoted to the institutional transformation of local museums and cultural institutions. We will discuss this neo-liberal process of transformation and the growing resistance against it with representatives of the local art scene and become acquainted with selected institutions and initiatives, such as Frame Finland, Checkpoint Helsinki, the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art or the Helsinki City Art Museum as well as the plans for a Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki and a new museum under Lasipalatsi Square as part of an emerging cluster.

Further information

Language of the event: English

Ahmed Al-Nawas Curator, Helsinki (FI)
Taru Elfving Programme Manager, Frame Visual Art Finland, Helsinki (FI)
Jan Förster Director, Kunsthalle Helsinki (FI)
Leevi Haapala desig. Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki (FI)
Juha Huuskonen Director, HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme (FI)
Saara Karhunen Project Coordinator, Checkpoint Helsinki (FI)
Jussi Koitela Visual artist and curator, Helsinki (FI)
Jaana Kokko Artist, Helsinki (FI)
James Prevett Artist, London (GB)
Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger Chief Curator, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (FI)


Conception and design
Nora Sternfeld Professor (Curating and Mediating Art), Aalto University Helsinki (FI)
Minna Henriksson Artist, Helsinki (FI)