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Mona Marzouk winner of open call for mural paintings

The Open Call for mural paintings to the premises of the Nordic Culture Point and the Nordic Investment Bank in Helsinki received a total of 74 applications. After a thorough review of all applications the jury was unanimous in its decision to invite the Greek Egyptian visual artist Mona Marzouk, nowadays living in Helsinki, Finland. She will execute her suggested concept of hybrid representational forms on the walls in August 2020.

The competition was very tough with many professional and vibrant visual suggestions sent from artists based in the Nordic countries.

The jury was convinced by Marzouks outstanding visual ideas using a minimalistic yet intruiging imagery in addition with her solid experience of painting indoor murals on art institutions internationally, as at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, UK and the EVA International Biennial on Ireland.

Members of the jury were Bettina Lönnholm-Rask (NIB art collection), Nina Refsnes (senior advisor, mobilty funding) and Annika Bergvik-Forsander (senior advisor, art and culture).

We congratulate the winner Mona Marzouk and would like to express many thanks for all the applications we received!

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The second nordiSKulptur exhibition opens in September

Artists Kim Hankyul and Minna Kangasmaa are part of the second nordiSKulptur exhbition September 4-27  at Galleria Sculptorin Helsinki. The exhibition is a joint project between Nordic Culture Point and the Finnish Sculptor’s Association.

Annika Bergvik-Forsander, senior advisor for art and culture at the Nordic Culture Point interviewed the artists about their art practice and the upcoming exhibition.

 

 

Your upcoming exhibition is a joint project between the Norwegian and the Finnish Sculptor’s Associations in collaboration with Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki. What role have artist associations played in your own careers to date? Do you think that these kinds of associations are still important for artists and in what way?

Kim: Artist associations have helped me find the information necessary to continue working as an independent artist. The range of information varies from new opportunities to practical help regarding finances situation and legal conflicts. Independent artists can learn the basics early on in their careers and possibly even be protected from unfair deals by their associations.

Minna: I see the Association of Finnish Sculptors primarily as a professional community whose role is ever-changing. Its importance has repeatedly changed during my artistic career. As an artist, I’m also part of other communities through my work, but I think it’s important that artists have their own professional associations. These reflect the status of the artist and the conditions for artistic work, and they’re able to respond to broader societal changes that also filter down to the individual artist.

 

Kim Hankyul och Minna Kankaanmaa

 

What is your relation to Finnish and/or Norwegian contemporary art and artists?

Kim: I hardly have any relation to Finnish contemporary art and artists. I’m looking forward to building on this.

Minna: I’m interested in the art that is being created outside of big art centres and I’m also following the field of contemporary Norwegian art. I’ve been working at the Nordic symposium in Iceland, where I got to know Norwegian artists. However, this exhibition is my first collaboration.

 

Can you tell us something about the project and artworks that we’ll get the chance to see in your upcoming NordiSkulptur exhibition in Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki?

Kim: My work is called ‘The Temple of the Golden Pavilion’. This work was exhibited at the Bergen Kunsthall in 2019 and is being reshaped to better fit the space of Galleria Sculptor. The work was created based on a book with the same title written by Mishima Yukio. In the book, the very delicate tension residing between one’s physical reality and the ideal image of ultimate beauty is described through a story of a young clergyman, who eventually decides to set the temple on fire where he was brought up and also supposed to live in. This book was so well written that I was almost consumed by the story. I wanted to make an adaptation of it through my own language where sound, movement, and visual elements all work together. I wanted to bring in the original pathos of the text as intact as possible, which I hope you’ll be able to experience in the gallery. Several sound sculptures will be exhibited, whereby day-to-day objects make the sound of fire.

Minna: The exhibition will display an installation, Scream of the Butterfly II. The main material of the artwork is silk, which is a hybrid resulting from the joint actions of human technology and a non-human being. Silk fibres are produced by only a few species in the insect world, one of which is the silk moth (Bombyx mori).

The work is based on the so-called butterfly effect in the chaos theory, which sees large effects stemming from small changes. Similar phenomena have been observed in our ecosystems caused by human activities. An example of this is the silk moth which has had an impact on human societies for more than 5,000 years. This impact has reached the economy, as well as politics and technology. In the long run, the silk moth could even be seen as the indirect initiator of the modern information society.

Language is an important form of human communication. Linked to this is the idea of human understanding being based on linguistic principles. The Estonian semiotician Riin Magnus writes of humans as beings that no one speaks to. Humans have become both senders and recipients of their own messages, in that humans have lost their communication lines with the non-human world – in other words, with other organisms. In my work, I have reconstructed the imaginary scream of a silk moth. I wondered how it would sound if it could scream and, in the end, I recorded my own scream. It’s a tribute to the silk moth that has been providing a continuing service to humans for thousands of years.

 

What was it that encouraged you to start making these artworks and what is specific to your creative working process?  

Kim: I had an urge to make the sounds of fire even before reading this book. It was a timely coincidence to come across this book, through which I could expand my horizons on fire. I wanted to make the sound but did not know ‘with what’. The book gave me clues to begin with, through the rich description on the sound of fire. One vague plan and one brilliant book enabled me to make the project happen. Specific to my working process is, I think, that I am very bad at pencil drawings. I prefer to make drawings with three-dimensional objects or sound recordings.

Minna: Scream of the Butterfly II is part of the series of works Systema naturae on which I have been working since 2008. With this series, I scrutinise the interactions between humans, society and nature and their potential to generate both destruction and progress. In the 18th century, Swedish natural scientist Carl von Linné classified humans in his taxonomic system as one species in the order of primates. After the designation he added the motto “Nosce te ipsum” – “Know thyself”. Based on this motto, I create works in which empathy plays a crucial role.

 

Annika: We now live in uncertain times with a pandemic in addition to a climate crisis, financial cuts in culture and the arts, political agendas that threaten freedom of speech, In what way do you think these issues will affect the roles of artists in the future?

Kim: While alternative exhibition formats seem to be largely covered by the media, I can see that the financial stability of independent artists is at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic. I think artists have the perpetual task of pondering upon the condition of survival. I wonder if, after this time, the role of artists will be reconsidered as more political, with more direct relation to the living conditions of social minorities. I wonder if this is the era that people in the future will call ‘Avant-Garde’.

Minna: I think that the participation of artists in society is going to increase and multidisciplinary dialogue will gain strength. This will in turn bring the artist a wide range of roles.

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Mobility Funding granted for 60 projects

The second application round for Mobility funding for artists and professionals within the field and art and culture has now been distributed. The were 174 applications in this round, which is less than last round, but still a good number considering the ongoing Covid19 situation and the impact the pandemic has on the arts and cultural sector and cultural mobility. A total of 60 applications were granted funding to strengthen the conditions for cultural and artistic cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic region. The distributed amount was 110 210 EURO.

One of the projects that received funding is The Shameless Shongololo Band. The group based in Finland has been invited by the FAR Fest Afrika Festival to perform and conduct workshops in Iceland. For over ten years Fest Afrika Festival has been a meeting place that has provided a supportive multicultural atmosphere for the development of numerous projects based on the connection between the Nordic countries and the African continent. The band consists of musicians and dancers, and the project demonstrates collaboration, exchange, social sustainability and possible new constellations and expressions. The objectives of Fest Afrika Festival are to promote African performing arts through education and entertainment, and to create an awareness of African culture in Iceland.

Another project that was supported was Lace Guild from Estonia. Olga Kublitskaja and Aleksandr Kublitski from Narva in Estonia are invited to Reykjavik in Iceland by the Icelandic Handicraft Association to share their skills and expertise in bobbin lacemaking in cooperation with Icelandic lace makers. The meeting includes an exhibition of bobbin lace, lectures, and Master Class. Bobbin lace is a lace textile made by braiding and twisting lengths of thread, which are wound on bobbins to manage them. As the work progresses, the weaving is held in place with pins set in a lace pillow, the placement of the pins usually determined by a pattern or pricking pinned on the pillow. Bobbin lace is on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.

There was a slight increase in the number of applications from the film field in this round. One artist who was granted was Hilke Rönnfeldt, an established film director and screenwriter based in Denmark, who has been invited to the Faroe Islands by Klippfisk Filmworkshop. Rönnfeldt will have workshops for young, Faroese film talents aged 14 to 18, and will also collaborate with the local film community and share her artistic experiences and perspectives.

Mobility funding is to cover the travel and/or accommodation expenses of professional artists and cultural practitioners in the Nordic Region and/or Baltic countries.

The funding gives applicants – individuals or small groups – access to contacts, skills, and knowledge from different parts of the Nordic and Baltic regions. Funding can be used to present art and culture productions, as well as increase interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

Granted projects from this and previous rounds can be found by scrolling down the page Results.

The upcoming application rounds for 2020 are:

17.07.2020 – 17.08.2020

18.09.2020 – 19.10.2020

Please note that the application deadline is at 15.59 Finnish time.

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Vahvalle pohjoismaiselle kulttuuriyhteistyölle uusia puolustajia

Pohjoismaisen kulttuuripisteen uuden hallituksen jäsenet kokoontuivat ensimmäiseen kokoukseensa toukokuussa, kukin omasta kotimaastaan käsin. Hallitus aloittaa työnsä aikana, jolloin virallisen pohjoismaisen yhteistyön kulttuuribudjetti on uhattuna monelta taholta.

Etäkokouksista on tullut kahden koronakuukauden aikana uusi normaali. Suurimpana ja tärkeimpänä haasteena on luotsata kulttuuriala kriisin läpi, toteaa hallituksen tuore puheenjohtaja Constance Ursin.

Pohjoismainen kulttuurisektori on ahtaalla toisestakin syystä. Pohjoismaiset yhteistyöministerit esittävät vuosien 2021–2024 budjettikehyksessään yhteistyön varojen asteittaista uudelleenkohdentamista siten, että kulttuuri- ja tutkimusyhteistyön rahoitusta ohjataan ilmasto- ja innovaatioyhteistyöhön vihreän siirtymän edistämiseksi.

– Kulttuuriyhteistyön elinvoimaisuus on erityisen tärkeää juuri nyt, sanoo Ursin ja toteaa kulttuurielämän palautumisen ennalleen kestävän kauan.

– Kaikki alan pohjoismaiset toimijat ovat tietoisia tästä, ja sektorin saaminen jaloilleen vaatiikin pitkäjänteistä työtä. Kulttuuri on tärkeä osa elämää. Juuri nyt ihmiset janoavat sitä, että he pääsevät taas kirjastoon lainaamaan kirjoja, katsomaan elokuvia teattereihin ja käymään konserteissa. Kotoa käsin voi kokea yhtä ja toista, mutta elämys ei ole sama. Toivonkin Pohjoismaiden kulttuuriministerien ymmärtävän, miten tärkeää on säilyttää pohjoismaisen kulttuuriyhteistyön ja kulttuurielämän kassavirta ennallaan, Constance Ursin sanoo.

Väärä aika leikkauksille

Pohjoismaisen kulttuuripisteen hallituksen uusi varapuheenjohtaja Aleksi Malmberg työskentelee Helsingin kaupunginorkesterin intendenttinä. Hän korostaa sitä, miten tärkeää kriisiaikoina on jatkaa kulttuuriin panostamista.

– Nyt ei ole leikkausten aika. Koko kulttuurikentän on varauduttava siihen, että koronakriisi voi poikia uusia ilmaisutapoja ja taloudellisia haasteita myös pitkällä aikavälillä. Tällaisena aikana kulttuuria ja taidetta tarvitaan kuitenkin erityisen paljon, ja sektorin tukeminen kriisin läpi elvyttää koko yhteiskuntaa, Aleksi Malmberg sanoo.

Malmberg on iloinen siitä, että hän on tutustunut uuden hallitustehtävän myötä aktiivisiin, monitaitoisiin ja innokkaisiin kulttuuriammattilaisiin, joilla on monipuolista pohjoismaista ja kansainvälistä osaamista.

– Pohjoismaisella kulttuuripisteellä on erittäin tärkeä tehtävä, koska se tuo eri maiden toimijoita yhteen niin laajapohjaisesti ja monialaisesti. Tämä koskee sekä pohjoismaisten tukiohjelmien hallintoa että omaa ohjelmatoimintaa. Ihmisten yhdistäminen kulttuurin keinoin on vahvuus, jota tarvitaan myös jatkossa, Malmberg toteaa.

Pitkäjänteisyys yhä tärkeää

Aleksi Malmberg on Constance Ursinin tavoin sitä mieltä, että kulttuurisektorin akuutein haaste on koronakriisistä selviäminen.

– Hallituksena meidän on silti kyettävä näkemään sumuverhon läpi, sillä hallituksen ajatustyön tulee ulottua 5–10 vuotta eteenpäin, hän sanoo.

Tällä haavaa Aleksi Malmberg ja hänen alaisinaan olevat satakunta muusikkoa elävät arkea tilanteessa, jossa kevään konserttiohjelma lensi koronan takia roskakoriin lähes yhdessä yössä. Nyt he etsivät kuumeisesti uusia tapoja luoda musiikkia helsinkiläisille.

– Kriisin keskellä on nähtävissä, miten poikkeustila ruokkii luovuutta. Lähetämme joka toinen viikko suoria konsertteja (tyhjästä) Musiikkitalosta, toteutamme kotikonsertteja, jatkamme harjoittelua kotoa käsin pysyäksemme vireessä ja olemme mukana myös vaihtoehtoisessa toiminnassa, jota yhteiskunnassa tarvitaan juuri nyt. Muusikkomme ovat esimerkiksi käyneet ruokaostoksilla riskiryhmään kuuluvien vanhusten puolesta, Malmberg kertoo.

Kulttuuri- ja yhteiskuntaelämä kaikkien oikeutena

Constance Ursin on työskennellyt vuosia tekijänoikeuskysymysten ja alan pohjoismaisen oikeusyhteistyön parissa. Tällä hetkellä hän toimii Norjan kulttuuriministeriön kulttuuriperintöosastolla uuden arkistolain valmistelun hankepäällikkönä. Ursin on ehtinyt johtaa myös ministeriön pohjoismaisen yhteistyön yksikköä.

Hän pitää ehdottoman välttämättömänä Pohjoismaisen kulttuuripisteen visiota, jonka mukaan kaikilla tulee olla tasavertaiset mahdollisuudet osallistua kulttuuri- ja yhteiskuntaelämään.

– On tosi tärkeää, että kulttuurin ei ajatella kuuluvan vain pienelle eliitille, joka lukee haastavaa kirjallisuutta tai käy teatterissa. Lapsille ja nuorille pitää tarjota jo varhain hyviä kulttuurielämyksiä, jotka koskettavat ja menevät ihon alle.

Ursin pitää tärkeänä myös yllättävien ja ei niin itsestään selvien kohderyhmien tavoittamista.

– Se on välttämätöntä, jotta kulttuuri ei menettäisi merkitystään. Niin käy, jos se kuuluu vain pienelle eliitille. Tämän suuntauksen välttäminen on tärkeää kulttuurielämässä juuri nyt.

Heidi Orava

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”Tervetullut lisä kriisiytyneelle kulttuurisektorille”

Pohjoismaiden kulttuuriministerit päättivät kokouksessaan 28. toukokuuta vahvistaa kulttuuri- ja taideohjelman tämän vuoden budjettia kolmella miljoonalla Tanskan kruunulla ja tukea siten koronan koettelemaa Pohjolan kulttuurielämää. Tämä on lievästi sanottuna tervetullutta, toteaa kulttuuri- ja taideohjelman asiantuntijaryhmän puheenjohtaja Anna Sparrman.

– Olemme jakaneet rahoitusta tänä vuonna etupainotteisesti koronapandemian takia. Syksyn hakukierroksen vahvistaminen tuntuu siksi erityisen hyvältä. Toivottavasti se inspiroi hakijoita, sillä jokainen euro on tässä tilanteessa tärkeä, Sparrman sanoo.

”Kulttuuri kriisiaikana” oli aiheena kulttuuriministerineuvoston tämän vuoden ensimmäisessä kokouksessa. Ministerit vaihtoivat kokemuksia ja keskustelivat Pohjoismaiden kulttuuri- ja media-alan tulevista tuki- ja elvytysmahdollisuuksista. Koronapandemialla on ollut suuria vaikutuksia Pohjoismaiden kulttuurielämään: esityksiä on peruttu ja museoita suljettu, ja kulttuuritoimijat ja taiteilijat ovat jääneet vaille työtä.

– Koronakriisi on kääntänyt arjen päälaelleen. Se haastaa tapamme olla yhdessä ja pakottaa miettimään uusia kohtaamistapoja. Näin kriisiaikana onkin luontevaa keskustella yhdessä siitä, miten Pohjolan monimuotoista kulttuurielämää voidaan parhaiten tukea, sanoi kulttuuriministerineuvostoa johtava Tanskan ministeri Joy Mogensen.

Kulttuuri- ja taideohjelmaa hallinnoi Pohjoismainen kulttuuripiste. Tukea voi hakea hankkeisiin, joissa panostetaan kulttuuri- ja taidetuotantoihin ja luovaan työhön. Lisäksi tukea voi hakea alan osaamista kehittävien hankkeiden organisointiin ja toteuttamiseen. Ohjelman apurahat menevät suoraan kulttuuritoimijoiden omaan yhteistyöhön ja verkostotoimintaan.

Myös Pohjoismaisen kulttuuripisteen johtaja Ola Kellgren pitää lisärahoitusta erittäin tärkeänä ja tervetulleena tukena alalle, joka on kärsinyt merkittävästi Pohjolassa nyt vallitsevista rajoituksista.

– Kulttuuriammattilaisilla on normaalistikin pienet marginaalit, ja nyt heidän tilanteensa on erityisen vaikea. Tämä on Pohjoismaiden kulttuuriministereiltä tärkeä symbolinen ele, joka viestittää pohjoismaisen kulttuuriyhteistyön suuresta merkityksestä sekä kriisin aikana että sen jälkeen, Kellgren sanoo.

 

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Funding for fifty nordic collaborative projects from Culture and Art Programme

The newly elected expert group for Culture and Art Programme has gathered for their first decision meeting in may 2020. Introduction, meeting preparations and decision meeting were all held online due to the coronapandemic. Chair of the Expert Group Anna Sparrman summarizes the experience as follows:

To have the honour to grant funding to small and big scale professional cultural projects, midst this corona period, feels fantastic. The mission is even more important than usual and therefore we have granted more funding than ordinary, hoping that it will strengthen and raise culture.

As a response to the serious need for funding in the fields of culture and art the expert group allocated more than half of the yearly budget of 2,2 million euros to this round of the programme. A total of 1 408 958 euros was granted to fifty projects, equal to a quarter of 186 applications for a worth of 5 994 255 euros. Granted amounts are between 3000 and 100 000 euros.

 

Funding highlights of the first round of Culture and art Programme in 2020

Among the applications that were granted funding within the first round of Culture and Art Programme in 2020 are some that we especially wish to highlight at this point.

Donna Quijote – theatrical dance on thin ice raises environmental questions with indigenous people in a global context. It is a multinational theatre production organized together with Ruska Ensemble, The Finnish National Theatre, The Greenlandic National Theatre, Qiajuk Studios, ARTErias Urbanas, Multilogos and artists from Samiland, Finland, Norway, Canada and Bolivia. Through the project artists are brought together to share thoughts of humanity and ecological disaster from their native viewpoint in national stages. Donna Quijote will expand the viewer’s perspective to indigenous people, nature, the ecosystem and lifestyle spectrum.

Ilzenberg Manor’s Small Festival for Kids brings professional high quality culture to the residents of the smallest townships and settlements surrounding this manor in Northern Lithuania, together with partners from Sweden, Finland and Estonia. The festival embraces various genres of performing arts as theatre, dance, puppets and circus for kids and children from 0 to 10 years. The collaboration offers children from economically disadvantaged families and from culturally distanced geographical locations the possibility for encounters with professional Nordic artists within dance and circus. The event is also a meeting place for Nordic artists and their professional colleagues from Lithuania and Estonia, which may engage new collaborative ideas and outcomes.

A meeting place for sharing competencies within analogue photography is to be created through ‘when the light hits just right‘ by Dots: förening för audiovisuell konst rf (association of audiovisual art). It is an all analogue festival, showcasing expanded cinema and analogue photography, in a 3-month exhibition at Vaasa Art Hall and Gallery Ibis, a public programme of filmscreenings, live cinema and workshops, and a conference for professionals. The project will be bringing together artists, curators, programmers, distributors, researchers and other professionals working within the field of analogue film and photography for the first time in that extent in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Young emerging female artists in the field of Hip Hop and House dance received funding for a one week summercamp ALIDE – in collaboration with AxAKavAT where they will be able to push the participants in their craft and practise the art of daring to act on ideas, wishes and projects. The workshops will be documented in a video aiming at inspiring others for communital support and a future growth of a networking sisterhood. The participants will also be collaborating locally with a childrens summercamp and inhabitants of the village of Karepa in Northeastern Estonia.

Seyðatónar / Sheep Music is a collaboration between Hafdís Bjarnadottir, Passepartout Duo and several museums, farms, festivals and performers. It will result in a series of musical interventions for people and sheep in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Scotland, putting an emphasis on local farming, knitting traditions and shepherding cultures. The project aims to bring people together and raise conversations about the values of a community, all conceptually based on the hypothetical question: “what kind of music would the sheep like to hear?

 

You can find all the granted projects from this and previous rounds by scrolling down the page Results.

 

Application rounds twice a year

Culture and Art Programme supports Nordic cooperation within art and culture. You can apply for funding for a collaborative project with artistic or cultural quality which promotes a multifaceted and sustainable Nordic region. The grant programme is administered by Nordic Culture Point.

Funding is being distributed twice per year. The next application round is from 10.8-10.9.2020. Please note that the application deadline is at 15.59 Finnish time.

 

The image is by Performance Køkkenet in Nordic Actions in Nature 2018, a project granted funding from Culture and Art Programme in 2018. The project connected nordic performance artists whom engaged in issues concerning environment and sustainability.

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Open call for indoor mural paintings

Together with the Nordic Investment Bank we launch a joint Open call with the purposeto find ideas for a temporary multi-parted mural paintingto our premises at  Kaisaniemenkatu 9 in Helsinki.  

 

  • The theme for the painting project is Connection and we hope to find visually outstanding ideas for a multi-parted mural painting.
  • The mural painting will altogether consist of 3 – 4 separate parts situated on different places in the building. The largest part will be executed on a white painted semicircle stonewall in the aula of the Nordic Culture Point which is situated on the ground floor. The dimensions of this wall are 18 m wide and 2,90 m high. See the wall in our digital presentation of our cultural center and library.
  • The other parts of the mural painting will be executed on the first floor in the office premises of the Nordic Investment Bank. There are three optional walls with areas of about 8 –15 m2 each. The walls are situated on different spots on the first floor. Click this link for pictures and measures of the walls.

Our vision is to find an interesting visual idea that is possible to adapt in way or another onto all these separate walls in order to create a both visual and conceptual connection between the painted parts.   

 

  • We presume the chosen artist to have former experience of working with murals or paintings in large format. The paintings will all be executed directly onto the wall and we wish that as environmentally friendly material as possible will be used in the painting process. Because of fire safety regulations all surfaces of the mural paintings must be smooth and the paintings are not allowed to have any loose or pointy parts attached.
  • All professional artists with a permanent address in a Nordic country, regardless of nationality, are welcome to send us an application. 
  • We offer the selected artist an artist fee of 4000 € (tax included) for the executed artworks, as well as a daily allowance of 42€/workingday, the Finnish tariff. 
  • Our guest apartment at Suomenlinna, a Unesco world heritage site 10 minutes by ferry from the city centre, can be used free of charge during the working period, between August 4th – August 23rd. The opening of the artwork is planned to take place on Thursday 20th of August. Due to possible future Covid-19 restrictions the working period might be postponed.
  • All artist supplies needed and the travel expenses for the artist will also be covered. 

 

Please send us your CV, a brief description and/or rudimentary sketch of your idea and some examples of previous artworks as one pdf of max. 5 MB to opencall@nordiskkulturkontakt.org by the 14th of June 2020. 

Please note that we only pay for the commissioned work and we therefor ask you not to invest time and work in a detailed proposal. Should we want more information before the selection we will get in touch. 

The jury consists of representatives for the Nordic Culture Point and the Nordic Investment Bank. We reserve the right to freely select the commissioned work.  

 

 

For more information please contact:  

Annika Bergvik-Forsander 

Senior advisor/ art & culture 

Email: opencall@nordiskkulturkontakt.org 

Phone: +358 10 583 1015 

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Network Funding granted for 21 projects this spring

The Expert Group for Network funding decided in their spring meeting 15-16 April to award grants to 21 projects in the first round in 2020. Nordic Culture Point received a total of 67 applications, of which 26 were for the long-term network funding and 41 for the short-term network funding. A total amount of 728 414 euros was granted to 21 projects of which eight were long-term and thirteen short-term.

One of the granted long-term projects, Nordic Arts & Health Research Network, combines arts with health issues and aims to promote collaboration between researchers, professional artists, artist-researchers and educators working within the Arts & Health field in the Nordic countries. The project started as a short-term initiative in 2019. Most of the granted long-term networks are continuation to an earlier short-term initiative.

Short-term network funding was granted for example to Baltic Alternative Music Network. The main objective of the network is to promote and support alternative music cultures that are currently left out of official support mechanisms in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. The project will support especially young alternative music artists in the Baltics. Another example of a granted short-term project is the Nordic-Baltic Network of Life Writing. It is a network between cultural and research institutions that promotes, archives and studies practices of life writing in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The goal of this initiative is to create a sustainable forum for discussions and exchange of information and specific knowledge about varied life-writing practices.

See all granted long-term networks and all granted short-term projects.

Network funding enables periods for cooperation, exchange of ideas and knowledge between professional artists and cultural workers in the Nordic region and the Baltic countries. The funding is a part of The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, which strengthens artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic region and the Baltic states.

The next application round for the short-term network funding opens on 9 September 2020. Long-term network funding is available again in the beginning of 2021.

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Mobility funding granted for 79 projects

The expert group for Mobility Funding met online on 26 March for their first decision meeting this year. The meeting was initially planned to take place in the capital of Lithuania, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the trip to Vilnius was cancelled, and the expert meeting was held online.

Nordic Culture Point received 265 applications in this round and the applied amount was in total  681 090 euro.  The expert group decided to grant a total of 167 840 euro to 79 projects in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Among the artists who received support was the Icelandic poet and performer Elías Portela. Portela is taking part in the international project ‘To write dance and to dance writing’ organised by the Writers’ Centre West in Sweden in the partnership with Danskompaniet Spinn, Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature, Norsk Forfattersentrum and New Writing North in Newcastle. The project has an overall LGBTQI theme and Elías Portela will participate in workshops, creations and performances where dance and literature entwine.

A group that received funding in this round was the Finnish multicultural women’s NGO association DaisyLadies ry. They will be cooperating with the Icelandic Women of multicultural ethnicity network (W.O.M.E.N ) on the project ‘Nordic Ladies’. The goal is to create a network between immigrant women and girls in Nordic countries and increase knowledge through art and culture-based well-being services. The project provides real opportunities for intercultural exchange, collaboration and new constellations.

The Swedish group Biräddarna received funding for traveling with their musical theatre ‘HOORAY, a Bee!’. It is aimed at 3-5 year-old children, and the musicians and educators will do interactive singing and eurhythmics sessions and sing-along-performances in Espoo in Finland and on Åland.  The project wants to arouse curiosity and awareness of the importance of bees, and to strengthen the Swedish language in Finland.

Mobility funding is to cover the travel and/or accommodation expenses of professional artists and cultural practitioners in the Nordic Region and/or Baltic countries.

The funding gives applicants – individuals or small groups – access to contacts, skills, and knowledge from different parts of the Nordic and Baltic regions. Funding can be used to present art and culture productions, as well as increase interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

The upcoming application rounds for 2020 are:

17.07.2020 – 17.08.2020

18.09.2020 – 19.10.2020

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First decision meeting Norden 0-30

As of 1.1.2020, the grant programme Norden 0-30 has its own external expert group, consisting of 4 regular members, and 2 substitutes.

The regular members of the group are: : Amund Røhr Heggelund (chairman, Norway), Rói Dam Dalsgarð (Faroe Islands), Lotta Jarvenius Rössner (Sweden), Mia Hanström (Åland Islands).
The substitutes of the group are: Ragnheiður Sigurðardóttir (Iceland), Clara Halvorsen (Denmark).

In the first round of 2020, the group decided to grant a total of 181 949€, to 10 projects.
Due to the current Corona-virus situation, the group held the meeting online.

On behalf of the group, the chairman expressed the pleasure of working with the grant programme Norden 0-30, and the submitted applications. 37 applicants applied for a total of 614 688€.

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14 Nordic and Baltic residency programmes were granted support

This year’s funding for Nordic and Baltic artist residencies was distributed on 31 March 2020. Nordic Culture Point received a total of 64 applications, of which 14 were granted support in order to strengthen artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic and the Baltic countries. The total amount distributed was 388 656 €. As in previous years, the experts stressed in their assessment the importance of diversity of artforms as well as stipends, grants or fees paid to the participating artists.

Two residency centers in Greenland were granted support. Artic Culture Lab Greenland offers artists and curators two-month residencies with the goal of another narrative of the Arctic and Greenland as most of the media provide. Artistic process, experimentation and curiosity in interaction with the local community give artists an unique opportunity to discover Greenland’s cultural and sociopolitical context. Awareness of research methologies related to indigenous peoples and as well as a reciprocal approach is expected from the participants. Nuuk Art Museum received a grant to make it possible for Nordic artists to have longer, deeper and more rewarding stays in Nuuk. The aim for the residency is to establish long lasting connections, between Greenlandic artists and artists from the other Nordic and Baltic countries.

Finnish Comic Society received a grant for their CUNE Comics-in-Residence Programme that will offer residency stays in Helsinki for comic artists and professionals. By facilitating artistic exchange for a largely marginalized field of art, the programme enables mobility of Nordic and Baltic comics art and essential networking between the region’s creators.

See all granted residencies 2020 here.

Funding for artist residencies is a part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture. The programme focuses on increasing the exchange of knowledge, contacts and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture. The Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme comprises three forms of funding: mobility, network and funding for artist residencies. Read more about the programme here.

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Nominees for the 2020 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize

A modern fable about a duck who lives in the city and can no longer fly, poems about a domestic tyrant and his son in the form of a diary, and an indomitable pearl diver on the hunt for the elusive Treasure Pearl – these are just some of the stories among this year’s 14 nominees for the 2020 Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize.

The nominees are usually announced at the international book fair for children’s and young people’s literature in Bologna. Sadly the event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a time of quarantine and isolation, literature can help to open doors to new tales and adventures.

Here are the picture books, young adult novels, and poetry collections that have been nominated for this years children and young people’s literature prize:

Denmark Ud af det blå by Rebecca Bach-Lauritsen and Anna Margrethe Kjærgaard (ill.). Pi… Min øjesten by Merete Pryds Helle and Helle Vibeke Jensen (ill.). Picture novel… Finland Vi är Lajon! by Jens Mattsson and Jenny Lucander (ill.). Picture book, Förlaget… Sorsa Aaltonen ja lentämisen oireet by Veera Salmi and Matti Pikkujämsä (ill.)… Faroe Islands Loftar tú mær? by Rakel Helmsdal. Picture book, Bókadeild Føroya Lærarafelags, … Greenland Orpilissat nunarsuarmi kusanarnersaat by Juaaka Lyberth and Maja-Lisa Kehlet (i… Iceland Villueyjar by Ragnhildur Hólmgeirsdóttir. Young adult novel, Björt bókaútgáfa; … Egill spámaður by Lani Yamamoto. Picture book, Angústúra, 2019. Norway Draumar betyr ingenting by Ane Barmen. Young adult novel, Gyldendal, 2019. Når er jeg gammel nok til å skyte faren min? by Åse Ombustvedt and Marianne Gre… The Sami Language Area Guovssu guovssahasat by Karen Anne Buljo and Inga-Wiktoria Påve (ill.). Picture… Sweden Hästpojkarna by Johan Ehn. Young adult novel, Gilla Böcker, 2019. Trettonde sommaren by Gabriella Sköldenberg. Young adult novel, Natur & Kultur,… Åland Segraren by Karin Erlandsson. Novel, Schildts & Söderströms, 2019.

The works have been nominated by the national members of the adjudicating committee for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize.

Winner to be announced on 27 October

The winner of the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize will be announced on 27 October at an awards ceremony in Reykjavik in conjunction with the Session of the Nordic Council. The winner will receive the Northern Lights statuette and DKK 350,000.

About the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize

The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize was first awarded in 2013. The prize was born out of the long-standing desire of the Nordic ministers for culture to strengthen and highlight literature for children and young people in the Nordic Region.

In the Nordic countries, children and young people are regarded as active citizens in a democratic society. This is reflected in Nordic children and young people’s literature, which is characterised by respect for the reader and their worldview, be this earthly everyday depictions, existential issues, or exciting adventures in unknown surroundings.

The purpose of the Nordic Council’s five prizes is to raise interest in the Nordic cultural community and Nordic co-operation on the environment, as well as to recognise outstanding artistic and environmental efforts.

Find out more about the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature P… Find out more about the Nordic Council prizes Adjudication committee for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Liter…

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