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Tough competition for Funding for Artist Residencies in 2021

This year’s funding for Nordic and Baltic artist residencies was distributed on 9 April 2021. Nordic Culture Point received a total of 62 applications, of which 12 were granted support in order to strengthen artistic and cultural cooperation in the Nordic and the Baltic countries. The total amount distributed was 412 801 €. The new Expert Group that started its three-year mandate period this year praised the high number of good applications spreading across a vast geographical area as well as a large variety of different fields of arts and culture.

Both established residency centers and new initiatives were given support. Among the grant receivers was for instance The Union who is running a home residency programme as a way to provide insight into the extraordinary situation of being confined to home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hjemmefra/low-residency program 2021 consists of  two editions of a three-month grant for six Nordic and Baltic based artists to take part in a remote art residency from home.  Another new granted initiative was IDA radio sound residency. The aim of this project is to bring together four creative young musicians and authors to create new musical work together at Maajaam residency space in Estonia. The residency is a collaboration project where the participants teach and learn new skills from each other, practice collaboration and empathy and expand their professional network.

Pikene på Broen’s ‘Bar International’ programme and the newly introduced ‘Barents Centre for Artistic, Curatorial, and Practice-led Research’ will give the opportunity for artists and researchers from Nordic and Baltic regions to spend a longer period in the borderland Barents area, in Kirkenes, Norway. The project was seen a good example of high international ambitions but still a strong local dimension.

See all grants 2021 here.

Support 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 funding here.

See the locations of the granted residency projects on this map.

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Mobility funding granted for 110 travels in the Nordic and Baltic region

The new expert group for Mobility Funding met online on the 6th and 7th of March for their first decision meeting this year. There were were 192 applications, and a total of 110 artists were granted funding to strengthen the conditions for cultural and artistic cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic region. The distributed amount was 169 198 EURO.

Among the artists that received funding were Titta Court, a Finnish dancer, choreographer, and curator from Tornio in Northern Finland. She has been invited to Hammerfest in Norway to perform on the festival Baltic meets Barents at the Arctic Culture centre with her newest solo performance called HUURTUMA. The visit will also allow her to take part in workshops, and to plan for future collaborations with Barents and Baltic artists and organisations. Court is a rare figure as a professional dancer living and working in the periphery, the far north Finland. She is in her fifties, and she is presenting contemporary dance in everyday environments conveying this art form in unexpected places.

Another artist that received funding was Kim Simonsen who is travelling from Faroe Island to Åland where he is going to work with young people age 15 – 20. The aim of the project is to engage with youth on vulnerability via an artistic practice-as-research way to understand the Anthropocene. Using literature and art the project will focus on sustainable consumption and production. The project brings a cross-disciplinary dimension into a highly relevant topic.

Linda Karin Lamignan Larsen is a Nigerian and Norwegian artist based in Denmark. She is travelling from Copenhagen to Stavanger to start producing art works for a solo exhibition Those who do not travel never arrive at Rogaland Kunstsenter. The project contributes to the global urgencies and violence that surrounds the issues of race, identity and belonging while leaving the possibilities for unexpected results and encounters to be incorporated during the course of action.

In the summer of 2021, Camerata Øresund and Cantoque Ensemble join forces with the Finnish Ensemble Nylandia to collaborate on a project called Nordic Echo. During the project, the ensembles rehearse and present a new program that focuses on Scandinavian Baroque music and its intersections with the North-German musical tradition. For concerts at Skálholt Summer Concerts on Iceland, the groups have commissioned a new piece from the renowned Icelandic composer, Hugi Guðmundsson, based on a melody from the Hymnodia sacra manuscript. The program forms a trail from the old Icelandic psalms, through Nordic Baroque masterpieces to a brand-new music creation inspired by century-old melodies. The initiative is highly collaborative and will convey the Scandinavian music heritage to a wide group of audience.

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 final application round this year is 01.09.2021 – 30.09.2021.

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

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First decision meeting Norden 0-30

The first decision meeting of Norden 0-30, 2021, was held on the 9th of April. The meeting followed the procedures of last year, being an online meeting.
We received 18 applications, with a total applied amount of 351 238€. The expert group granted 9 applications. Due to the current covid-situation we are receiving somewhat fewer applications.

All applicants provided a description of who the current pandemic has affected their activities. As in the previous rounds, most of the applications were within the areas of cultural and social activities.

Among the granted applications we projects such as Nordliga broar (Northern bridges), which aims at (our translation): strengthen youth organizations and their capacity, using their own tools, to work with the polarization of societies. The project will take place in 2021, and is made by youth from the Nordics and the Baltic states. It consists of a workshop and a seminar with the goal of producing a film and a guide”.


The second application round of this year has already opened (06.04.2021), and it will close on 06.05.2021, 15:59 local time Helsinki.
Are you planning to apply for funding? Remember to contact us before deadline to discuss your ideas.

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LIVE: Meet the nominees of the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize

14 April sees the start of a brand new series titled “Author stories” featuring the nominees of the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize. Each week we’ll meet some of the authors to talk about survival, madness, relationships, motherhood, the desire to travel, decay, and other perspectives that their works touch on. There will also be readings of the nominated works.

This year’s nominees span the entire Nordic Region with works from all countries and language areas. There is a strong field of fiction covering such topics as writing on wet paper, the decay of capitalism, and socio-realistic relationships. In addition, the nominated works include an offer of survival methods, a valley filled with plastic flowers, and an apocalyptic text about the future of the planet.

The works comprise nine novels, four poetry collections, and one collection of short stories. Of their authors, Niviaq Korneliussen, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Andrzej Tichý, Inga Ravna Eira, and Vigdis Hjorth have all been nominated previously.

Inspiring online meetings

“Author stories” gives us the opportunity to find out more about the authors from across the Nordic Region and listen to them talk about their nominated works. The episodes vary in both content and focus, depending on the authors involved and the moderator leading the each conversation.

“Nordic literature is very strong at the moment, which is why it’s especially nice that we’re able to have this digital series, ‘Author stories’. Listeners will be able to listen to some of the Nordic Region’s most interesting authors discuss common themes, writing as a profession, and the features of Nordic literature. Best of all, listeners can join in with these engaging conversations wherever they are in the Nordic Region,” says Yukiko Duke, translator, journalist, and host, who will moderate the first episode with Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth and Ursula Andkjær Olsen from Denmark.

Don’t miss your favourite author – make a note in your diary

14 April: Vigdis Hjorth and Ursula Andkjær Olsen – moderator Yukiko Duke

21 April: Lars Amund Vaage and Sebastian Johans – moderator Marit Lindqvist

28 April: Andrzej Tichý – moderator Sara Nyman

5 May: Johanne Lykke Holm and Niviaq Korneliussen – moderator Janne Breinholt Bak

12 May: Pajtim Statovci and Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir  – moderator Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter

19 May: Heidi von Wright and Lív Maria Róadóttir Jæger – moderator Malan Marnersdóttir

26 May: Andri Snær Magnason and Inga Ravna Eira – moderator Sunna Dís Másdóttir

Talks are in Scandinavian except 12 May and 26 May when they are held in English.

The Live streams can be seen on the Nordic Culture Point website and on Facebook


Nordic co-production

The digital conversation series is a co-production by the Nordic cultural institutions: Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki, the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands, the Nordic Institute in Greenland, the Nordic Institute in Åland, and the Nordic House in Reykjavik, which is also home to the secretariat for the Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Find out more about the nominees at

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Ghost Sonata: A theatre project exploring the current and future transformation of the Arctic

”Climate change is often viewed as a scientific issue. We explore how psychological, spiritual, aspects are equally vital:
When climate changes, what changes inside of us?”


Ghost Sonata by Mechanimal explores a new Anthropocene form of ecological theatre – taking Swedish writer Strindberg‘s sonata form to create a new ‘theatrical sonata’ synthesising digital Arctic field recordings, critical research into Arctic geography, contemporary compositions of old Nordic songs and showcasing sustainable design and theatre practice.

Artists and researchers within both politics and geography collaborate in exploring the impact of Arctic Sea ice loss on the culture, politics and geography of Nordic countries and Europe. The project engages diverse audiences in the UK and Norway with Arctic change.

The results of this collaboration are shared in a new music theatre show exploring the current transformation of the Arctic. The show is engaged for performances on Edinburgh Fringe Festival in august 2022.


Creatives involved in the project come from Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Poland and UK:

// Performer – Emma Bonnici // Director – Tom Bailey // Sound Composition – Aslaug Magnusdottir // Musical Director – Nini Julia Bang // Costume Design – Giulia Pecorari // Associate – Sinead Rushe // Dramaturg – Kamila Klamut-Pawlik


More information:

Ghost Sonata Discussion, a film of panel talk with artists and researchers, exploring more about the themes of the show (Oxford Brookes Think Human Festival, 2020, 30 min), available via Ghost Sonata icon on



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Nordic journals available to borrow!

The Nordic Culture Point Library is now lending the latest issues of Nordic journals.

Journals can be borrowed for up to 14 days and can be renewed once. The journals currently available to borrow are: Kirjasto, Arkitekten, Ekko, Parnasso, Vi läser, and Bok & Bibliotek. The journals are registered for lending as they are published. Forthcoming journals include Språktidningen, Billedkunst, 20-tal, Nordisk tidskrift, and Camera Natura. Is there a particular Nordic cultural journal that you’d like us to offer? Let us know by sending an e-mail to or via our website under “Acquisition request”

The library has also changed it lending terms for films and television series. These can be renewed once. The late fee for journals, films, and television series is EUR 0.20 per day.

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Nordic Culture Point publishes history of the Nordic cultural institutions in Suomenlinna

Nordic cultural co-operation has a long history in Helsinki. In Art, Culture, and Cobblestones, playwright and long-standing senior official for Nordic co-operation on culture Marianne Möller gives her perspective on the development of the Nordic cultural institutions in Suomenlinna in relation to how the world and our societies have changed since the 1970s.

The work was commissioned by Nordic Culture Point and describes the various forms of the Nordic institutions, from Nordiskt konstcentrum from 1978 to 1996 and the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art/NIFCA from 1997 to 2006, to Kulturkontakt Nord as the secretariat for the Nordic Council of Ministers’ funding programmes from 2007 to 2011 and the Nordic Institute in Finland/Nifin from 1997 to 2011. In 2021, Kulturkontakt Nord and Nifin were merged into the current Nordic Culture Point.

Through interviews and archive material, Möller shows the diversity of initiatives and results of Nordic co-operation on culture from a wider perspective. There are also interesting statistics from 2008 to 2019 on the grants applied for and awarded, and how much the countries’ culture scenes pocket from Nordic resources.

“Even behind each rejected application is an embryo for collaboration that only needs a little more funding to become a fully fledged project. The bottom-up perspective is important, as Nordic co-operation becomes concrete through the collaborations that are made and the contacts that are forged,” says Möller.

Art, Culture, and Cobblestones is lavishly illustrated with archive material and examples of exhibitions and publications produced by the institutions in Suomenlinna.

Art, Culture, and Cobblestones – a brief history of Nordic co-operation on culture and the cultural institutions in Suomenlinna since 1978

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Fourteen nominees for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize

Fourteen Nordic novels, short stories, and poetry collections have been nominated for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize. This year’s nominees span the entire Nordic Region with works from all countries and language areas. This strong field of fiction also contains previously nominated authors. The winner will be announced in Copenhagen in conjunction with Session week in November.

Writing on wet paper, the decay of capitalism and the lust that goes up in smoke on Scandinavian Star, socially realistic depictions of close relationships and linguistic presence, uncompromisingness, as well as a valley full of plastic flowers are just a few examples of the content that can be found among this year’s nominated works.

Here are the nominees for this year’s literature prize:

Denmark Penge på lommen. Scandinavian Star. Del 1 by Asta Olivia Nordenhof. Novel, Basi… Mit smykkeskrin by Ursula Andkjær Olsen. Poetry collection, Gyldendal, 2020. Finland Bolla by Pajtim Statovci. Novel, Otava, 2019. Autofiktiv dikt av Heidi von Wright by Heidi von Wright. Poems, Schildts & Söde… Faroe Islands Eg skrivi á vátt pappír by Lív Maria Róadóttir Jæger. Poems, Forlaget Eksil, 20… Greenland Naasuliardarpi by Niviaq Korneliussen. Novel, Milik Publishing, 2020. Iceland Um tímann og vatnið by Andri Snær Magnason. Novel, Forlagið, 2019. Aðferðir til að lifa af by Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir. Novel, Bjartur, 2019. Norway Er mor død by Vigdis Hjorth. Novel, Cappelen Damm, 2020. Det uferdige huset by Lars Amund Vaage. Novel, Forlaget Oktober, 2020. The Sami language area Gáhttára Iđit by Inga Ravna Eira. Poems, Davvi Girji, 2019. Sweden Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm. Novel, Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2020. Renheten by Andrzej Tichý. Short stories, Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2020. Åland Broarna by Sebastian Johans. Novel, Nirstedt/litteratur, 2020.

The works have been nominated by the national members of the adjudicating committee for the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize.

Winner to be announced on 2 November

The winner of the 2021 Nordic Council Literature Prize will be announced on 2 November in Copenhagen in conjunction with the Session of the Nordic Council. The winner will receive the Northern Lights statuette and DKK 300,000.

About the Nordic Council Literature Prize

The Nordic Council Literature Prize was first awarded in 1962. It goes to a literary work written in one of the Nordic languages, such as poetry, prose, or drama that meets high literary and artistic standards.

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 Literature Prize

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English Speakers

English Speakers is a tour friendly sonic performance that exploits the materiality of linguistic sound to make the struggle between etymological and grammatical conceptions of language tangible in a cluster of mythological tales of origin, influence, creation and destruction.

The connection between modern english and norrønt – the internordic language from 800–1350 CE is processed musically and performatively within the performance. Through its focus on this connection the project contributes to a discussion on how no cultures are ”pure”, but interconnected through national borders and nationalities. English Speakers contains also an explicit feminist focus. Through ten chosen words and their etymology the audience is encouraged to embrace a critical perspective on the position of women within linguistic history.

In collaboration with the British producer Mary Paterson and LYDPOL from Denmark the project invites visually impaired audiences to a full-scale stage art experience via project background presentations and extra material in a podcast. The extensive research from the project is also presented in a booklet and workshops.

English Speakers is a Moribund (DK) production in co-operation with Notam – Norwegian centre for technology, art and music (NO) and Inter Arts Center at The University of Lund  (SE).

The project was granted funding from Culture and Art Programme in 2020.

More information available on:
Moribund / English speakers
Booklet in pdf 

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Nordisk kulturkontakts evenemangsproducent Annika Bergvik-Forsander fick pris för sitt konstnärsskap

Nordisk kulturkontakts seniorrådgivare för konst- och kulturevenemangsproduktion Annika Bergvik-Forsander tilldelades ett pris för sitt konstnärsskap om 10 000 euro ur Marcus Collins minnesfond, som uppmärksammar framstående finländska konstnärer inom måleri.

Priset delades ut digitalt vid Svenska litteratursällskapets årshögtid den 5 februari.

I prismotiveringen hyllas Bergvik-Forsanders sinne för systematik i konsten:

“Hon arbetar både med bildens konceptuella och materiella möjligheter. Genom gestaltning av kroppslighet, genusfrågor och existentiell psykologi i kombination med variationer på materialens, färgfältens och konturernas samverkan, har hon byggt upp en egen suggestiv bildvärld. Den förstärks av filosofiskt underfundig värme – geometrin ger tröst.”

Annika Bergvik-Forsander är bildkonstnär, konstpedagog och konstvetare. Hon har mångårig erfarenhet av konstundervisning, utställningsproduktion och olika former av projektarbete inom konstfältet vid sidan av producentskapet vid Nordisk kulturkontakt.

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Mia Smeds new communications advisor for Nordic Region in Focus, Finland

Mia Smeds has been hired as the new senior communications advisor for Nordic Region in Focus, Finland. She started her job in January.

Mia has twenty years of experience in journalism and communication, the last six of which she has worked with Nordic co-operation, including as head of communications for the Nordic Council of Ministers’ institute for research and innovation, NordForsk, in Oslo, and as a communicator for the European Institute of Innovation, an organisation under the European Commission.

She has previously served as a communications specialist for Nordic Innovation, Nordic Energy Research, the JustEd Nordic centre of excellence at the University of Helsinki, and Folkhälsan.

Finland’s presidency programme for the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021 sets out its vision for Nordic co-operation, which states that the Nordic Region shall be the most integrated and sustainable region in the world. In order to support and make Nordic co-operation more visible, as project manager for Nordic Region in Focus, Finland, Mia will work with a variety of stakeholders from across the country. Do you want to be involved? Please contact

Nordic Region in Focus is an office of the Nordic Council of Ministers that gives national debates a Nordic angle. The offices of Nordic Region in Focus organise seminars and exhibitions on current topics such as politics, the environment, business, and culture. The main target groups are senior officials, politicians, journalists, and interest organisations.

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Library open with reduced hours from 2 February

From Tuesday 2 February, you will be able to collect reserved material at the Nordic Culture Point Library. You can collect advance reservations, return material, and quickly borrow books from a limited selection. 

You can reserve material by sending an e-mail to at any time, or by calling the library on 010 583 1000 during its telephone hours – 10:00 to 12:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

We are open on Tuesdays and Thursday between 13:00 and 17:00 for the collection of material. If you reserve material by e-mail, you will receive confirmation once your material is ready to pick up from the library. Lent material can be reserved as usual.

Face masks should be worn when visiting the library, unless you are exempt from doing so for health reasons. Only a limited section of the library is open, and the customer computers are not in use. The customer toilets are also out of service. We encourage visitors to use the automated machines. If this is not possible, personal service at the desk is available. This service will be available until further notice. Changes may occur due to the pandemic situation.


Check the availability of books using our online library.

You can also check out our new books.

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Funding for artist residencies paved way for socially engaged arts

The Latvian residency center Sansusī was granted funding for artist residencies to invite Nordic and Baltic artists to their Wellbeing Residency Program. The residency programme is aimed at socially engaged contemporary performing art groups who value exchange between artists and different groups of society both for their artistic development and for encouraging social change through art. The artists who participated the programme were working with specific social groups during their creation period in residency. Those target groups were children from isolated, rural areas with as well as patients and staff of Psychoneurological clinic of Aknīste in Latvia. The project resulted in new Nordic-Baltic connections on several levels.


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Concreate Urban Art Festival

Concreate is a festival focused on urban art which turns streets of Helsinki into a unique, open space art exhibition, accompanied by workshops and events. Concreate 2020 was granted funding from Culture and art programme for its Nordic dimension.

27 artists from Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain were brought together in august 2020 for a week-long painting work in Itä-Pasila (Helsinki) to create artworks in different techniques, strengthen their networks and plan future collaborations. An estimated 1000 people visited and photographed artists in their work during the week in addition to all the passers-by.

In addition, events held in the area during the week gathered about 3,000 people. About 2,500 of them visited the block party on the closing day of the festival. The block party included music and poetry performances on two stages, an outdoor flea market open to everyone and a printing workshop.

Festival artists had their own art exhibition, where they could display their works or paint them directly on to the gallery walls. Guided street art tours, where the audience got to see the fresh artworks and hear the artists’ own stories behind them were popular. Artist meetings and artist interviews covered beside presentations of the newly made artworks also thoughts on working as street artists as well as the current state of the street art scene.

Long-term effects of the project

For the participating artists the festival has offered work opportunities, interaction with both audiences and fellow artists, stronger networks and plans for future collaborations.

From the producers point of view ”the project has strengthened the belief that art in the public space increases the well-being and cohesion of the area’s residents. Our aim is to make public spaces aesthetically more attractive and at the same time create an environment that connects people closer to each other. And we think we succeeded. We also made a short documentary of the festival.”

A printed street art map of the area including all the older artworks and the ones made during the festival has been made after the festival. The map is actively distributed to attract more people to see the artworks. Guided tours will also be organised when possible. Outdoor possibilities to experience art become even more important with the closure of museums due to the current pandemic.

More information available on:

Concreate 2020
Instagram @helsinkiurbanart / Concreate 2020
Short documentary (length 13.23, in english, subtitles in finnish)

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