Anchor, rock, sea and bird flying.

Helsinki to hold maritime biennale for public art in 2020

Helsinki will establish a biennale for contemporary art, to be held on seafronts and islands. The first one of the maritime contemporary art festivals will be held in 2020. The decision to establish the maritime biennale was made by the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Committee on 16 January, as a part of the 2018 annual plan of the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division. 

“The Helsinki islands, sea areas and seafronts together form a unique experience and can be easily reached by everybody. The new biennale will also serve visitors,” says Tommi Laitio, Executive Director of the Culture and Leisure Division, explaining the background of the project. 

“Access to the sea and seafronts will also improve with stepwise replacements of marinas and the piers for ferries and water taxis, as well as with upgrades to channels and harbour conditions,” Laitio continues. 

In addition to the maritime theme, the division will be paying special attention during the current year to questions related to event organization, wellbeing and mobility, as well as to the wellbeing and participation opportunities of young people. 

“Our goal is to make Helsinki a city that always gives people reasons to go out and experience something new together. We will be producing high-quality contents by ourselves and creating opportunities for others to do the same,” Laitio enlists. 

“We also want Helsinki to be a city in which the voices of young people are heard, no child or young person is left behind, and everybody has some pastime.” 

In addition to the 2018 annual plan of the Culture and Leisure Division, the Culture and Leisure Committee considered a proposal by City Councillor Jörn Donner to establish a cultural visions working group.

According to Donner’s proposal, the City should start to investigate the possibility to establish a broad-based working group to envision various aspects related to cultural affairs. The objective of the working group should be to create an atmosphere in Helsinki that would inspire people to produce diverse cultural programmes and outcomes in the next ten years. 

The Culture and Leisure Committee voted down a group proposal made by the Blue Reform City Council group to change the name of Lenininpuisto (Lenin’s park) in Alppiharju to Ukko-Pekan puisto (Ukko-Pekka’s park). The committee members voted 5–5 on the proposal, so the decisive vote was cast by the chairman. The decision by the committee is partially based on a statement made by the place names committee, according to which established place names and place names that carry some significance in terms of local history should not be altered, unless there are compelling reasons to do so. The matter will next proceed to consideration by the Helsinki City Board.