September started with a rush of emotions and exciting projects, mainly because it found me in Finland, in the poetic city of Turku (Home of Ruunoviikko poetry week), where a gathering of poets, cultural organizers, performers, translators and multimedia artists came together to discuss the ways in which our work and knowledge can be shared among our audiences in the Nordic regions, to strengthen the cultural landscape and help with the very needed translations, publications, distribution and promotion of these voices we all know are residing in the Nordic countries and speaking of narratives that are of great importance to the representation of diversity, but which fail to be represented and head due to lacking the translation and representation tools that other artists / performers / authors of the region have… but additionally, to provide all of these key players of our culture, no matter their origin, an opportunity to be heard in the other Nordic countries.
It starts with exchange of knowledge: Each one of us is doing similar things, from festivals to projects, workshops and performances, publications and so on, without counting with the moral, mentoring and economic support of a community, simply because we’ve seen a need to fill this space and begin documenting what we see around us. Our proposal is to change this, by sharing our knowledge, techniques, lessons learned and questions with each other, as well of course as our network, so that we can all begin rotating our talents, helping one another and providing that needed support that will make of these tasks a less isolated occupation.
This solution has been discussed in various forms by several constellations of us (proof that it is a collective need and not a single idea), but it is now that it is being formed, thanks to the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and the initiative of Kirjan Talo / Bokens Hus to host us. We were joined by Katariina Vuorinen, Juha Kulmala, Daniel Malpica, Francis North, Petri Tähtinen, Claus Ankersen, Rosanna Fellman, Ahmed Zaidan, Zoila Forss, Ana Stanicevic, Karri Kokko, Sadik Lazim and Nathalie Sallegren, and spent a week sharing workshops, discussions, brainstorming sessions… as well as poetry readings and an open mic closing event with the local poetry scene in Turku.
A most fantastic gathering which resulted in the forming of a working group we now call “Nordic Union of Poetic Disobedience: Alliance for Performing Arts” and which we will be developing throughout the coming months. In the meantime, Here’s some photos of this first Finnish gathering, and my wish for fruitful connections, projects, translations, performances and projects with this selected group of worldthreaders.
P.S: Keep an eye on the Red Transmissions Podcast in the coming days to hear their voices and stories.