Free City of Kalasatama

In recent years, there has been a lot of temporary activities in Kalasatama, Helsinki, like Container Square, urban culture, graffiti, skating, Sompasauna and various events. I wanted to preserve the spirit of this Kalasatama, which has brought the much needed freedom to the city center. To create space for self-reliance, collaboration, art, culture, and people. And try, what we can achieve together.

And thus Kalasataman Vapaakaupunki, Free City of Kalasatama, was born

In the first phase of Kalasataman Vapaakaupunki Suvilahti became a new urban oasis for two months (18 May – 15 July 2018). Respecting the heritage of the area it is built using containers, which adapt to the scene of various events. In addition to the containers, there are also barbecue facilities and a park with urban gardening.

Kalasataman Vapaakaupunki is for us all. There anyone can arrange an event free of charge, as long as it’s open, free and fits with the values ​​and spirit of Vapaakaupunki. We also help with the arrangements and offer for example electricity, audio technology and also a sound technician for the event organisers free of charge.

Anyone can go to the Kalasataman Vapaakaupunki any time. Even if there is no program there, you can go for a picnic or just to spend a summer day there. We also offer grills for use when there are events happening in Vapaakaupunki.

Free City of Kalasatama became a big success in its first phase. In the course of two months, there were about 30 music events and, in addition, yoga, capoeira, sewing workshop and more special events such as a wrestling show.

The main partner of the project is the new REDI shopping center in the region, but it has not affected the content of the site in any way. And this is how you do good things together: by trusting people. Continuation for Vapaakaupunki is already planned.




Kallio Block Party

Kallio Block Party is without a doubt one of the greatest and biggest events that I have had a part in organising. Kallio Block Party has been organised by Kallio movement since 2011. The movement is a politically and religiously independent collective formed by the people who live, work or otherwise spend time in or nearby the neighbourhood of Kallio in Helsinki.

Kallio Block Party combines music and street art and creates an alternate reality and vision of what the city could be, if its streets were just for the people. This event is the biggest street party in Finland, and every year attracts thousands of people to the streets of Kallio.

Hundreds of volunteers have been organising Kallio Block Party during its existence.  I was especially involved in itin 2012 and 2013, but also some years after that. Kallio movement is mostly known for Kallio Block Party, but it organises also a lot of other fun and important stuff.


Helsinki Urban Art

Helsinki Urban Art is a non-governmental organisation specialised in urban art that I was founding in the beginning of 2017. The purpose of the association is to make art that enlivens urban environments in Helsinki as well as in other cities in Finland and abroad. We introduce new ways of using urban space, create participatory urban culture and solve problems by means of art and activism.

Helsinki Urban Art was created on the basis of the More Street Art in Helsinki -project that created several street art pieces in 2016 which enlivened the urban environment. Helsinki Urban Art expands this activity and brings even more art and more versatile forms of art into the urban space.

Helsinki Urban Art is formed by a group of professionals in visual arts, community arts and urban activism. Involving the communities and respecting the special characteristics of the places is important to us: we want the art that we create to really work in its environment and to suit the needs of the locals. Our team has a lot of experience in producing large murals, different sized street art pieces as well as coordinating large participatory art projects and different urban events. We also collaborate with many people working in the field of urban art both in Finland and abroad.





Nearby In Your Neighbourhood

Sharing a meal among strangers and different kinds of communal food events have been very popular in Helsinki – and elsewhere – over the last few years. Most of the events are however concentrated in the city center and the participants are largely people, who are active consumers of culture anyway. How could such activities be brought into the neighbourhoods outside the city center? How could you bring people together there as well?

This is what we are aiming to achieve together with HUMAK University of Applied Sciences with the Nearby In Your Neighbourhood project. The project brings cultural events into certain neighbourhoods of different cities. The project, started in the autumn of 2016, experiments with different ways to bring people to eat together in the different neighbourhoods of Helsinki, Vantaa, Turku and Jyväskylä. We are creating concepts that anyone can later on put into practice in their own neighbourhoods.


YIMBY Dinner

In the summer and autumn of 2015 the arrival of the refugees in Finland caused a lot of discussions and also fear in Helsinki. It is, of course, easy to be afraid of something you don’t know. Together with Helsinki Deaconess Institute we decided to do something about it, and so in September 2015, we arranged a dinner for the people of Helsinki and the refugees.

We prepared the food with the students of the Deaconess Institute along with other volunteers, and invited the old and the new neighbours to share the dinner, where you would be able to taste the flavours of all of our home countries. The dinner was partly made with food donations and included a variety of different vegetarian courses. Payment for the meal was voluntary, so that everyone could join in. Once we added candles and a DJ the dinner turned out to be quite the party!


Social Kitchen

Social Kitchen is a pop up -restaurant, ran by unemployed people and led by the chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and Jaakko Blomberg. Social Kitchen is arranged in different places in different times, and with different themes, which the participants will get to know before founding the restaurant. This restaurant is not about being fancy: you can make mistakes and you have to have fun. There will be, in any case, high quality and tasty food with a price for every budget. Social Kitchen was first launched in the autumn of 2015 as a part of the project “Overtakers” that Yhteismaa and Tatsi ry started together with the support of RAY.


Cleaning Day

Cleaning Day is the best day of the year for the people interested in flea markets and recycling.  The coolest festival of the year turns cities and neighbourhoods into big flea markets. Anyone can sell their stuff on the streets, yards or homes and make the best finds of the day. The event attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the streets, all around Finland and also abroad.

The idea of Cleaning Day is to make recycling easy and to create a lively and responsible urban culture. The Cleaning Day doesn’t have an official organiser, but everyone participating is responsible for their own event. Everyone is also responsible for cleaning up after themselves. The participants can announce their place of sales in the map found in the event’s website.

The first Cleaning Day was organised in May 2012. The idea that originated was Pauliina Seppälä’s Facebook post about the need for this kind of event. It was obvious that there was need for such a day and so a group of people who were enthusiastic about the idea started to work on it.

The original idea was to follow the example of some cities abroad and allow people to leave their furniture on the streets, where they could be picked up by anyone and in the end garbage trucks would clear the streets. From that we developed it to a more lighter and more citizen-oriented event: the sellers take care that the streets and parks are tidy after the event, but we organised some recycling spots around Helsinki, where people could bring their stuff for free. The city organisation had no part in the event, but after the first time it gave the blessing for the event and new way of organising a flea market festival.

Nowadays Cleaning Day is organised two times a year, on Saturday of the week 21, and in the end of August. At the beginning there was no real organisation behind the Cleaning Day, only after the first event we founded Common Ground that took the event under its name.



Sauna Theatre Festival

In the beginning, there were sauna, theatre and festival. Then they said, “let there be sauna theatre testival.” And sauna theatre festival there was. What happens when you strip theatre down to its purest, and bring both the actors and the audience together to sweat? We found that out, when in November 2015 the sauna theatre festival turned the public Sauna Arla into a theatre stage. The sauna theatre festival brings a new dimension to both sauna and theatre. It combines culture and relaxation in a completely new way. People have been born, died and made love in the sauna – and now also acted.


Restaurant Wasted Space

Cities are full of spaces, with which you could do so much more. We fill them for a moment with good food, drinks, company and art. We invite friends and strangers. And see what’s cooking.

The restaurant Wasted Space (“waste space” in Finnish) is a concept created by myself, Jyrki Tsutsunen and Johanna Kunelius. The chef Jyrki Tsutsunen brings the flavours usually used only in fancy restaurants into new, more relaxed surroundings. The guests are in for a surprise menu made from the best ingredients in the season – and the price is reasonable for every budget. The atmosphere is finished by the interior design created by Johanna Kunelius and the visiting artists.

The restaurant Wasted Space got started with the idea to create a new restaurant that would be more relaxed, social, fun and interesting. The restaurant is set up always to one place at a time – and only for one night. Until now there have been restaurants in my home, at a gas station, in a furniture factory, old book press, former music shop, art museum, greenhouse and at a school yard. Check the Facebook page for further information or send me a message if you want to join in!

Park(ing) Day

Imagine – if there were fewer cars, how much more space could we have? What kind of things could you do in a space as big as a parking space? The idea of Park(ing) Day is to inspire people to imagine, how many different things you do with the space that’s now reserved for cars and their parking. Like in its international version, during the Park(ing) Day, parking spaces are taken over for one day with different kinds of installations, performances, music, art and other fun ways. The programme is mostly organised by the people participating in the event. We arranged the Park(ing) day in the years 2012 and 2013 together with Yhteismaa and Ilmastoinfo.