ANTI 2023 reflects the changes in living environments

The 2023 ANTI Festival serves as a mirror to changes occurring in it’s home town at the same time as the city serves as the stage for the work presented at the festival.

– This year, I’ve been thinking about ANTI as a kind of urban activist that also brings attention to global questions and phenomena as well as perspectives that have perhaps not yet been given enough attention in Kuopio. We’re reflecting on topics such as for whom and in whose terms our cities and towns are built and who gets to decide on the development of our environment and our future, says Elisa Itkonen, Lead Curator, ANTI Festival.

The festival programme presents live art works by topical international and Finland based artists in many different locations at the Kuopio City. All events are free of charge for the audience. Once again, the festival week will culminate with the announcement of the winner of the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art. The 2023 shortlist and the Shortlist LIVE! programme will be published later this spring. We will also get to experience the artworks of previous year’s winner at this year’s festival.

Perspectives on changes in our living environments

Plan 884, artwork by Sebastian López-Lehto, Maarit Utriainen and Riikka Vuorenmaa (FI), is a participatory performance that involves walking through and spending time in the currently changing city. The work examines the power of urban  planning, particularly focusing on the possible futures of a locomotive depot area. I was living in a strange place is a work by Henriikka Himma and working group (FI) on the history, time and architecture of, and the home created by, shared and private spaces. The Book of Kuopio by Andy Field and Beckie Darlington (UK) is a guide to Kuopio created in collaboration between the artists and school children from Kuopio. The Book of Kuopio allows children aged 8–12 to define what our city is all about. The guide weaves together real facts and imaginative stories and dreams. The project culminates in a live book launch open to all!

Tea Andreoletti’s (IT) Yellowcake is a participatory performance that explores the possibilities of collaboration and togetherness through the story of the anti-uranium mining movement of the late 1970s in Italy. The work combines questions related to environmental protection from the past and the present. Local activists from the Extinction Rebellion will be involved in planning and implementing the work. Latai Taumoepeau (TO/AU), the winner of the 2022 ANTI Festival Prize for Live Art, presents With this body I remember, with this body I re-wild, a work that illuminates the climate work and communities most affected by climate change in the northern and southern hemisphere.  Meanwhile, Mirella Pendolin, Pia Sirén and Ilona Valkonen (FI) return to Kuopio with their Plant Based Stories II to continue the stories collected at the last year’s festival depicting individuals’ relationship with nature. The installation that engages multiple senses also provides a place for rest in the midst of an intense festival week. 

Binary the Trilogy: TESTO TEMPLE is a new performance by Anna Cadia, Minttu Vesala and the Reality Research Center. The work asks how to stage something as fragile as gender and sexuality, and which kind of a stage is needed for them. It explores the relation of sex hormones, particularly of testosterone, to non-binary gender identity.  SLIT, in turn, is a duet by Teo Ala-Ruona and Artor Jesus Inkerö, known for their artistic research on queer identity and body. In SLIT, the artists expand the traditional human condition by producing sounds and a language of uncodedness, of vulnerability, and of strangeness.

Programme on a journey

Tune into the festival atmosphere when making your way to Kuopio by listening to the RadiOh Europa by Action Hero (UK) which includes 10 hours of love songs collected from Kuopio and Riga and along the journey. This year, a festival radio will also add to the atmosphere! Interrupted is a radio work by the collective (EE) that you can listen to online and at the event venues around Kuopio. The amateur radio station in a camper van will park at the centre of where things are happening and tailor a live broadcast to the audience, including interviews of the festival artists, creators and other participants as well as offering a daily, real-time weather report.

Students from Aalto University (FI) carry out a series of works that allow the audience to experience the public spaces in the city from different perspectives. This project is part of a long-term collaboration between the ANTI Festival and Aalto University, in which the festival serves as a platform for a course in artistic research. 

Festival pre-party 8–9 September 2023

The official ANTI Festival pre-party takes place from 8 to 9 September 2023 before the festival starts. The preparty programme has been built around our new, international Future DiverCities project. Future DiverCities explores the opportunities for using empty premises in cities and the potential of participatory art projects in contributing to the urban culture and communal urban environments. The ANTI preparty programme includes the New Local final seminar of the working group for architectural policy development. The working group is coordinated by the Arts Promotion Center Finland and the ANTI Festival is one of the members of the working group. Suvi Nurmi and Lotta Halinen’s (FI) work, Yks kaks kerrostalojen keskellä piippu, will only be presented at the pre-party. The work examines the surroundings of a red brick chimney located in the Haapaniemi neighbourhood in Kuopio and the residents’ relationships with the chimney. The work is part of the multidisciplinary Piippumuistoja (‘Chimney Memories’) project that examines the meaning of old factory chimneys to the local identity in five Finnish localities. The premiere of Kaava 884, the work by López-Lehto, Utriainen and Vuorenmaa, will be held at the pre-party, and further performances will take place during the festival week.