ANTI Festival 2020 – Call for proposals on the theme of Food

Media release 21.11.2019

For our 2020 festival ANTI is thrilled to announce partnership with Kuopio Region of Gastronomy, coordinated by ProAgria Eastern Finland and Savonia University. The 19th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 8th and 13th September 2020 in Kuopio, Finland. We now invite artists, working in any field, to propose projects that directly engage with the theme of food.

This year, in addition to the general call-out (see below for details) we have five specific call-outs for commissioned projects. In addition see below for a call, made by our partner Reality Research Center, for applications to the Residency for Impossible Performance initiative.

“Food sits at the heart of human civilization. It touches the intensely personal, the national, and the global with equal emphasis. Is there an industry, a field, an activity, a substance with more political, social and economic importance than food? Eating together civilizes us and yet the production of food and its impact on the world’s resources is rapidly endangering the continuation of human life. Every meal we eat is arguably a part of this discourse and yet without difficulty, and with genuine joy, we are able to attribute deep pleasure, sensorial delight and an abundance of feelings of wellbeing, happiness and belonging to the food we surround ourselves with. Food touches every part of our lives, it speaks to sensuality, sexuality, gender, race, class; it forms the background and the foreground to our days, it nourishes and sustains. Food is, as it always has been, a joyful and
complex reminder of our place in this world,”

Artistic Directors Gregg Whelan and Johanna Tuukkanen write.

The 2020 edition of ANTI Festival celebrates Kuopio’s winning nomination as the European Region of Gastronomy 2020. For an introduction to Kuopio’s food producers, street food festivals, restaurants and traditional markets
see this video.

For more information contact Elisa Itkonen,, +358 50 305 2005.

Image above: Karen Spencer: Bread-bed 2004. Photo: Pekka Mäkinen

Submitting a Proposal for ANTI Festival 2020

When proposing a project to ANTI Festival please make sure your work responds to the festival’s focus on public space (including interior and privately owned spaces). We do not show projects in traditional cultural spaces (galleries, theatres etc.) so your proposed project will need to have an integral relationship with the place in which it is presented and your proposal will need to outline where your work could be located.

The proposal form allows a link to be made to online documentation of previous work and for applicants to attach a CV and a maximum of three supporting images. Proposals that do not strictly conform to these guidelines will not be considered.

We strongly advise you spend some time getting to know ANTI Festival before making an application,
our Vimeo page
is a great place to get a sense of past editions of the festival.

Send your proposal by using this electric form. The proposal deadline for all proposals is 19.12.2019 (at 23.59 Finnish time).

We apologize for not being able to react to all of the many questions you are sending us close to the deadline. Please read the application guidelines carefully and submit your application. We will contact you, in January, for additional information if needed.

Areas that your project may respond to may include one or more of the following
(this list is by no means exhaustive):

Food and identity; personal/regional/national
Food and social inequality
Food and environment/ecology
Food and geopolitics
Food and land use
Rural and urban farming
Food and community
Food and belief/spirituality
Cooking; dexterity and creativity
Food and the everyday; feeding the family
Food and celebration
Food and gender
Food and wellbeing
Food and the body; disease, eating disorders, body-shape discourse
Local food/Finnish food/seasonal food
Fast food and delivery services; new economies

For more information, contact Festival Manager  Elisa Itkonen,, +358 50 305 2005.

Fees & Budgeting

ANTI Festival’s key value is to support artists’ work and pay for their work. The application form asks you to estimate a budget for your proposed project. Please estimate a fee that you consider to cover your work in the project; also estimate travel and accommodation costs and other costs in details (materials, technical equipment etc.) – all that is needed to bring and present your work in Kuopio.
Based on the proposed budget, we will negotiate on the actual budget with the selected artists. Unfortunately, we can’t comment on the financial aspects more at the moment.

Special Commissions

Alongside responding to the above list of potential areas we also invite proposals to respond to the below outlines created in collaboration with our local partners. These outlines are intended to work as springboards – your project may develop and extend the information offered here; we’re interested in finding out how you would work with the given framework – we are particularly interested in process-based works.

Wild Foraging

The green spaces around Kuopio are a rich resource for wild food, visiting the forests and lakes of Finland to fish and forage is deeply embedded in Finnish cultural life. In collaboration with Pro Agria Eastern Finland, coordinators of European Region of Gastronomy Kuopio, we are seeking a project that draws on this rich tradition and engages an audience directly with the activity of foraging.  Although foraging is associated with rural spaces urban and sub-urban contexts are also possible locations for the project.

Collaboration with chef Anssi Kantelinen

Anssi Kantelinen, a leading chef, is known for creating innovative vegetarian dishes and being the Top Chef 2015 winner in Finland. Anssi is also a member of the international Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, which as an organization is active in Kuopio. The opportunity here is for an artist to propose a collaboration with Anssi; this could take any form however at its center will be a focus on the act of preparing and presenting food.

Aquaponic Systems

A research group at the University of Eastern Finland, led by Harri Kokko,  is currently running a project on aquaponic systems. Aquaponic systems save water, energy and food waste, they are also used in urban farming worldwide. This collaborative platform may offer an opportunity for artists interested in the crossover between art, science and activism.

Kuopio Market Hall – Kuopion kauppahalli

Kuopio’s traditional market hall, located in the city’s main square, represents both the city’s past and its vibrant present tense; it is home to a wealth of local food producers and retailers, and draws a wide range of visitors and shoppers of all ages. See images of the historical building online here.How might an artist work with this space at the center of city life and collaborate with local entrepreneurs and food producers? The intention is that the hall itself will be the location of the commissioned project.

Festival Feasting

We are seeking a project that creates/curates a festival meal, for festival artists and audiences alike; a place to meet and eat together. This may be a one-off event, perhaps to mark the opening, or closing of the festival, or be a daily occurring event. What the food is, how it is sourced, prepared and presented will be central to the project, as will the event of the meal itself; where and how it takes place will be key components of the work.

Please add the title of the special commission on the electronic form, there’s a line for “Are you applying for a special commission project? Which one?”.

Reality Research Center: Call for Applications

The Residency Program for Impossible Performance is a part of Reality Research Center programme in 2019–2021. Each year an artist will be selected through an open application process. The Artist in Residency will get the resources to produce an “impossible”, unprecedented performance for ANTI – Contemporary Art Festivalin Kuopio, Finland, in September. The program is for artists at the beginning of their career or people with an otherwise utopian agenda who work in performing arts in Finland and who have unfulfilled performative dreams.

The application period for the 2020 residency is open from Nov 21 to Dec 20, 2019. Read what’s on offer plus further instructions from Reality Research Center webpage and submit!

Kuva: Aino Nieminen/