ANTI Festival 2020 – Food at the centre of life and art

Media release 27.8.2020

The 19th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 27th October and 1st November 2020 in Kuopio, Finland.

“Let’s do the thing that has been so difficult to do this year, let’s gather together. Let’s do that in acknowledgement that many around the world cannot, that we are fortunate that we can and that we’ll value the experience anew as we’ve learnt in so many other parts of lives to not take simple pleasures for granted. Not that ANTI Festival is a simple pleasure, it’s a complicated, intense, rich, and aromatic pleasure for those that prefer a taste of something strikingly unusual,”

Artistic Directors Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan say.

We have of course designed this festival to take into account everything needed for us all to be safe. Please find our instructions for a safe festival experience here.

Food at the centre of life and art

The 2020 edition of ANTI Festival celebrates Kuopio’s winning nomination as the European Region of Gastronomy 2020-2021 coordinated by ProAgria Eastern Finland, Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation and Savonia University, and the festival theme is food.

Food is personal, private, deeply social, public, political, it speaks to industry, to production, to micro, local, national and international economies and ecologies, it is global, it is domestic. The festival programme takes on food from provocative and unique perspectives. Projects range from the intimate to the communal, we’ll be offered a window into the lives of strangers and be given opportunities to make new friends, we’ll eat together, think together, walk together and be together in ways that perhaps we haven’t for some time now.

Our Artistic Directors reflect further on the programme in their curatorial statement.

We are excited to share some of our lead projects below. For more, go to our 2020 programme page. The full festival programme will be available in September.

Photo: Ed Dimsdale

Stan’s Cafe (UK): Of All The People In All The World

Every grain of rice represents someone, somewhere. For this beautifully simple performance installation, the artists build a landscape of rice piles counting out political and social realities, here in Kuopio and around the world: climate protesters, Black Lives Matter demonstrators, farmers in Finland now and 100 years ago, the people who attended the Kuopio SATOA food festival, nurses in Finland, people who have walked on the moon.


Ana Vijdea & Cosmin Nicoară (RO): DINNERS

Eight diverse families from Syracuse, New York, let us join the intimate moments of their dinner time through an immersive video experience. The unique capacity of 360-degree VR filming allows us to take a “place at the table” where so much of the inner workings of family life are revealed.


Reality Research Center & Samuli Laine (FI): Nurture

Nurture is a one-to-one performance where the artist investigates the politics of gender, nurturing and coexistence through the act of breastfeeding. The work is produced by the Helsinki based Reality Research Center and is the 2020 project of their Residency Program for Impossible Performance (2019-2021).


Pilvi Porkola (FI): Popcorn

Popcorn is a lecture performance and a short party. It is an exploration of popcorn and its materiality as well as a potentiality of this specific material.  It is about time we spend making micro popcorn, but also about time we just spend.


Shortlist LIVE!

This year’s festival marks the 2nd edition of Shortlist LIVE! and we’re thrilled to present the four shortlisted artists for the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art through a mix of live and remote showings – a unique set of artists and artworks for a unique year.

On Saturday 31st October in Kuopio, we will award ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, one of world’s most exciting cultural prize for the 7th time. We will release the Shortlist of the Prize together with the Shortlist LIVE! programme in September.

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