ANTI Festival 2024 searches for interconnections

The 2024 festival programme examines the various ways we come together and keep in touch with each other and the perspectives of belonging and outsiderness.

–The programme presented at the festival includes pieces that are connected to the earth and that propose that we connect to the earth and other non-human things. Some of the works pose questions of the meaning and loss of homeland from the viewpoints of indigenous peoples and nations struck by war, says Elisa Itkonen, the Lead Curator of the festival, of the themes of the festival programme.

Once again, the ANTI Festival programme is centered around topical societal and environmental questions. Last year, the festival received the State Prize for the Social Impact of Art.

The festival will also create antiracist queer spaces that provide participants with a place of rest, dreaming and discussion.

–As organisers of an art event, we spend a lot of time reflecting on the complex questions related to taking space and giving space. As a festival, we take space in Kuopio to give it to voices that are underrepresented here, Itkonen continues.

Festival programme

The Argentinian artist Tiziano Cruz, the winner of last year’s ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, will bring his latest piece, Wayqeycuna, to Kuopio. Based on archival work, the piece proposes a reflection on how racial hierarchies and structures of domination operate in a world in which neoliberalism violently devastates cultural, vital and collective traces. The piece includes the Bread for the World workshop suitable for participants of all ages that includes baking bread and exploring the fickle boundaries between community, art and collaboration.

Dear Laila by Palestinian artist Basel Zaraa is an interactive installation that audience members get to experience one at a time. The idea for the piece was sown as the artist’s daughter began asking about Zaraa’s childhood home. As he was unable to take her there, he decided he would try and bring the place to his daughter by creating a model of his childhood home in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus. In Kuopio, audience members can experience the piece in English and Arabic. The Evening for Palestine event will extend the perspective of Dear Laila and provide information about the history of the region and include a discussion on its current situation.

During the week before the festival, an artists’ laboratory will take place in Kuopio whose participants are Ukrainian professionals in performance art. At the end of the laboratory, the participants will share their output at an event called Evening for Ukraine, held on the opening night of the festival. The Laboratory project will be carried out in collaboration with the Ukrainian Jam Factory Art Center.

Maija Hirvanen’s and the working group’s Hum creates a relation to the earth and to the soil through a choreographic performance. The performance awakens questions and experiences on being a human in this particular time, and simultaneously in the scale of deep time. The choreography consists of two independent parts of which the other takes place in the forests in Itkoniemi and the other in a dance studio.

Wear and Tear is an installation by Emma Fält, Roberto Fusco and Andrea Mancianti that engages the sense of touch and invites visitors to reflect on their own relationship with the past, memories, death, and decay through intimate and transient archives. Originating from the collaboration of Emma Fält and Sonja Jokiniemi, the work is based on a series of workshops hosted in Helsinki, which will also be organised during the summer in Kuopio and Hanko as a part of the Kulkue project.

The m2f2m collective formed by Frank Stankiewicz, Miranda Kastemaa and Mira Eskelinen will create a space dedicated to trans dreams in Kuopio that serves as a place of rest and listening without a need to hurry to the next one. Drawing from personal and community trans archives, Hibernation asks and makes room for what trans people are dreaming about.

Urgent – Residency for Artworks is a performance in which artist L. Puska takes care of other artists’ pieces. In Kuopio, Puska performs in various places around the city centre area with blob, a piece by Eva Spierenburg, providing passers-by with an opportunity to interact with them.

Artist Signe Becker creates a work in Kuopio where six hand-painted textiles around the city invite you to stop for a while, sit down, rest your legs, your head, soften your senses and take a glance at your surroundings. Soft Spots is a work commissioned by ANTI Festival that is inspired by the images that appear on the retina when you close your eyes to shut out the world.

More coming up

During the summer, the festival programme will be complemented with works such as participatory artwork created in public spaces by the students of art education at Aalto University, meet the artist sessions and other discussions. The ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art will be presented for the next time in 2025.

The daily schedule and bookings for the festival will be published in August. Plan your visit to Kuopio with these tips.