Lahti Finland events. Art performance dealing with the Finnish civil war in 1918 aims to involve 22 000 participants.
The Finnish artist Kaisa Salmi will realize a large-‐scale participatory performance “Fellman Field -‐ Living Monument of 22 000 People” in Lahti, Finland on Sunday the 28th of April 2013. A huge number of volunteers will be needed to facilitate the participatory and unifying artwork.
The performance deals with the events of spring 1918 during the Finnish Civil War, that were a part of the national, political and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe. The war was fought from 27 January to 15 May 1918 between the forces of the socialists led by the People’s Deputation of Finland, commonly called the “Reds”, and the forces of the non-‐socialist, conservative-‐led Senate, commonly called the “Whites”. In Lahti, 22 000 prisoners from the “Red” side spent 6 days waiting for their sentences during April–May 1918. This was the largest concentration camp of the Civil War.
In the participatory artwork by Kaisa Salmi this event is reenacted in a contemporary artistic form. There is a lack of constructive discussion concerning the Civil War in Finnish society. The 95-‐year-‐old events are still a sore subject. Kaisa Salmi aspires to accompany the participantson a soulful journey through a collective experience. The participants will experience a breathtaking connection to other people and history.
The scale and execution of the project make it unique both in Finland and internationally. A group of 120 assistant directors will be selected from the participants to help direct the choreography. This is the same amount as the number of soldiers from the “White” side who tried to control the huge crowd in 1918.
Kaisa Salmi is known for her remarkable environmental artworks. She covered the stairs of the Finnish Parliament House as well as the front of Turku Cathedral with flowers, and Narinkkatori, a central square in Helsinki, with plastic garbage. The project Fellman Field -‐ Living Monument of 22 000 People forms part of her artistic doctoral research at Aalto University.
The choreographer Hanna Brotherus is responsible for the artistic direction of the crowd. Producer Jenni Saario and curator Laura Kokkonen are also part of the executive team. The event will also be filmed for a video work to be shown in Lahti Art Museum in autumn 2013. Rauno Ronkainen is responsible for the cinematography.
The performance is implemented in collaboration with Lahti Art Museum. Lahti is a city of 103,000 inhabitants in Southern Finland, approximately 100 km north of Helsinki. Associations, organisations and also private individuals are expected to participate. Taking part does not require any experience in the performing arts – a willingness to be part of a collective experience is enough. Enrolment has already begun.
More information from Kaisa Salmi (email@example.com, tel. +358-‐40-‐527 1347) and Ville-‐Matti Rautjoki of Lahti Art Museum (ville-‐firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358-‐50-‐398 5513).