Photo: Dida Zende
Sweating for Europe is a series of discussions on the most burning topics, bringing MEPs and citizens together in a unique context in front of the European Parliament building. The three-day event series takes place around an old fire truck that has been transformed into a movable wood burning sauna.
The background for the project is the need to break traditional borders of closed doors and hierarchical systems. On 24-25 April, Sweating for Europe invites MEPs into the sauna amongst the timeliest topics. In the after-heat of the sauna session, the MEPs and citizens face each other in a moderated panel discussion hosted by Parlamentarium, the Europen Parliament Visitors’ Centre. Both evenings end with an open-for-all sauna and cultural programme, with bands from different parts of Europe tuning the atmosphere. On Wednesday 26 April, the sauna travels to BOZAR in the centre of Brussels, and invites local people to continue the discussion. On Thursday 27 April, Bruzz enters the sauna, interviewing a number of interesting Brussels characters throughout the day to be heard on radio & TV.
The event unites the Finnish sauna tradition with the European political discourse. Saunas and spas are part of the diverse shared cultural heritage of our continent. By breaking the conventional and familiar discussion platform, the fire truck sauna also highlights the potential of culture in contributing to large societal questions. In Finland, the sauna is perceived as a place for peace, relaxation and truthfulness. When the sauna is entered, all things futile are left behind. These are attributes that the political discourse could benefit from. In the history of independent Finland many big decisions have matured in the sauna – now it is Europe’s turn to enter.
The FIREFIT sauna was created by artist Dida Zende, handcrafted during the Helsinki Design Capital year 2012, at the initiative of Goethe-Institut Finnland. Sweating for Europe is realised by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, Goethe-Institut Brüssel, and Alliance Française de Bruxelles-Europe, in collaboration with EUNIC Brussels, Instituto Camões, the Finnish Sauna Society, BOZAR, and Visit.Brussels. The project is part of the official programme of the Finland 100 anniversary programme.
The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, in collaboration with Dutch art publishers Jap Sam Books, presents the essay collection Home Reassembled – On Art, Destruction and Belonging.
Curator Anni Fahler and artist Timo Wright are launching ARS – Artist Residency Swap, a new artist exchange pilot programme in the Benelux. The idea behind the programme is a platform where artists can swap both their work space and home with another artist from a different country. The goal is to create a space where artists all over the world can connect through their profile in order to not only share their work and living space, but also experiences and insights.
This autumn, the EUNIC network of European National Institutes for Culture will for the seventh time bring together our diverse languages and cultures through poetry. On 26 September on the European Day of Languages, the Finnish poetry slam duo Melinda & Malin will open the Transpoesie series with two performances.
Street View (Reassembled) will be on display next at the Gothenburg Kulturkalas culture festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Gothenburg Kulturkalas is one of the Nordic countries’ largest cultural festivals, reaching about 1.5 million visitors per year. The festival that has taken place since 1991, offers audiences cultural experiences across the fields of the performing arts, literature, film and food.
This autumn, the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is hosting Finnish language courses for beginners (FI1) and advancing students (FI2, FI3 and FI4) as well as an intensive course. The classes will meet as usual from Tuesday to Saturday near the Sablon square at Rue de l’Arbre/Boomstraat 14/3.