Baltic Circle opens its 2023 festival with a discussion with the Sámi Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The discussion highlights how the truth affects Finland's identity, what new stories Finland's reconciliation demands, and whose task it is to tell them.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission began the hearing process in the autumn of 2023. The commission was established to make visible the Sámi experiences of forced Finnicization. In addition to reporting on the hearings, its goal is to raise awareness of the Sámi as Finland’s indigenous people and strengthen the realisation of Sámi rights in the country.
As part of its 2023 programme, the Baltic Circle Festival is organising a discussion that reflects on how the hearings lead to reconciliation. The event will feature expert speeches from the commission’s Chair, Hannele Pokka, Heidi Eriksen, the project manager of the Sámi psychosocial support unit Uvjj – Uvjâ – Uvja, mediator and conflict resolution professional Miriam Attias, and an expert on the structures of the art world, curator Taru Elfving.
“To achieve reconciliation, we need a reevaluation of Finnish history, in addition to political decisions. By inviting art institutions as allies, we explore the Finnish cultural landscape from a perspective that dares to acknowledge the history and contemporary colonialism and make space for diverse narratives. Finland’s narrative will inevitably change through the work of the commission, but whose task is it to bring it to light?” says the festival’s artistic director, Hanna Parry.
In addition to public discussion, Baltic Circle will also organise a workshop aimed at professionals in the art sector, focusing on the role of Finnish art institutions and their potential as promoters of reconciliation.
You are warmly welcome to the discussion on 17th November from 4 PM to 6 PM at Kahvila Willensauna, National Theatre.
The event is organised in collaboration with the Finnish-Norwegian Cultural Institute (FINNO), Nordic Culture Point and the Goethe Institut Finland.