Series of Five Performances
Supported by Taike (Arts Promotion Center Finland)
Photographer: Aman Askarizad Masoule
Saturdays is a series of durational performances about the challenges of integrating into Finnish society. Although Finland pursues multiculturalism, the social interactions of the non-Finnish people in the country are majorly limited to their own communities, especially the immigrants from Africa and the Middle east. They can hardly blend with the more resistant layers of society. The cultural structure is such that although you are accepted in society, there is always a glass wall between the guest and the host. Saturdays Project tries to explore this issue by making a bridge to the Finn audience living in Helsinki through the newspaper and creating a situation in which this glass wall can be partially removed.
As an artist from the Middle East, my first encounter with the Finnish society was different from other groups of immigrants from that region. I came here as a student. It let me skip society and come straight to a selected community of individuals in Aalto University. I found myself among highly-educated Finns who are more open to immigration than other groups and a diverse group of students from all over the world. Therefore, at that point, I could not have the chance to understand the actual challenges of integration into society and the existing resistance. It was only after the graduation of my friends and myself that I found myself facing a society that was not as welcoming as I thought it is.
In this context, Saturdays Project can be considered as my reflection on the challenges of finding my way through society. It is aimed to bridge the gap between me and the part of society that I really find it hard to communicate with and they might hardly ever notice me or are always hesitant to approach me.