Other Home - documentary theatre project on integration

Researchers: Artistic Director and researcher Jussi Lehtonen, Professor Sari Pöyhönen, Project Researcher Eeva-Leena Haapakangas  

Duration: 2016-2018 

Description of the project  

Other Home is part of the ArtsEqual initiative funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Finnish Academy. Project examines how artists of different nationalities and ethnic origins relate to their stay in Finland, the place of language in their art and their efforts to join artistic communities.  

Other Home, will culminate in a documentary-based theatre performance which can be seen in the Finnish National Theatre’s Omapohja studio. The oldest Finnish-language theatre in the country is opening its doors to the idea that art’s potential no longer lies uniquely in the hands and hearts of native speakers. The stage unites representatives of diverse cultures, all of whom are right at home in the world of art. The production deals with both integration and non-integration. It also ponders the importance of art and community in different people’s lives. How is it possible to integrate the experience of being a refugee? How to integrate a person’s relationship with God? Using speech, music and movement, the show explores stories told by people who have fled from war zones and survived life-threatening journeys.  

The project has been devised by the Touring Stage’s Artistic Director Jussi Lehtonen, who will also be directing the final performance. In spring 2017, the Other Home project will organize two low-threshold workshops in cooperation with the City of Helsinki. The workshops will be open to recently arrived refugees. The first will focus on participants’ poems and stories and the process of staging them.  The second will concentrate on music and various other forms of expression.

More information about the project here

In the video below, researcher Jussi Lehtonen tells more about the project:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgtLpJckB14 (Finnish)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTLJcgWG6WY (Arabic)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5LYw0wvwuU (English)