New Performance Turku Festival 2020: MOBILITIES

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Photo: Iris Kärkkäinen

New Performance Turku Festival 2020 is looking into questions around mobilities and movement in this historically exceptional period of time.

The festival’s invited performance works around the theme MOBILITIES approach, re-think and unlearn questions on international mobility. The festival will also move its audiences throughout different routes in various, site-specific spaces and places. Festival works will be presented in multiple venues and sites around the city of Turku, local areas and the Turku archipelago in September 3-6th.

This year’s MOBILITIES theme is also strongly affected with questions and circumstances on sustainability. The principle for this year’s festival was to invite all artists traveling by land only. The intention with this decision is to look into sustainable ways of traveling in the context of international festival and to seek alternatives for flying.

As an international and local organization, we need to find safe and responsible ways to continue our activities during and after the corona pandemic and the state of emergency in the world. In addition to our audiences and local communities, we are also responsible for our invited artists and their communities. We want to fully commit to our goal this year, being an international festival with minimal carbon footprint, but also react responsibly to the pandemic. This year the festival artists will only travel from abroad via participatory performance concepts, scores, ideas and discussions. The international aspects of the festival will still actualize in various ways, as is characteristic to New Performance Turku Festival. We will invite artist active in the international scene, residing and working in Finland, and utilize virtual and digital systems in the performances and encounters when needed.

Mobility and movements as festival themes will open up with festival works dealing with war and migration caused by it, home and habitat, movement between environment and body via minerals and elements, bat navigation by echolocation and mobile carnival, a moving festival in the world that has been affected by the lockdown and curfews everywhere. At the same time the works also approach the grief and trauma caused by the current state of emergency.

In addition to questions around international mobility, the festival is also focusing in localities. The festival audience will move in and around local areas. Mobility and movement will be addressed in the content of the performance works but also physically – inviting the audience to move within the works by walking, biking and by different ways of transportation – a bus, a boat and a ship.

We are closely following the current corona situation and guidelines by authorities and will react accordingly. The festival works and full programme will be published in August 2020. It may be possible that the festival will be realized with very limited physical audiences only.

“It’s been challenging, in multiple levels, to plan an international performance art festival during this spring’s uncertainties. At the same time the festival’s actualization and the future encounters of the performance art works, artists and audiences have become more important than ever.

The power of performance art lies in its ability to question and recognize something very significant of the time and reality around us. Now, when the invariably accelerated pace of the world has slowed down, even if temporarily, we might have the capacity to surrender for the momentariness.”

– Leena Kela, artistic director

“Originally, we chose “mobilities” to be the main theme of the New Performance Turku Festival 2020, and all participants were asked to travel to and from Turku exclusively by land or by sea. The current global health crisis forced us to abandon this concept and to cancel the travels of artists and participants coming from abroad – including myself. Instead, those who are not based in Finland will present their works from a distance.

Such an unexpected development is, on one hand, a complication. On the other, it creates an opportunity for the exploration of new ways of doing art and thinking about art in the current hypermobile (post)pandemic world.”

– Antonín Brinda, visiting curator

Artists of the New Performance Turku Festival 2020: MOBILITIES

Ali Akbar Mehta (IN/FI)
Annaliina Niitamo (FI)
Antonín Brinda (CZ/BE)
Eero Yli-Vakkuri (FI)
Jan-Erik Andersson (FI)
Jon Irigoyen (SP/FI)
Kink Gong (FR)
Leena Kela (FI)
Marinka Limat (CH)
Nastja Säde Rönkkö (FI)
Rabota (RU)
Saara Hannula (FI)
Sanna Leinonen (FI)
Thomas Lilley (FI)
Toisissa tiloissa (FI)