posted in: Artists 2018 | 0

Maryan Abdulkarim: How we deconstruct the imbalance of power
Workshop: Friday 21.9. between 14-17
Workshop requires registration in advance. Workshop location is shared to chosen participants. THE WORKSHOP IS FULLY BOOKED.

Maryan Abdulkarim’s workshop starts the History Will Be Kind to Me for I Intend to Perform It -project’s series of eight performances. During the workshops participants discuss the festival’s themes and try to find ways to think collectively. Workshop aims to find answers to the question ”How can we deconstruct the imbalance of power?” by using different kinds of experiences and knowledges.

The workshop begins with a short introduction by Maryan Abdulkarim and continues with working sessions in small groups. At the end there will a collective discussion about the results, but the aim is not to find one univocal answer to the question.

Maryan Abdulkarim
Maryan Abdulkarim

Maryan Abdulkarim is Somalia born social speaker, writer and expert in questions concerning equality living in Helsinki. Abdulkarim hosts feminist collective Silta together with theatre director and dramaturg Pauliina Feodoroff, and she often works together with artist-choreographer Sonya Lindfors. Abdulkarim is also a  founding member of Nordic Feminist Network, including policymakers from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sami regions. Abdulkarim’s and Eeva Talvitie’s book, “About ten myths on feminism”, was published in Finnish in 2018. Currently Abdulkarim is writing a book about Finnish migrants together with Uwa Iduozee, is a debytant screenwriter in Tuffifilm’s “Singular case” -project, and is working on Sonya Lindfors’s piece “We Should Alla Be Dreaming” for Baltic Circle in November.


Maryan Abdulkarim interviewed by Leena Kela

You are publicly known as an activist, writer and feminist. How would you define yourself?

I don’t define myself to a category. Work for me is about maintaining financial independence. Activism is reacting to the conditions in which I find myself. The definitions often come from the outside and can be useful at times but personally I don’t need them.

You were born in Somalia and you have lived in Finland since you were a small child. Lately you have been working with a choreographer Sonya Lindfors with a project focusing on  dreaming together of a different future. In past decades Finland has been going through a shift from being very white country to having more diversity. How do you see Finland changing in coming 30 years?

I hope that the change will be towards a society that is truly free. The dreaming practise Sonya and I are working on investigates the ”what then” part of our activism. What happens when there is no more struggle? How does the society be like? How will it feel? What do we do? Who are we if the struggle is no longer a big part of what we do?

Do you have some suggestions on how to decolonize public space? What could each of us do from our own behalf?

I think it’s always good to know the history. The society functions on social norms created by people. How did these come to be? Change is easy and people adapt quite easily to change in the end. So small steps and big visions. We start by naming situations and bringing attention to what is off. Engage, question. Soft strategies for hard situations can be useful.