Finnish visual artists in Berlin: (unwanted) walking gentrificators or (wanted) creative participants in shaping the city?
Laura Hirvi (The Finnish Institute in Germany)
Paper short abstract:
In this presentation, I examine the daily and artistic practices of contemporary Finnish visual artists in Berlin to highlight the dynamics that inform the complex interplay and power relations between the various local actors who participate in the process of producing and shaping Berlin’s urban space.
Paper long abstract:
Berlin is a European city that throughout history has played an important role in global politics. In addition, it constitutes a significant cultural center that draws artists from all over the world. Also artists from Finland have in the past decade in increasing numbers adopted Germany’s capital as their urban atelier. In this presentation, I examine the everyday lives and artistic practices of contemporary Finnish visual artists who have lived in Berlin for at least two months. Drawing on data gathered by means of ethnographic fieldwork, including 17 interviews, I intend to tackle the following research questions: How do Finnish artists participate through their daily as well as artistic practices in the development of Berlin’s socio-cultural space? In how far does the discourse of gentrification, which is omnipresent in today’s Berlin, influence their creative and daily actions and their position in the city? What role does their “Finnishness” play in this context? By looking at these three questions, I seek to highlight the dynamics that inform the complex interplay and power relations between various local actors who are involved in the process of producing and shaping Berlin’s urban space.
pARTiCI[TY]pate! Collaborative place-making between art, qualitative research and politics