Young refugees make Finland international

Anna Knappe, Timo Piikkilä, Mari Ljokkoi, Juuso Oksala, Jaana Ristola
and Dimitri Okulov in Dortmundi preparing Inter-Cool 3.0.
The exhibition will open in MedienKunstVerein 17.9
- Youth as Refugees opened today

The Finnish government, companies and academies have found one thing they can agree on. That is internationalization.

Different seminars, ceremonial speeches and strategies all discuss how we could conquer the world. In the "Youth as Refugees" project the internationalization meant something quite the opposite. The Fine Arts students Anna Knappe, Jaana Ristola and Timo Piikkilä headed for the reception centres in Lammi, Turku and Kotka to work together with the young refugees.

In reception centres the students got the know the daily life of the refugees, filmed it and taught the young to film their own life themselves.

The project started in November 2009, and during the ten months they have gathered hundreds of hours of footage. "Youth as Refugees" website has gathered these videos, which brings the perspective of the young refugees available for the public. "Youth as Refugees" project was also co-created by Film and Television students Dimitri Okulov and Juuso Oksala, Fine Arts student Mari Ljokkoi and artist Pekka Niskanen.

How does the international Finland feel like, where the young escaping war have to wait unreasonable amount of time for the residence permit decisions? While they wait they have no chance of going to school or getting official Finnish lessons. They are routinely questioned by the police and the officials, but it is almost impossible to contact their own family.

The international, community art-based Youth as Refugees website opened today at The project is also part of the Inter-Cool 3.0 exhibition in Dortmund.

Inter-Cool 3.0
Read previous stories about the project