• AREFS taide ja kultuuri ry is located in Haukivuori in rural Finland and organizes and supports art and culture projects

AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association



  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line







MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN

A preparation project to set up an international art and culture co-operation and exchange program with and for the local society of Haukivuori and their youth.

GENERAL
This art and culture program will develop and strengthen the roots of children and youth on rural locations, and will prepare them for a strong future in Europe with respect for their origin.

The project is set up to connect different rural societies and their art organizations throughout Europe.

The Finnish initiator AREFS is the responsible organization with the experience and expertise to work in an international network and to guarantee a high quality project.

European rural area contains unknown and hidden treasures.
Finnish roots are in nature – in the lakes, forests and smooth rocks of the Finnish landscape.

The international and multicultural composition of Haukivuori is a great challenge for the youth in this village. Experiences with different cultures are important contributions to their social skills, attitude, language skills and orientation on the future.
The roots of this youth have to stay in nature and in the multicultural European context, and will be therefore different than the roots of earlier generations.

Even internet seems to bring the whole world to every place still these experiences are based on distance and anonymity. It still keeps rural east Finland far away from the center of Europe. The often isolated societies are tied to local and that makes it difficult to get acquainted with the rest of Europe. This phenomenon is the key to MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN and tailored to the conditions of the young people in Haukivuori.

In the pre-project AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry is searching for connection with similar isolated rural communities in other parts of Europe, to share, exchange and strengthen cultural identity and to build on true roots of children and youth in these regions.

During the pre-project MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry will start with local partners to develop an innovative art and culture program to be executed by regional artists with international experiences.
This art and culture program will strengthen the rural roots of children and youth, and will prepare them for a strong future in Europe with respect for their origin.
The art projects will also engage the public in environmental awareness and action and help the population understand its relationship with the environment, the region and local know-how.

PRE-PROJECT MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN
GOALS
The pre-project MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN
• is based on structural developing, building on, and strengthen the rural roots of children in the European context
• is based on international co-operation with partners on similar ecological sensitive rural environments as Haukivuori

The pre-project MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN
• will build on an extra art and culture curriculum for the schools to support the development of strong roots
• will connect Haukivuori with different rural locations in Europe
• will engage the public in environmental awareness and local quality
• will develop and build on the new and characteristic international image of Haukivuori

CONTENT
The pre-project MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN is
• in co-operation with the school of Haukivuori, setting up an extra art and culture curriculum, an innovative program by regional artists with international experiences on similar locations concerning, this program will contribute to structural developing and building on strong roots of children and youth

• preparing with the artists, schools and local organizations the collective activity WE COME FROM HERE/THIS IS OUR NATURE (work title) and is during the pre-project executing an exhibition and publication as a presentation to the own society and the partner locations

• selecting, contacting and visiting several similar locations in Europe to create an international network based on art and culture exchange and conditions for the youth

• preparing with the involved local organizations the content and program for an international art and culture development project (2011-2013) with partners on similar ecological sensitive rural environments as Haukivuori

HAUKIVUORI
The village Haukivuori is located in the rural area of Mikkeli on the shores of lake Kyyvesi. After the railway station has been build the center of the village has moved from kirkonkylä to this part. Different small neighborhoods are distributed to a large area (500 km²). The historical neighborhoods Saksalanharju and kirkonkylä are situated on the biggest monolith of Europe and are part of an important nature heritage.

Haukivuori has a remarkable composition of the population, it has an unusually high percentage of international inhabitants; 3.8% of the 2300 inhabitants are foreigners, while the national average for the whole Finland is 1.8%. One can find Bosnians, Burmese, Afghans, Dutch, Russians and Estonians among others, who have settled down in rural Haukivuori and are integrating into the local culture.
On a total of 200 the population of the local secondary school has 15 foreign students. (2007)

Agriculture and forestry (20%), industry (20%) and services (55%) are the main economic sources. 14% of the working population is unemployed (Mikkeli 12% Finland 9.5%) Creative industry and tourism are future directed new industries and are in need of employees with international experiences and foreign language skills.

The international and multicultural composition of Haukivuori is a great challenge for the development of the local society. The pre-project MY ROOTS FOR THE FUTURE / MINUN JUURENI TULEVAISUUTEEN will vitalize and renew the characteristics of Haukivuori with the aim to prepare their youth on a European directed future based on local qualities. The final international art and culture program will be executed by regional artists with international experiences on similar locations.

Artists, citizens, children and teachers of Haukivuori will be part of the project and participate in the planned program. The program will exist of an extra art and culture curriculum for the school, lectures, workshops, collective activities and artist’s presentations for the local society.
Active participating, communicating and producing of locals will influence and improve their craftsmanship and is valuable for the well-being of the citizens and the image of Haukivuori.

The project is initiated on request of a member of the board of the EU LEADER+ Veej'jakaja in Mikkeli, as part of the Rural Development program LEADER/LAG of the EU. It was their first application for an international (art) project for this LEADER+ group. Unfortunately the project is refused on wrong interpretation of the content of the project. In the opinion of Veej'jakaja the target group is too narrow, and they do not give funding to artist's exchange.  In their vision also the homelands of the refugees have to be part of the project.

Fortunately art centre Saksala ArtRadius has got a special award by Etelä-Savon taidetoimikunta to start with the first part of THIS IS OUR NATURE, a part of the art education program of this project . Through that it is possible to initiate cooperation between the artist-in-residence program of Saksala ArtRadius and the local schools.
This funding makes it possible to start with:
- local schools to develop an innovative art education program to be executed by artists with international experiences.
This art and culture program will strengthen the rural roots of children and youth, and will prepare them for a strong future in Europe with respect for their origin.

AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry is looking forward to find funding to execute the international exchange and cooperation with different similar locations in Europe. The rural development of isolated locations need support.

Finally this project has been changed in THIS IS OUR NATURE which started in 2010 at the school in Haukivuori. The follow-up of the program THIS IS MY BACKYARD is still running.
 

©2009 AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry, Finland. All rights reserved.
No reproduction by any means or in any language without prior permission of the author.