AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line


The background of RURAL CROSSROADS is the significance of authentic and/or historic landscapes and civilization in an urbanizing and globalizing world.
From the past the landscape is the base of human civilization. It is the landscape that offers conditions to develop community life. The diversity in nature, climate and geology is the source of diversity in cultures. Every environment has its own conditions and by soiling it, the land gets its more specific characteristics. The environment changes all the time, positive and negative, and the landscape influences the roots of the community. The landscape is source of life, history, stories, reality and coherence. In the arts landscape has been visualized in many ways, depending on the cultural meaning of it. The purpose of RURAL CROSSROADS is to use its diversity as a source of transnational communication, visualization and reflection.

The Nordic landscape, climate, culture and heritage have their own specific values regard to Central Europe and the Mediterranean regions. In RURAL CROSSROADS artists, together with local people, like youth, artisans, craftsmen and social groups, are exploring these landscape values and their cultural heritage to create an authentic image of their own environment. The reflection on and exchange between central and south European and Nordic characteristics will actual contribute to cultural participation and increase awareness of historical and cultural knowledge as well as the emergence of new traditions and contemporary cultural heritage. It will strengthen the cultural awareness of the youth in small rural societies in the Nordic region.

In the innovative art project RURAL CROSSROADS Nordic, Central European and Mediterranean artists come together in small rural art societies for intense artistic dialogue in transnational settings. Through experimental art productions the artists will contribute to cultural reflection and exchange, and increase awareness of historical and cultural knowledge as well as the emergence of new traditions and contemporary cultural heritage. The innovative art production will initiate and develop new communication and increase rural cultural exchange between the Nordic region on the one hand and Central European and Mediterranean regions on the other.

The basic purpose of RURAL CROSSROADS is to develop, perform, register and exchange artistic and cultural cooperation between local societies in similar ecological sensitive rural environments at first in Finland, Sweden, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey. The artistic collaboration will intensify the specific strength and spirit of the different locations in a transnational dimension through experimental art performances based on authentic landscape values. By combining local qualities RURAL CROSSROADS functions as a transnational source of expertise of creative potential.

The RURAL CROSSROADS’ partners on the different locations aim to activate the competencies for cultural and artistic development of their rural area through experimental art performances based on authentic sources.
They plan:
- to exchange and register experiences in rural development in a transnational setting
- innovative art education programs in cooperation with artists, experts and local schools
- artist’s collaboration, exchange, and participation in art events and art education programs during a residence stay

The final aim of RURAL CROSSROADS is to create a permanent transnational art and culture platform to investigate and exchange, collaborate and produce international multidisciplinary dialogue in new forms of art production on exceptional rural locations.
RURAL CROSSROADS will also join cultural knowledge and understanding of peripheral regions through new forms of art based on authentic landscape values and cultural diversity. It stimulates cultural rural identity in a globalizing and urbanizing world. Transnational collaboration creates new forms of expression and communication to share, exchange and strengthen cultural identity of youth in these regions. The transnational contribution will strengthen their cultural connection with the Nordic region and Europe.

The long-term goal of RURAL CROSSROADS is to add specific cultural and artistic values to the different locations and to initiate an inviting environment for innovative and sustainable development based on the existing qualities of these characteristic locations. It is also a long-term goal of RURAL CROSSROADS to create intensive artistic and cultural cooperation between small rural villages through transnational artists’ exchange.


blue zone: NORDIC-BALTIC region, green zone: Central Europe, orange zone: Mediterranean region
red: locations Sweden, Finland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey
blue lines: Nordic artists to Central Europe and Mediterranean region
black lines: artists from Central Europe and Mediterranean region to Nordic region

The project is planned from May 2011 until September 2012.

Information about RURAL CROSSROADS can also be found on the website of RhizEu.

THIS IS OUR NATURE, part of the project is funded by:

Other funding has been applied for.



©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.