Travelogues in this Town – Multicultural Art Project

Travelogues in this Town (i.e. Matkakertomukseni tässä kaupungissa) is an ongoing visual theatre workshop and performance directed by Nella Turkki. The project started with its first step on the autumn of 2014 when Nella Turkki led an object theatre workshop for women in The Reception Centre of Oulu in northern Finland. During the workshop, the women from variety of cultural backgrounds had an opportunity to do applied drama- and object theatre exercises as well as participate in an empowering photography session with photographer Jenni Littow.

The participants quickly felt confidence in the group, and they started sharing their stories with each other. Through object theatre- and dance methods the women could find a way to share their stories in an encouraging group of other women. When there was no verbal language that everyone shared in common, puppetry, object theatre and different movement exercises worked as a common language for sharing emotions and experiences. According to both project participants and employees of the reception centre, the first part of the project had a good impact on the wellbeing of the participants. 

The next step of the project will therefore be a visual theatre performance staged by a multicultural group of women living in Oulu, where they will share their experiences in adapting themselves to the new culture. This time the group will also include some participants born in Finland as the main goal of the project is to increase interaction and understanding between different cultures. The presence of the audience plays an important role in the performance, as the performance will be build in interaction with the citizens of Oulu. There will be also an open talk after every show.

These workshops are for professional/advanced performers, who want to use dance- and theatre improvisation, physical theatre or object manipulation (puppetry) in their works in order to find new perspectives. Always considering the needs and interests of the certain group, the focus can be on performance projects offering tools for creation process, or as a workshop offering exercises for participant’s daily training.