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FMQ Podcast, Episode 1: Artists at Risk

by Matti Nives

The first episode of the FMQ Podcast deals with artist residencies. Ivor Stodolsku and Marita Muukkonen from the Artists at Risk institution tell us about their work with artists who have had to flee their home country due to pressing political situations.

After a brief introduction to the exemplary practices at the Mustarinda Residence in Kainuu, Finland, Ivor Stodolsku and Marita Muukkonen, the co-founding co-directors of the Artists at Risk, talk about the AR institution and network.

“Artists at Risk is an institution which works in the intersection of art and human rights”, Muukkonen explains.

“Our anchor institution in based in Helsinki, with 12 different localities in Europe and beyond” Stodolsky says. “We’re recognised as the go-to residency for visual artists at risk, but we’ve come to realise that there are many different fields of art which are not covered by existing institutions in the field of human rights, so we’ve taken in musicians, photographers, filmmakers, theatre makers, and so on.”

“One of our first musicians was Ramy Essam, the so called ‘singer of the Tahir Square’ from Egypt. He hadn’t been able to play music for two years, and when he came to Helsinki he performed with the Finnish rap artist Paleface in Helsinki”, Muukkonen tells. “We have developed a special model with local actors called the Helsinki Model to ensure that the artists have the best working conditions to arrive in Helsinki and to work here. Our experience is that our residents are very active when given the chance to continue their artistic practice again.”

Artists at Risk Pavillion will open at Gallery Rankka in Helsinki on 25 October, 2019.

Featured photo: a Map from the Artists at Risk website.