Artists at Risk (AR) -Safe Haven Helsinki Residency is curated by Perpetuum Mobile and co-hosted by PM and HIAP-Helsinki International Artists Programme and Eläintarha Villa. It is secured core long-term funding from the Helsinki City Cultural Office in 2016. Local partners on the AR-Safe Haven Helsinki Steering Committee include the Finnish Musicians’ Union, Artists’ Association of Finland, PEN-Finland, Anna Lindh Foundation, FIME Foundation, Culture for All and the Finnish Human Rights League.
AR-Safe Haven Helsinki operating under various titles since 2014 has hosted artists including Ramy Essam the famed “voice of Tahrir square” from Cairo, the acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Issa Touma from Aleppo (who recently won the London Film Festival and European Film Prize), visual artist Erkan Özgen from Diyabakir/Amed, visual artist and graphic designer Shieko Reto from Kuala Lumpur, El Haqed, the leading political hip-hop artist from Morocco, and Vasyl Cherepanyn who co-organized the Kyiv Biennale 2015 in Ukraine for which Perpetuum Mobile curated the ‘The School of the Displaced’.
The length of the residencies vary from 3-18 months. There are three to four Artists at Risk residents hosted at the same time year around. The residency includes a monthly grant, apartment/studio, travels, visa and insurance costs, a limited production budget and curatorial and administrative support. The residency can host a family.
Perpetuum Mobilε (PM), is a curatorial vehicle which brings together art, practice and enquiry. It acts as a conduit and engine to re-imagine certain basic historical, theoretical as well as practical paradigms in fields which often exist in disparate institutional frames and territories. PM has worked extensively in the Nordic, European and international field.
Perpetuum Mobile develops longer-term thematic projects which come to include conferences, workshops, residencies, small and large exhibitions, festivals, public and street art, publications, films and new formats. PM’s longer-term thematic platforms include the Re-Aligned Project, the Perpetual Pavilion, the Perestroika Project, The Arts Assembly, Artists at Risk, Sino-Fi and Mobile Talks.
The central focus of HIAP residency programmes is to provide opportunities for local and international artists and curators to conduct research, build networks and engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue with the HIAP community.
The artists’ residence in Villa Eläintarha maintained by the City of Helsinki Cultural Office is mainly intended for foreign artists and Finnish artists who reside permanently abroad. The residence is open to both, artists who come to Helsinki as a guest of a local association or who come to work independently.
Since the beginning of 2009 HIAP is coordinating the international residency activities at the Palmstierna studio complex on the historical fortress island of Suomenlinna in Helsinki. A Unesco World Heritage -site, Suomenlinna is a unique combination of diverse cultural activities, maritime environment and layers of history spanning over 250 years. Yet it is only a 15-minute ferry ride from the heart of the city. The Palmstierna studio complex building is rich in historical details and atmosphere and offers all modern amenities with full privacy within each of the studios and guest rooms. The Suomenlinna Studios, together with the Cable Factory Studios, form a lively international community for artists and other art practitioners visiting Helsinki.
Suomenlinna studio complex is a two-storey red brick barracks building originally from the 18th century renovated to meet contemporary standards. The complex comprises of nine residential units: five artists’ studios and four guest rooms. Each of the artists’ studios occupy from 80 to 120 m2 of floor space that is divided between a workspace downstairs and a separate, loft-style living space upstairs. The workspace features high ceilings and large windows facing northeast. A bathroom and kitchenette are located on the upper floor living area. A balcony facing southwest with nice views and a glimpse of the sea is also found in the unit. One of the studios, with concrete floor and lifting equipment, is particularly suitable for working on pieces with extensive material dimensions.
Villa Eläintarha is an old wooden villa that is located in Tokoinranta, near Töölönlahti bay. The vicinity of the bay and a peaceful park around the villa ensure a pleasant and quiet living environment. The busy Hakaniemi marketplace with shops and versatile transport connections is located only a five-minute walk from the villa. The main railway station is about a kilometre away and is easily accessible by foot.
The facilities in the villa offer residents a home-like environment. There are five individually decorated single rooms and four of the rooms also have a possibility for an extra bed. The rooms include bedlinen and towels. The residents share a living room equipped with a television, two bathrooms with a shower, two toilets and a kitchen. The kitchen is fully equipped so the residents can cook their meals. A washing machine and a dryer are also available to the residents. The form of the residence is partly shared housing with other residence artists. The artists’ residence is located on the second floor and it is not accessible to people with certain physical disabilities.