Closing the door…

… on culture. Well, a cultural approach to cultures at least.

That, unfortunately is what the current governement and contemporary fashions are doing to Helsinki. Cosmopolitan in its own way 100 or so years ago, opening up to more contemporary globalization more recently, Helsinki still has considerable trouble dealing with the reality of a world where borders are porous. People in Helsinki still resist the idea that there might be more than one acceptable way of doing things.  So it’s rather a shame that the one institution that was dedicated to celebrating diversity in culture, is to leave its home of 11 years and return, in much reduced form, to the bosom of the National Museum.

So, farewell then, Helsinki’s Museum of Cultures. You had a name that smacked a little of the Soviet. You had spatious premises where some of us once played tennis in typically Helsinki’ish functionalist surroundings. Yes, you were once A Palace of Tennis (a bit Soviet as a name that too!), and a remarkable architectural feat by one (a Helge Lundstrom according to Wikipedia…). You will, we hope, live on as a palace of entertainment, art and cinema, of pop-corn and unashamedly garish colours (see above). But cultural diversity? Forget it!

You are entered via this vestibule, where winter weather gets shaken off overcoats, where the warm inside fights against the inhospitable outside. From the year 2013 no entry here for visitors to an ethnographic museum, to those interested in other people’s achievements and lifeways.

In today’s The Usual a commentator (a Jukka O. Miettinen) has this to say:

Jotakin on kulttuuripolitiikassamme pahasti vialla

or, more or less,

Something in our politics of culture is badly wrong

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One response to “Closing the door…

  1. Pingback: Erratum: Had I read Helsingin Sanomat | Jees Helsinki Jees

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