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Literature outside of literature in the spotlight

This year’s Outsider Art Festival literary program can be enjoyed on the OAF stage at Espa Stage during Helsinki Day on June 12, as well as at the National Museum and Radio Helsinki. A stage for OAF and WSOY poets will be set up at the National Museum during the Night of the Arts on August 17. On the radio, the journalists will read texts written in the workshops of the OAF literary mentoring program. The aim of the mentoring program is to promote literature outside of literature. The program is a collaboration with WSOY.

The curators of this year’s literary program are Aleksis Salusjärvi, literary and art critic, journalist and teacher, and Sanni Purhonen, poet, journalist, literary critic and activist for special groups. “The curation was interesting and diverse, and each writer has a personal perspective. It is only at the festival that the program comes to life, when the audience will be able to experience it. I’m really looking forward to that,” says Purhonen.

According to Salusjärvi, the program will feature an amazingly diverse ensemble. “The most clear-cut unifying feature of the texts is their personality and expressiveness. Many of the writings are based on life experiences,” says Salusjärvi, and continues: “We make literature outside of literature: textual worlds that are personal and self-taught. In literature there is often a strong sense of detachment: A poet is classically a figure who sees things from close up, but as an outsider. We make these stories and thoughts visible to the world.”

“I am looking forward to creating new audiences, eyes and ears for these texts,” Salusjärvi tells. “I also look forward to a literary revolution! It is especially valuable to collect the exact experiences of people who share the feeling of not belonging. They show how we are all outsiders at times – what it is like to be a human today. Texts like these have the ability to see the world through the eyes of another, and that is one of the most valuable powers of literature. Through the texts of our writers, everyone can see their world in a different light. That is something that is irreplaceable.”

More about this year’s literary artists: Jim Dahl, Toivo Hauru, Liisa Marjatta Jokinen, Julius Kuusisaari, Mika Leminen, Eeva Lusenius

More about the Literature Mentoring Program. More about the OAF Stage. More about the Opening program of the Night of the Arts.

The events are free of charge.

More info to come.