Maria Mattila and Meri-Maija Näykki tell now what the Capital of Culture is actually about. Here you have their manifesto:
Dear cultural people of Tampere!
We met as a result of the Capital of Culture project, found common passions and it resulted in a joint project: Music video What are you waiting for? It’s a completely zero-budget DIY project born of the thirst for volunteering together.
We want this video to be an example of what a Capital of Culture project can mean. Not on the scale of the EU, Finland or even an urban institution, but what it means for us cultural creators and experiencers. It is an opportunity to create a common Tampere cultural identity and get rid of fences between different fields of culture.
It makes no sense for us to view the project as a matter for some others or to be skeptical of a “let’s see” attitude, when this is precisely about us and our future.
Why wait for some title in 2026 when we can have fun with the project now?
And in the meantime, let us say that the TampereRegion2026 project has not paid us anything for this speech. We ourselves want everybody to know that now the authors are taking ownership of this project!
Fuck the endless pose of money when it comes to culture! Focus on the content and meaning of art! Let’s remember again that art is an intrinsic value!
Tampere is not yet a city of culture. There is a lot of great culture here, but that still doesn’t make us a city of culture. Attitude and atmosphere do. As long as we treat each other as competitors, the Capital of Culture project in bitter tones and Tampere culture as defined by someone outside, we are not a city of culture.
The main theme of the TampereRegion2026 project, Quality by Equality, means not only social equality, but also equality between the arts. The fact that non-polished DIY culture is seen as an important part of the Pirkanmaa cultural field as art experienced in institutions.
This equality attitude must come from us, the people of culture. We need to embrace the fact that cultural activity is more for everyone! Let us always look at culture through context, not on a good-bad scale, but through the fact that it is significant to someone and brings intangible capital to all of us. You don’t have to like everything, but you can and should appreciate it! Criticism is essential, but let’s not use it to push others down, but for a better common culture!
You own Tampere culture!
You mean me?
You are a part of cultural life of Pirkanmaa.
You are entitled to do, experience and think as part of the Capital of Culture project!
The team employed by the project takes care of the bureaucracy, we take care of the content. Content that is our own, and not any project bullshit.
Don’t expect the Capital of Culture project to call and give permission, legitimacy or money. Let’s call the project and let us know what we’re doing. Because everything we do is already part of a city of culture called Tampere.
Let’s do it, but you don’t have to do it alone! Let’s do it together! Let’s do it so that together we can be proud of it!
Maria “Mara” Mattila & Meri-Maija “Jartsa” Näykki
The new music video What are you waiting for? by Tamperean rock band Mara Balls is a good example of what kind of collaboration can arise when artists from different fields meet, find common passions and give each other space to create.
Musician and urban artist Maria “Mara” Mattila and theater and circus director-producer Meri-Maija “Jartsa” Näykki, met for the first time in the autumn of 2019 through Tampere European Capital of Culture project. From the first encounter, the desire for collaboration lasted until a Facebook post during the corona spring led to an idea of a music video in which a group of people drink beer together choreographically.
Näykki and Mattila, underground creators in two fields want to highlight the fact that the Tampere ECoC project should be seen as an opportunity to increase co-operation between cultural industries and actors.
Näykki created the choreography for the song suggested by Mattila. A bunch of Tampere-based UG artists joined Näykki and Mattila’s “dance video group”: Liila Jokelin, Reetta Eerola, Meri Cengiz and Wilma Seppälä. Video was shot by Paavo Virtanen.