TODAY’S theatre-goers have grown used to (some even weary of) multimedia experiments and envelope-pushing productions. Younger viewers should be no exception. Catering to that demand, Danish art collaboration Graense-Loes brings their production Fucking Alone to Helsinki for the Bravo! International Theatre Festival for Children and Youth.

Graense-Loes’ award-winning audiovisual performance grasps the difficult topic of human loneliness and focuses on people using technology instead of having real world contacts. Fucking Alone is described as a multimedia puppet theatre, with video projections and virtual media taking the stage as co-actors. The performance has gained international accolades, and teenagers and adults alike have enjoyed its modern object theatre and thought-provoking subject.

Learning the Finnish they don’t teach in school

Kaamos (noun)

English equivalent: Polar night.

Example of usage:

”Kaamos voi aiheuttaa kaamosmasennusta niin ihmisillä kuin eläimillä. Oireita ovat mm. unihäiriöt, ylensyönti, seksuaalinen taantuminen ja erakoituminen. Kaamoksesta voi selvitä matkustamalla ulkomaille.” (”Kaamos can cause depression in people as well as animals. Symptoms include e.g. sleep deprivation, loss of sexual appetite and becoming a hermit. Kaamos can be survived by travelling overseas. “)

Will they ever come true in this wretched world?

“Freedom for woman! Freedom of action, freedom of thought! Our spiritual strength is disheartened by the weight of old, stiffened shapes and customs. The impediment of free competition in different fields of society is forcing us to linger in material misery. In this way woman becomes a machine and loses her naturalness, existing only as a mere monkey of others. Life and a meaning of life appear in front of her as a book locked with seven seals.”

THIS is how Finnish writer, journalist and women’s rights advocate Minna Canth (1844–1897) described the social status of women in her article Of Women’s Issue in 1884.

CARTOON characters once restricted to the kid’s department now festoon adult apparel. Walk into any H&M or Sokos in Finland and you are bombarded with Snoopy, Tweety and Hello Kitty on anything from lingerie to lip gloss, all unmistakeably marketed to adults. Is this a vain attempt to reclaim childhood innocence or another marketing ploy embraced by a consumer society?

Merchandising turns any object into a commodity. Children’s merchandising has been strongly connected to children’s films and TV shows, while adult merchandising, previously based mostly on sports team items for fans, has also begun to exploit adult love for music, film and TV. Cartoons have long appealed to adults for their humour, so adults might also want to wear Spongebob or Shrek T-shirts.

DURING A WINTER like this one, when the whole country is blanketed with snow, the best maintained and illuminated tracks tend to get crowded. Turning your skis towards virgin snow, however, requires a completely new set of equipment, namely forest skis.

Compared to the ordinary cross-country skis, forest skis are much longer (240-280 cm) and wider (7 cm), which is why they float nicely, even in deep snow. One could always opt for snowshoes but they don’t glide like skis do. The tip of the forest ski is slightly narrow and soft as a birch branch. This means that the tip will always stay on the surface even in conditions of poor or powdery snow.