activism, alternative, architecture, Finland, veganism, Volunteering

Obey Your Chihuahua.

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Made of bricks.

Broken windows in brick buildings, horses painted with graffiti…

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…you guessed right – I’m back with another post about the alternative venue called ‘Cultural Stables’ (Kulttuuritallit in Finnish)!

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A little peek to the stage and dancing/hanging out area.

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On the bottom left an old poster of photo exhibition the local animal rights group had for their 10th anniversary a couple of years ago. Also some big bulb fairy lights and re-used decorative stuff.

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A close-up to the counter of the vegan cafe we had during the events. Free food for the musicians and affordable prices for everyone else!

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Can anyone translate the letters beneath the panda drawing?

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This swing is kinda pushing the structures to their limits when in use but no one really cares. I guess, you only live once?

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Smash fascism is kinda self-explanatory. Or if not, you should probably piss off from this blog to be honest.

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DIY work in progress.

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Symbol called ‘kirkkovene’ painted right next to a very on-point command. The word can refer to the kind of rowing boat used in rowing competitions – or a ‘vulgar’ drawing of vulva. I personally think (from a third-wave feminist perspective) that it can be used to reclaim the meaning of pussy from being a taboo to empower femininity.

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Lovely autumn/fall colour scheme!

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The running red chilli painting above reminds me of the art made for the film ‘Across the Universe with the red juicy strawberry.

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Gotta love the vibes!

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With ghostly face painted onto the cement wall I shall end this post!

Yours,

Miah

alternative, architecture, Finland, history, traveling

From Army Horses to Alternative Culture.

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Cold, dark, moist and slightly mouldy – yep, that’s pretty much what the alternative venue called ‘Cultural Stables’ (Kulttuuritallit in Finnish) is all about.

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‘Play chess’, the sign says.

I’m not even going to tell you how many layers of clothing I have on when volunteering in the vegan cafe corner. It is still cold – but absolutely worth every minute!

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The venue is located in a place where there used to be a lot of army barracks. This particular building was actually the stable for the horses in the 19th century. Even though the building hasn’t been used for this purpose for generations, the original function of the place is still transgressed in the meaning of the name Cultural Stables’ itself.

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Apparently a little bit over 10 years ago, local house squatters occupied the place. Surprisingly enough, the local government was willing to rent the place for free in order to be used to promote cultural activities. And that was when the association was formed.

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A painting on the door of a fridge; made using a black marker only.

Nowadays, ‘Cultural Stables’ is used as a venue for small bands, festivals and flea market days.

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The place has a very distinctive look; being filled with old sofas, salvaged bicycles-to-be-fixed and decorated with multiple graffiti made by various artists (and wannabes).

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More fridge art. This one is my favourite since it has a resemblance to my dearest dog, Lucy!

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Funnily enough, in Finnish this says ‘shut up!’ BUT the word ‘turpa’ can also mean the mouth or muzzle of a horse. Pun intended – I honestly don’t know!

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Our friend the Giraffe.

One of my artistically very talented friends had made this piece of art. Last summer she arrived carrying the giraffe; apparently it had been lost for a while but then found from the dark corners again. We happily gave it a place to stay from the small kitchen corner!

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Hi it’s me.

Personally, I am more than grateful to have been able to find this place and become even a somewhat of a member when volunteering at the vegan ‘cafe’.

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I wish there would be more active people interested in building different forms of communities by helping each other and becoming interested in each other’s situations. We are all so different – but often also in the position of giving (and receiving) something to another in need.

Yours,

Miah

daily blog, Finland, history, traveling

Small Town Girl.

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I don’t smoke traditional cigarettes, though.

After a very unsuccessful exam on societal statistics, I took off for a short overnight work-away holiday volunteering at a small punk event in my old home town. (More pics coming up later…)

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The town itself was born from the early railway traffic as a junction station between Riihimäki (town near Helsinki) and St. Petersburg in the 1870’s. In the next decade additional tracks were built to North and South which made Kouvola a busy railway town, connecting four railway lines together.

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The cultural history is still narrated through this old steam engine located at the railway yard. Also, the cardboard packaging of the (BEST!) liquorice made in Kouvola has a train like this on it.

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According to a Wikipedia article, the old Finnish word ‘kouko‘ (or ‘kouvo) was understood as something evil or malign of a kind (such as a bear, wild animal, ghost or a large human). Doesn’t it sound like the concept to frighten misbehaving kids with? And that’s exactly what it was used.

Nowadays Kouvola only has a reputation as being one of the shittiest towns to live in Finland. I’ll say no more (though there are even worse places to live in).

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The day I arrived, the renovation of the main pedestrian street had just been completed with new kinds of… fountains, and the whole town was literally buzzing about them on social media.

Apparently, there always needs to be a public place for peeing for the people taking a break or returning home from bars. Before these fountains, there used to be Stonehenge-look-a-like statues with running water located at the same place. Which people (mostly drunken men) used to pee onto. Doesn’t the atmosphere sound just charming?

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Would you sacrifice your shoes sitting on these benches?

Lately, however, there has been some positive development towards a bit more tolerant and vegan-based culture. I would’ve wanted to impress you with some pics of delicious raw vegan cakes but unfortunately my favourite small cafe wasn’t opened. I wonder what has happened to it – has it closed permanently or just relocated somewhere?

At least new premises are vacated from the old town centre after a huge shopping mall called Veturi (‘railway engine’) was constructed and opened a couple of kilometres away. Now a car is basically a necessity for moving around, as example, to do your groceries. (At least for large families.)

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The painting decorating the old terrace area of the cafe, however, was still there. The middle part has always been my favourite; especially the fox sitting with a cuppa. The piece is actually made by a local artist Mai Kaisla Mehtänen.

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Unlike it seems, it actually was rather sunny and warm on the day I arrived. Like a proper hippie nomad girl, I took a small break from walking, and noticed the bank full of coltsfeet plants (Tussilago farfara). A clear sign of spring, isn’t it?

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More stories, pics and poetry, of course, coming up this week! Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Yours,

Miah