The Centenary of Finland’s Independence in Hungary

The centenary of Finland’s independence is being celebrated by a series of events in Hungary. The celebration started in January with the exhibition Independence Through the Lenses in the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center. Another major event at the beginning of 2017 was the super popular Finnish Film Days.

The main theme for Finland 100 is togetherness which will also be represented at this year’s SOPPA pop-up restaurant in the garden of the Embassy of Finland in Budapest on Saturday 20 May. SOPPA with its varied and joyful programme has become a traditional annual event–a treat to the entire family. Finland’s first Unicef Celebrity Ambassadors Eija Ahvo and Susanna Haavisto, accompanied by Esa Helasvuo, will perform at the event.

During the centenary year FinnAgora also celebrates the ethnic minorities in Finland, among them the Sámi people, the only indigenous people of Fenno-Scandinavia, and in fact, of the whole European Union. The event Young Sámis and cultural activism on 23-29 May will introduce the politically committed art of young Sámi artists and discuss the rights and situation of indigenous people in our current society through arts.

Co-organised by FinnAgora and the Embassy of Finland in Budapest Brave pupil – Future-oriented teacher will be another highlight of the centenary year. One of the main objectives of the projects will be to enrich Hungarian students’ knowledge about Finland and Finnish culture, and to introduce the most successful and innovative aspects of the Finnish education system to the Hungarian society of teachers.

In 2017 FinnAgora would also like to focus on and support contemporary Finnish literature and its Hungarian translators. In February, the Hungarian-Finnish Society and the Department of Finno-Ugric Studies at Eötvös Loránd University announced a translation competition for young translators of Finnish literature. FinnAgora hopes that Hungarian readers will be able to read more and more contemporary Finnish literature in excellent Hungarian translations in the future. The deadline for submitting the entires is July 2017.

This year’s program is rich in exhibitions introducing contemporary Finnish architecture, design, jazz, as well as media and light art to the Hungarian public. On 29 June, the FUGA Budapest Center of Architecture will host the travelling exhibition Echoes – 100 years in Finnish Architecture and Design, which is centred around the most significant achievements of Finnish design and architecture but aims also to bring less widely known treasures into the limelight. The annual exhibition Design Without Borders (from 1 April till 7 May, 2017.), co-organised by madeinhungary and MeeD also presents works of young Finnish designers.

This years’ ELEVEN Autumn street festival in Bartók Béla Boulevard, in Buda’s District XI, will also have the 100 years old Finland as a theme. The street festival will be held for the fourth time in September 2017. Bartók Béla Boulevard is known for its numerous art galleries and lively cultural scene. FinnAgora and the Embassy of Finland in Budapest will join forces with the organisers to fill the festival programme celebrating Finland’s centenary year.

The celebrations will culminate in a light show in early December, when Budapest will be dressed in the Finnish national colours for the week of Finnish Independence Day, and in a jubilee concert held on 3 December at Liszt Academy.