Greetings from Finland! I arrived here last week, not because I had the coronavirus, but just in case. FinnAgora’s office is now closed and employees were each allowed to decide whether they would stay in Hungary or travel back to Finland for the time of the crisis. As a result, half of our team is now working in Finland and the other half in Hungary.
During the crisis, the FinnAgora team is working remotely, holding regular video conferences over the Internet. It works surprisingly well, although it doesn't compare to meeting face to face. Still, we can see each other on the screens, exchange current news, production updates and program ideas. I myself work in the countryside on the glass porch of my summer house, watching the last snow melt. I’m in home quarantine together with my husband.
In Finland, our everyday lives revolve around the coronavirus. In addition to the human and economic challenges, we - in the cultural sector in particular - are very concerned about the problems caused by the epidemic in this field. Theaters and concert halls have closed their doors, and freelancers' jobs have been reset during the spring. It seems like this spring's word is "closed".
For this reason, FinnAgora in cooperation with partner institutes in other countries, decided to take action. As enthusiastic supporters of international cultural and research work, we are concerned that international cooperation in the cultural field is going to suffer in such hard times.
Our website has up-to-date information on the grand open call for the Together Alone program. We want to support creative projects that are now missing their stages, help artists continue their work and also portray these extraordinary times with artistic solutions. Please visit our home page www.finnagora.hu for more information.
FinnAgora started working remotely shortly after the corona situation had begun to unfold. We have postponed a number of events planned for the spring and few of them had to be canceled. We care about our audience and know that now is not the time for such public events. Let's make this a time of renewing and planning the future together but alone.
We will be regularly updating this blog with our thoughts, ideas and plans. For example, we will soon give tips for finding artistic and cultural experiences through the Internet.
I am following the events in Finland, and first of all, the good news is: for the first time in decades, the authorities have decided to launch their emergency supplies - such as millions of respirator masks, which can now be distributed especially to susceptible nurses and doctors, but also to others in need.
Take care of each other!
Cita Högnabba Lumikero