Art & Artists

Conference Art and Artists
Nora Sayyad

Nora Sayyad was born in Sweden and lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. Currently, she is working on her MA studies in photography and film at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Her documentary work includes cross-border and universal themes of diversity. Her self biographical work challenges the viewer by questioning cultural, personal and temporal boundaries as well as borders which restrict liberty.


Spaces discusses the stories of multicultural upbringings of youngsters in Finland, where one is constantly reminded of disparatation. Even though many of these youngsters already have a strong self- perception of their identity, they are often willing to challenge mainstream thinking of them, in and outside of their own communities. What bounds these youngsters together are their diverse roots, which reach far and the fact that they are all seeking to find their own paths in life in surroundings that aren’t always inclusive.

Nora Sayyad's photographs from the TILAT/SPACES -project can be seen around the conference website. She will also be presenting in the conference on Thursday 14 Janu­ary 2021 at 14.00 (CET + 1).

Shareef Askar

As a Finnish media artist and filmmaker, Shareef Askar is interested in creating films that explore the theme of identity in western societies from the perspective of characters with minority backgrounds.


Working group: Shareef Askar, Eeva Karoliina Mäenpää, Arja Pekurinen, Carlos Marroquin, Samuli Salonen

Duration: 8 min

Language: Finnish with English subtitles

Sameer is an experimental short film about the hope of integration, longing for home and the never ending bureaucracy of being accepted. The short film strives to portray Finnishness and readdressing one’s own identity through the point of view of an asylum seeker and a person of colour.


Kemê is a multidisciplinary artist, poet, and cultural worker based in Helsinki, Finland. As an artist, Kemê works through photography, performance, installation and text Exploring the complexity of our construction and the constructions we inhabit through concepts like memory, representation, symbols, instability, the unconscious or tales.

Her current artistic practice, supported by The Arts Promotion Center Taike, is focused in the intersection between, identity, art, community, intersectional feminism and the quality of myths as an open-source.

As a culture worker and trained diversity agent, her work is centred on social justice, orbiting around cultural diversity, migration, antiracism and best practices in the art field. Kemê has worked with several initiatives such as Globe Art Point as project coordinator, Kiila, Helsinki City (project: Culture Kids) or the group Critical Friends (project: “An inclusive cultural sector in the Nordics” led by Arts Council Norway).

Poetry by Kemê on Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 14.00 (CET + 1).


"I wrote this poem for "The 20th Nordic Migration Research Conference and the 17th Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration Conference" held online from Finland on January 11–14, 2021, under the theme of Colonial/Racial Histories, National Narratives and Transnational Migration.

The poem is written and read in Spanish using words from the area where I happened to be born. I added to the title v.1 because I am sure this is the embryo of something not quite finished yet, but still, I like to share it too as poor and unfinished as it is in this video. I added a self-made translation in English I hope will help some non-spanish speakers.I really hope you will enjoy it." - Kemê

Nilay Kilinç

Nilay Kılınç is a social anthropologist, writer and documentarist. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at URBARIA, University of Helsinki, undertaking research about highly-skilled migrants in Nordic capitals. Read more here.

Bogdan Lupu

Bogdan Lupu is a Romanian-Italian artist based in Helsinki. He considers himself an intuitive expressionist painter with a dynamic combination of styles, methods, materials and concepts. Read more here.


Poetry & Performance: Nilay Kilinc
Artwork: Bogdan Lupu

Director: Roosa Näsi
Cinematographer: Nora Sayyad
Editor & Producer: Nilay Kilinc

Duration: 03:44
Language: English

Migrant Anxieties" is a literary and visual invitation to the intimate world of two migrants in Helsinki. Whilst the social anthropologist and writer Nilay Kilinc performs her poem "Migrant Anxieties", the artist Bogdan Lupu paints on his canvas in real time. The writer-artist duo turn the migrant anxieties into moments of meditation, dialogue and inspiration.

Documentary: 5 Questions on Anti-Racist Feminism

Why do we need antiracist feminism? Is there enough talk about class and activists' self-care? What does effective activism look like? In the video, the activists Ajak Majok, Aurora Lemma, Hai Nguyen, Arvind Ramachandran and Victoria Odum discuss antiracist feminism in today's Finland.

The video (38 min) is a cooperation project between documentarist Carmen Baltzar and researcher Suvi Keskinen. Baltzar and Keskinen have planned the video together. Keskinen has conducted the interviews, and Baltzar has videorecorded and edited the documentary.

The video was produced as an independent part of Suvi Keskinen's Academy of Finland Research Fellow project “Postethnic Activism in the Neoliberal Era: Translocal Studies on Political Subjectivities, Alliance-building and Social Images”. Find out more about the project here.

Carmen Baltzar is a documentarist, writer and activist with Roma background. You can listen to her at: Carmen Baltzar on racism faced by Romani people, Veikkaus and betting