Cultural programme

To complement the ambitious academic programme of the Aleksanteri Conference, we have arranged some cultural events around the conference themes.

The non-academic events are open for conference participants and public. Please note, that some events require registration beforehand, as the number of participants is limited.

Guided tour of the Slavonic Library

On Wednesday, 24 October at 10.00-11.00.

Come and get to know the world-famous Slavonic Libary of the National Library of Finland.
Register in advance, as we have limited number of places to this tour.

Venue: Unioninkatu 36, meeting at the entrance hall of the National Library.

Photo exhibitions: Prague 1968, Berlin 1968, Helsinki 1968

The conference presents three different photo exhibitions at the University Main Building launching on Wednesday at 12:00:

In 2018, 50 years has passed since 1968, described as a “crazy year”, as radical political movements, new waves of art & culture, and demonstrations for human rights were sparked all over the world. The ambiance of the 1960s was the result of many important political and cultural changes that had previously been unimaginable. All around the world a younger generation was revolting against the old order.

An exhibition "Anti–Authoritarians - Berlin 1968 / 2018" of photographs by Colin Robins

3rd floor lobby of the Main Building

This photographic project records individuals who had been either directly involved in, or came in the wake of, the 1960’s anti-authoritarian movement as it developed in Berlin. It attempts to acknowledge the breadth of attitudes and experiences that developed within, alongside and after the events of 1968. 

The Anti-Authoritarians  includes people who were either students or who had sympathies with the aims of the student revolt. The majority of these had been studying at the Free University and were members of the Socialist German Student League (SDS). The project also acknowledges individuals who were influenced by Maoist and other radical political thinking current at the time, people from cultural and counter-cultural perspectives (such as Kommune1 and K1 Ost), former dissidents from the DDR and others who were then in exile from repressive regimes elsewhere (for example Greece or Iran).

Colin Robins gave a presentation in Helsinki in September 2018 about his photographs of Anti-Authoritarians. Berlin 1968-2018. See the full presentation at this link, Colin Robins starts at 2min 50 sec:

This project has been made in collaboration with the German Historical Institute in London as well as the Freie Universität Berlin. The photographer: Colin Robins. Curator of this exhibition: Joonas Aitonurmi.

For further information about this project please contact:

An exhibition "Prague Spring 1968" in cooperation with the Czech embassy in Helsinki:

3rd floor lobby of the Main Building

The ambiance of change in Czechoslovakia led to a period of political liberalization. Writer Pavel Tigrid later described it as an attempt to raise the ceiling on social conditions so that people could walk upright on their two feet as citizens. The general trend of political and social changes was a reformist one, asking for changes to the existing single-party system, it was the breath of freedom, of creative energy, and a glimmer of hope of that it might be possible to reform socialism. After the Prague Spring, the desire to emancipate society could never be reversed, despite the brutal demonstration of power.

An exhibition "Helsinki 1968"

the Book exhibition room (4th floor, Hall 15):

Helsinki had its own 1968 as students occupied the Old Student House (Vanha Ylioppilastalo) on November 25th, demanding administrative and educational changes in University of Helsinki. However, the 1968 events in Helsinki were rather peaceful compared to the other parts of the world. The aim of this part of the exhibition is to show the contrast to the “crazy year 1968”.

Screening of a Documentary Film “Disco and Atomic War”

Wednesday 24 October at 17:15-19:00

Screening of a Documentary Film “Disco and Atomic War” (2009)

Interview with Jaak Kilmi, Director of the Film. 

The documentary "Disco and Atomic War“ stems from the childhood experiences of the authors who lived in the Soviet Estonia in 1980s. The film focuses on the crucial role of the Finnish television in making visible the manifold absurdity of the Soviet life. After screening, Dr Sigrid Kaasik-Krogerus will interview Jaak Kilmi about the topics this documentary aims to address.

(Panel 2A: Russian Media Lab II)

Interview with Masha Gessen

Thursday 25 October at 13:00

Author, journalist and activist Masha Gessen will be interviewed by Dr Mariëlle Wijermars about Gessen's latest book "The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia" at Think Corner Lounge, 2nd floor.

Please register in advance!

Rhymes of power, sounds of freedom - Marčelo

Thursday 25 October at 17:30-18:30

Rhymes of power, sounds of freedom: chat and show with Marčelo, Serbian rapper, musician and novelist. 

Marko Šelić Marčelo (b.1983) is a Serbian author of novels, columns and rap lyrics. His intellectual activism can be seen through the work related to action against violence, war trauma, human trafficking and labor exploitation, and for tolerance between the people of the former Yugoslavia and the impact of music and literature on modern youth’s attitudes. Marčelo has the ability to scan the dysfunctional society around him, sketch a precise picture of it and its people trying to deal with the traumas of disillusions, corruption, brain drain, defeat of the urban culture, violence and neo-conservativism. His voice moves the listener deeply and his message heels audience’s yearning for intense words. All of this is needed in the environment where many generational voices have run dry.

Marčelo will perform with his 3-piece live band at Think Corner 17.30-18.30, October 25th 2018. Hosted by Dragana Cvetanović (Aleksanteri Institute).

Venue: ThinkCorner of the University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4