DEAR FELLOW CITIZENS

DEAR FELLOW CITIZENS

2013

All the wisdom we have in the world, needs to be shared.

How does a senior citizen feel when reading the news about climate change, financial inequality, terrorism, water pollution, over population and the collapse of the welfare state? Age itself doesn't bring wisdom, but it brings some life experience, and some ability to differentiate between the things we should focus on or not, in order to spread the idea of good life not only in our own life, but to other people's lives.

The work was ordered by the Helsinki Festival and RAY's Art Makes Good program. We began working with 24 senior citizens, unknown to each other, in the spring of 2013. During the spring, we discussed issues that were missing most from the world: humanity, the path of life-long learning and growing, as well as the relations between seniors and society. As said by a senior: "Here we senior citizens are, available to society, even if some people think we do not really exist."

Based on the discussions, the material was developed for the GOOD BOOK OF LIFE and the performance, which was seen at the Helsinki Rowing Stadium during the Night of the Arts on 22.8.2013. During the performance coffee was drunk out of gold edged coffee cups, temporary tattoos were made, a senior speech choir performed. Also looking at the landscape was practiced as well as blending in with the audience.

One of the issues that was most talked about had something to do with freedom: we always have the freedom to choose how we deal with the challenges brought on by life, the freedom to choose how we grow as humans as a result of them, the freedom to go towards our dreams, and the freedom to wonder, to learn, to be inspired, and to face the world together with other people. We all have the freedom, even though growing to be the master of your own life takes courage and taking responsibility of our own life.

The book is only available in Finnish.

Director and writer: Meiju Niskala Assistance: Meiju Lampinen Producer: Jaana Haaksiluoto Assistance of producer: Mirka Kinnunen Graphic Design: Jenni Erkintalo