Residency guests 2019

Frankie Gaffney

Frankie Gaffney is a writer from Dublin. His bestselling debut novel, Dublin Seven, described by the Irish Times as “Love/Hate meets Ulysses”, was published to critical acclaim and controversy in 2015. He is currently completing a PhD in linguistics and English literature, and developing new writing for various media.

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Alexander Manuiloff

Alexander Manuiloff is a Bulgarian writer, playwright and screenwriter whose works have been invited to important theatre festivals and venues on four continents, among which Theatertreffen, Berlin; Under the Radar, New York; and L’Europe de Théâtres, Paris. Winner of the EURODRAM 2017 award (Mannheim, Germany).

Two separate Silver Lion prize winners at the Venice Biennale, Rimini Protokoll and Ferran Dordal, chose him to work with on their projects in 2016.

Alexander’s writing has been translated into ten languages so far and it is already studied in some university programmes in the US. (Georgetown University).

After his 2017 tour to Washington’s ForumTheatre/Woolly Mammoth, the DC Theatre Scene gave the show five stars, calling Alexander “a rare creator”, the Washington Post found his piece “exceptionally thoughtful”, while the Broadway World defined Manuiloff’s writing as being “akin to magical realism”.

Receiver of the Bulgarian Writers’ Guild Award for the best fiction debut book of the year (for the book “Film”, 2004), Alexander went on to publish some of his following works in Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, the USA, and France, while his journalistic writing has also received official accolade by the Association of European Journalists (2012).

Alexander has been granted scholarships by institutions such as the Charles University, Prague, the American foundation TFAS, Goethe Institut Munich and Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Heidelberg. The first Bulgarian writer to be ever presented with a text at Berlin’s top theatre forum Theatertreffen (2015).

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Erol Mintaş

Erol Mintaş is a filmmaker who was born in Kars and based in Helsinki. He completed his graduate studies in cinema—his MA thesis was about the cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky. His first short Butimar, and second short Berf (aka Snow) received many awards, and competed in various important film festivals around the world. In 2014, Mintaş’s first feature, Song of My Mother, made a major splash on the festival circuit, playing around the world and being awarded plenty of prizes, including the Heart of Sarajevo award for best film and best actor, and numerous awards. He moved to Helsinki in January 2017, where his new project (“Earth Song (working tittle)” with collaborator Mikko Viljanen) is currently taking place, supported by the Finnish Film Foundation (Suomen elokuvasäätiö) scriptwriting grant. His documentary film, “From Mesopotamia to The North: Dzamil Kamangar”, received funding from Kone Foundation, and is in production.

For more info about my previous films you can visit

At the Saari Residence, mainly I will be working on these two projects:

HUMAN GAZE, which is an experimental film and video installation about the history of the human gaze. What if the first part ever of the human being was an eye? In the beginning there was only one eye and then this eye got a disease and because of this disease all our organs started to appear and we ended up with what we consider today a normal human body. This film tells us the experimental story of the human body from the point of view of an eye.

FROM MESOPOTAMIA TO THE NORTH: DZAMIL KAMANGER – The documentary film tells the story of Dzamil Kamanger, the grandson of the Khan (a title for a ruler in Kurdish society) born in 1948 in a small village in east Kurdistan- part of Iran-, became a well-known international artist in Finland, even though he had to start his life from the beginning many times. The film focuses on his life journey from Kurdistan to the Finland.

On the other hand I will be busy with doing many works for Academy of Moving People and Images as the founder and the artistic director of the academy.

Academy of Moving People and Images (AMPI) is a platform in Helsinki for mobile people. Our aim is to design a new learning model and a sustainable pedagogical platform where people who have arrived in Finland from different backgrounds get to contribute to the film industry, and initiate change.

We provide 1 year of hands-on, fee-free courses for participants. They will make their own short films under the guidance of mobile filmmakers and Finnish film industry professionals, performing all the essential roles necessary to release their films.

For more info about AMPI, you can visit our website:

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Meri-Maija Näykki

I’m Meri-Maija Näykki, a 27-year-old circus and theatre director.

At Saari Residence, I intend to create templates for three performance concepts. I’ll work in collaboration with the Rakastajat Theatre, the Minimi Dance Theatre and Tampereen Työväen Teatteri. My goal is to create performance concepts suitable for these theatres which will allow the circus and theatre to operate on an equal footing and engage in organic cooperation.

I see circus art as an opportunity to introduce modern forms of dramaturgy to the viewers of traditional theatre. At the same time, I believe that contemporary circus can act as a door to the theatre for new viewers and international audiences.

For me, the circus is about seeking and stretching the boundaries of prevailing conditions, such as gravity and social absurdity. Consequently, the budget and the theatre space, for example, are circus instruments to me, and I explore and stretch the possibilities they present. The theatre, on the other hand, I see as a show window of deficient human animals. The way I see it, the deficient animals of the theatre and the freaks of the circus can together give us a space in which to marvel at the absurdity of life and laugh at our own limitations. We need to welcome the state of marvelling and laughing together to be able to be merciful to ourselves and others.

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Dılşa Perinçek

I am a writer, cartoonist, digital artist from Diyarbakır. During 2004-2018, I worked on various productions in several disciplines such as writing, media and communication technologies. 2016-2018, I produced several cartoon films for Kurdish children.

Recently, I focus on the past, present and future, in order to bring traditional artistic content in to the new formats of the media art, to understand impact of the new technological productions and the new art perceptions on societies and in conclusion, to interplay with what has not yet taken place in the perception future of humankind that rapid technological progress has created in different shades of utopia and dystopia.

In Saari, I will focus on my readings, researches and experiments on digital technologies in pursuit of the best way of expressing. In the meantime, I want to enjoy all beauty of the meditating nature. And if lucky enough, I will be writing few poems.

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Timo R. Stewart

The past is a foreign country whose habits and thinking require interpretation. The historian’s task is not only to identify past events, but to make the thinking of the people from that time understandable. This becomes particularly fascinating when examining things that seem difficult to explain. For example, the fact that a group of English noblemen travelled to Jerusalem between 1909 and 1911 to search for the Lost Ark mentioned in the Old Testament, simply on the basis of a cipher discovered by a Finnish poet in the Book of Ezekiel, may sound strange today. But how did it sound to the noblemen’s contemporaries? Or to the members of the expedition themselves? And on what grounds?

It is with questions like these and an enormous archive of notes that I will be travelling to the Saari Residence. My aim is to revise my book, which is based on my historical research on Valter Juvelius and Montagu Parker‘s undertakings in Jerusalem, as well as on the concepts of the Lost Ark, science and myth that prevailed in Europe in the early 20th century. I’m an optimist, so I’ll be bringing my skis along too. If all goes well, my script will be pretty much complete at the end of February, in spite of the skis. Here is a short summary of my work in the form of a video presentation.

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Karen Werner

I am a radio artist & sociologist. I’m currently working on a series of experimental radio broadcasts called Strange Radio about the stranger, war, forced migration, and the intergenerational transmission of political trauma. During the Saari Residence I’ll be working with live performance and sampling of this material.

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Leena Ylä-Lyly

During my two-month residency at the Saari Residence I will be exploring the connection between the photograph and Zen meditation. I will be sitting on my zabuton with my eyes cast downwards, facing the wall in front of me. I will take walks in the manor grounds and photograph the pictures I find and write down the thoughts that the silence invites in.

More than anything in a photo, I have always been fascinated by its core characteristic: silence. Yet that silence is not quiet, but contains the power of movement and observation. Just like meditation, which holds everything for the person who dares to stop and really see.

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Kajsa Gullberg

Photo: Kajsa Gullberg

My name is Kajsa Gullberg. I was born (1977) and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark after high school (1996) where I have been based ever since.  

Photography is my main media but I hope to integrate text more in my production.  

The project I am going to work on in Saari is one project including two products. One book with images and one book with text.  

The headline for the project is: The swinger club – the ultimate sexual safe space for women. I place where she can go to have all (kind of) sex she wants without the risk of getting raped, assaulted or slut shamed.  

I have photographed women in a swinger club in Copenhagen for almost a year. In Saari I am going to edit the images and the sequence and create a text to it. The project is not documentaristic but a poetic and subjective comment on the social world outside the swinger club. 

The other book is going to be a document in text about my journey through this environment during one and a half years. 

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Tiia Kasurinen

Photo: Tiia Kasurinen

Tiia Kasurinen is a dancer, choreographer and artist who works between Helsinki and Stockholm. In her work, she explores the themes of identity, gender, power and pop culture, often through make-up and visual transformation. YouTube tutorials and somatic movement go hand in hand in her performances, creating identifiable aesthetics. When Tiia is not working on her own projects, she works as a dancer, performer and collabator for and with other artists.  

“At the Saari Residence, I will be exploring the encounter of make-up and movement. I’m interested in the bodily experience resulting from the direct or long-term effects of transformation. I’m particularly fascinated with changes in the quality of movement, but I also study the themes of gender, power and taking space in my practice.  

“The residence will allow me to engage in one of my long-term dreams and goals: to spend a large amount of time in bodily experiences inspired by make-up. When inhabiting a new body born out of make-up, it often takes hours for its potential to be revealed. This gives me the opportunity to exist, eat, interact, write, move and dance in a changed and moulded bodily entity – and consequently to explore the impulses for movement inspired by the transformation.  

“I will be carrying out new artistic research and working on the bodily experiences of two of my previous works: the drag queen character Vulva T from the performance Vulcano (2017) and the character Harmony from the work The Life of Harmony (2018), which drew its inspiration from objects and robots that look like women. I will also begin the process of creating a new solo.  

“Make-up and visual transformation are indirect ways for me to examine my position in society. Transformations unsettle my perception of my own power, identity and humanity.”  

Read more and follow Kasurinen during her residency: 

Instagram: @tiiagasolina  

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Teemu Korpela

I’m a painter who spends his days pondering ways to see things through art that can’t be seen. My particular area of interest are phenomena that define the way we experience our own existence. These phenomena are often abstract or formless, but through works of art they can be made visible and into something that can be tackled.  

I believe the cause for many of our universal and current problems relating to humanity are to be found in the relationship between our perception of the world and actual reality: we often interpret reality incorrectly, which results in us harming ourselves, others and the environment. Painting is a medium that offers a lot of possibilities for examining and presenting mechanisms of experience, since it brings together many different registers of observation and structure, from the sensory to the symbolic. Painting also offers numerous possibilities for expression, ranging from quick and intuitive to slow and analytical.  

I believe that through the reactions of observation produced by the works, I will be able to examine the way meanings and values are created. We are living in a time of an epistemological crisis of meaning and value. The ways in which we produce meaning in our lives have proven unsustainable. This is why we will have to reassess our relationship with reality. This requires the re-encoding of the symbolic values in our culture that govern our activities. For me, this re-encoding begins with striving to drive more sustainable values through the metaphoric example of my own practice into the reality existing outside the world of art.  

At its core, my work consists of examining the ways our perceptions of matter and concepts change according to how I design an object and whenever I add some other material to it; how the symbolic meanings of images and objects change depending on how and in which context I present them.   

My work includes theoretical research into how meaning is created and transmitted, studying the chemical properties of substances, analysing the effects of various production processes and examining the opportunities offered by new, ecological innovations in materials. I try to apply materials that in themselves contain various cultural meanings and that have a functional analogy with the contents I deal with.    

Although my motives are often didactic, it’s not my intention to limit the creative freedom of art and its content, but to find ways of creating works in such a way that the methods used have a philosophical, practical and ethical relationship with ongoing global processes. For many years, my works have been extremely large, but during my residency, I want to find ways to produce meaning with less material and smaller works.   

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Juhani Räisänen

Photo: Juhani Räisänen

I am a composer, poet and artist from Helsinki. I have long been fascinated with building electronic musical instruments. The possibilities offered by new technology in particular, such as sensors and touch screens, have captivated my musical imagination. In 2011, I completed my doctoral thesis  on this subject at the Aalto University.  

My new instrument is called Zorm, and I intend to focus on developing and improving it at the Saari Residence. I will try, for example, to use my own poems as part of the soundscape of the instrument. Zorm has a lot in common with the Sormina instrument I developed for my doctoral thesis; in a way, it’s an improved version of it. Its features include cordlessness and the use of audio synthesis methods for creating the sound. Its appearance has changed completely. 

I have already performed with the Zorm on a few occasions, both in the context of a performance and as a member of a group for classical music.   

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Maija Linturi

I’m a puppet theatre artist and director from Helsinki. My work usually lies within the broader sphere of the visual theatre, and puppet or object theatre is just one of the media I use. I’m interested in balancing between the interfaces of various art forms and have collaborated with artists from fields such as dance, theatre and video art.  

At the Saari Residence, I will be working on my future piece, Decomposition, which will be the first part of a series of three performances. At the residence, I will concentrate on the background research and script writing for Decomposition, as well as the concept design of this series of works. In this series, I will be investigating what the removal of focus away from the human and the human experience could mean in the context of a performance. Decomposition focuses on the world of decomposers such as insects, fungi and bacteria. During the process, I also want to study whether I myself can create a more empathetic relationship with these organisms.  

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Mireia c. Saladrigues

Photo: Mireia c. Saladrigues

Mireia c. Saladrigues (Terrassa, 1978) is researcher and visual artist at the Doctoral Programme of the Finnish Art Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki.

Via her research Behaving Unconventionally in Gallery Settings. Alteration in Cultural Practices for Rearticulating Relations among Makers, Objects, Audiences, and (Virtual) Museums, she documents and fosters human and non-human cases of alteration and strangeness in cultural practices by proposing an artistic and theoretical re-reading of nonconformity.

Her work participated the 2nd Research Pavilion in occasion of the 57th Venice Biennale (2017). She has also exhibited at: Espai 13 in Joan Miró Foundation (2011), Antoni Tàpies Foundation (2014), Centre Cultural Caja Madrid (2011), La BF15 in Lyon (2014), Centre d’Art Le Lait in Albi (2015), Videonale.13 in Bonn (2011), National Museum of Photography in Copenhaguen (2010), Kiasma Museum in Helsinki (2009), DIA Art Foundation (2008), Art Museum in Pori (2008), Onomatopee in Eindhoven (2015 i 2012), Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis (2010).

She has talked at the 9th Annual Conference of the Society of Artístic Research in Plymouth, 104th Annual Conference by CAA in Washington DC, the EARN Symposium at GradCAM@DIT in Dublin, KUVA Research Days in Helsinki, as much as others.

She has received numerous awards, which the most recents are Kone Foundation Research and Art Production Grant (2016-2019), KUVA Grants (2016, 2015, 2014), ETAC Artistic Research Residency (2014), OSIC Research and creation grant, Catalunya (2012).

Her work is represented by àngels barcelona gallery

She is a governing board member of Hamaca, Media and Video Art Distribution

She has co-founded the cultural association Trama34 and is its current president.


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Paul J. Kalemba

Photo: Paul J. Kalemba

Paul Kalemba’s (b. 1980, Melbourne) latest work explore the notions of nature and ecology in the Anthropocene though found object, still life compositions. His work takes inspiration from the natural sciences and contemporary ecological philosophy, as well as object based narratives, phenomena and the absurd.

Informed directly by constructing assemblages of found objects collected while walking in ‘nature’, Kalemba’s Still life compositions playfully tell contemporary stories of ecology and place. His multidisciplinary practice extends across drawing/work on paper, photography, new media and sculpture.

Since being awarded Honours in Digital art and Multimedia from VU and Master of Visual Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, Kalemba’s work has exhibited in Australia, Korea, Germany, Finland and Iceland. He was awarded the Hume Art Award in 2018 and has been a finalist in numerous national art awards and prizes.

Through partnering with institutions including, Parks Victoria, The Department of Primary Industries, The Australia Council for the Arts, and The Icelandic Association for the Visual Arts, Kalemba has undertaken many cross disciplinary projects and arts residencies. He has produced temporary public sculptures for City of Melbourne, and Hepburn Shire and his drawings, sculpture and mural work are represented in Private, Public and Institutional Collections including Hepburn and Nillumbik shires, and Victoria University.

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Saddam Jumaily

Although best known as a painter, Saddam Jumaily is also an accomplished designer and a published author. Regardless of the art form, Jumaily’s works are characterized by their depth and philosophical nature. Memory and nostalgia are recurring themes in his paintings, and they are also frequent plot elements that he explores in his writings. His inclination towards nostalgia can be attributed to a sense of belonging he has often craved while moving from country to country.

In most instances, his paintings employ symbols as devices. In Jumaily’s own words: “Painting is an opportunity to emote.” The art he presents is a depiction of the ongoing chaos that the peoples of this region have experienced the past two decades.

Saddam Jumaily was born in Basra, Iraq in 1974.

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Kholod Hawash

Born in Basrah, Iraq, Kholod Hawash has a BA in accounting. After teaching herself art, she started painting illustrations for children’s magazines, then
turned to painting in the style of art nouveau. She later found herself involved in the art of quilting.
She held her first exhibition in Amman at the Jacranda Gallery in 2015 and her second at the Dar Al-Anda gallery in Amman in 2018.

“In my art I present the everyday craft of the people of Iraq and the larger region.
Women in Iraq have been manufacturing mattresses and rugs in the ancient tradition to produce
up cycled home furniture. Households historically embraced both the aesthetic and economic advantages of the craft.
For my work, I borrowed the techniques as well as the imagery of the popular folklore of Iraqi heritage in order to
intensify the relationship between technology and form, which contributes to the emphasis on the aesthetic and away from
the consumer industry, thus elevating it to contemporary art.”

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