Vihan itkuvirsi 2018 (Requiem for Hatred),
In Helsinki, Suomenlinna
3rd and 4th November 2018.
”In the spring of 1918, a bloody civil war tore apart the newly independent Finland. The late spring and summer saw people gathered inside prison camps. This is their story.”
”Requiem for Hatred 2018” is a socially committed and intense game-based artwork that uses tools from immersive theater, Nordic style live-action role-play, and media art. The participants take an active part experiencing the work instead of being left in the role of passive spectators.
What: Our participatory performance tells the story of prison camps left after the Finnish civil war. In the piece, participants take the of the prisoners at one such camp. During the experience, we go through the daily life of prison camps and the post-war deployment. The piece has its basis on historical documents and collected stories of the war and cultural memory that still influences life in Finland. We do not aim to build an epoch of 100 years ago, rather a fiction that could just as well take place today. We highlight similarities between our time and the Civil war era by including contemporary material.
Where: At Ruutikellari, in Suomenlinna, Helsinki on Saturday the 3rd and on Sunday the 4th of November 2018. Our work is part of the Kekri event in Suomenlinna.
Duration of the event: The whole event lasts eight hours, including a warm-up workshop (c. 2 hours, in which we tune the participants in to the world of our art piece and go through all the game mechanics the participants need to know), the participatory performance with act breaks (around 5 hours) and finally, we hold a joint debrief in which we go reflect on the experience (c. 1h).
Price: The basic ticket is 15 € and the discount ticket (students, unemployed, pensioners, theater professionals) € 10. You can by tickets from our tickets shop.
For whom: Our piece is for all people over the age of 16. The piece will be mostly in Finnish, but it is possible to participate in English —one-on-one performances will be held in both languages and all material will be printed also in English. Participation does not require any previous experience of roleplaying or acting. Unfortunately, the location at Suomenlinna is not completely barrier-free. Lighting at the space is dim and parts of the work rely on visuality.
How participatory is this? There is no real audience in this show, rather participants. Each participant creates the experience together with others. The participant is both an active creator of the narrative and the audience for the narrative at the same time. It is about ”playing” and indulging. You are the protagonist of your own story.
There are two ways to participate. In both packages, each participant gets a written character through which you can view a civil war and the performance within. In a lighter version (kevyt-versio), a participant can follow the events and get more gentle treatment in our prison camps. In the ”active package” (aktiivimalli), a participant gets a more active role in the course of events and, if desired, gets harder treatment and a personal interrogation during the performance.
What does the performance consist? It consists of several acts tracking the life of a prison camp over a period of months. The prisoners will be interrogated, tortured, forced to do labor. There is also lots of time to ”play” relationships between the persons living on the camp. During the act breaks, we will work together to see what has happened to the characters between acts.
Based on your choices, your story might be tragic or nicer. Also, the piece doesn’t consist of any sexual violence. Please note that the presentation includes hefty themes and occasionally offensive language. Safety of our participant is very important to us. Our event is free of all forms of harassment and discrimination, and we strive to adhere to the principles of safer space.
How physical the experience is? All the violence in the piece is modeled with theatrical techniques. No one is really hurt and participants are only ever touched on their shoulders and arms. There is some discomfort to expected, but the participants have full control of whether they experience it.
Sign-up and Character Creation: Tickets are on sale at our ticket shop until the performance is sold out. Together with the receipt, you will receive a link to the character creation form. Your character is built upon the the questions you answered on the form. You will be able to create your character based on examples given on the form. However, we reserve the right, if necessary, to change the backstories to get strike a balance between different kinds of characters.
Who are the characters? Characters are mostly detainees in the prison camp. There are a variety of reasons people ended up on the camps. Some of them were fighters on the losing red side, but just as well there were civilians, those misunderstood for soldiers and labour union agitators… For the international audience, we suggest taking a role as a Russian soldier or immigrant at the prison camp.
Do I need some props or clothes? You can come in your own clothes, but take with you neutral coloured clothes that are comfortable to be and move around. If you want to dress specifically for the game, you can search for inspiration, for example, from the extensive 1918 image library at Museokeskus Vapriikki. Sleeves and so on will be on behalf of the organizers.
How much advance preparation is required for this participation? It is enough to fill in the character form. You will also receive additional material that you may want to look through beforehand. Learn at least the game mechanics used in advance.
Do I need to be familiar with the Finnish civil war in advance? There is no need to know about the civil war anything particular in advance. If you want. You can read the basics at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Civil_War
At the venue and during the game: When you arrive at the venue, you are not in your character yet. Before we start of the actual performance we’ll meet together and go through all the rules and the mechanics of the game. During the acts, you are in the game world of your character, not yourself. Others around you do the same.
Travel and accommodation: Participants are responsible for the travel and accommodation arrangements themselves.
Dining: During the event, we will offer you one warm meal and refreshments are served. Food is produced during the performance. We try to offer, as far as possible, special diets.
Documentation: The performance will be documented and the documentation is used for reporting, portfolio use, exhibition context and perhaps a publication on the project. If you do not want to appear in the documentation, please let us know. Using your own mobile devices (such as camera phones) during the performance is not allowed.
What do I need to take to the event: Your character (which you will receive when you sign up), comfortable neutral clothes, your medicines. If you feel you need more to eat, please bring some snacks.
Vili von Nissinen, game design, dramaturgy, character writing, and workshops.
Mikael Kinanen, design, spatial planning, workshops, and production.
Performers: Maikki Palm, Samuli Jaskio, Mikael Kinanen and Vili von Nissinen.
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Vihan-tkuvirsi-2018-378591492652095/
The Uusimaa Cultural Foundation and The Governing Body of Suomenlinna supports the implementation of the work in Suomenlinna.