Cultural pluralism in Finland is a fruitful reality, despite recent attempts to undermine and attack the notion of “multiculturalism”. Historical minorities are a long-established part of society, and the integration of recent first-generation immigrants has demonstrated considerable successes. As throughout Europe, however, Finland is witnessing a rise of explosive tensions. The dangers of divisive regressions are as great as the potentials of cultural change. How can one create a learning-by-doing platform which brings together a plurality of individuals, cultures and traditions – a university of “pluricultural” life which holds a strong appeal to a new generation?
This project for a Pluriversity rises to this challenge by focusing on universally loved and respected talents, skills and knowledge that every young person, of any background, can only wish to learn: how to express themselves in public; how to make a film, write a song, record a track or edit a newspaper; how to make an art work with their own hands; or how to bring to life an economically viable organisation.
The Pluriversity invites leading artists, inspiring teachers and art students from a wide variety of backgrounds to build an overlapping series of long-term projects with these very concrete goals in mind. This pilot project grows a set of learning-by-doing platforms to result in real-world outcomes for young people – of all, and especially disadvantaged backgrounds – at a crucial time in their lives.
In the dangerous climate of intolerance and open racism in Finland today, this is a project which directly engages susceptible young people at a crucial time in their lives. While bringing youths into the orbit of “high art and knowledge”, it also does so without “talking down”, by passing on highly practical know-how and skills, and networks. The Pluriversity practices what it professes: pluriculturalism.