Exposing white Finnish privilege #50: Caving in to white narratives

by , under Enrique Tessieri

February 10 was the first anniversary of the #TheRightToLife movement that raised awareness and concern over Finland’s asylum policy. The date aimed to host a lecture-performance at the Kiasma Finnish national gallery of Helsinki by Riikka Theresa Innanen called Touch and Revolution.

The plan of the performance was, however, changed 24 hours before it debuted. All the sudden, Innanen was the only artist allowed to go on stage due to an unclear security threat.

“We even planned to invite the audience to come on stage for tea and conversation,” said a statement by the organizers of the lecture-performance. “Considering the presence of asylum-seekers in our team and their vulnerability, it was a shock for us to be confronted with consequences such as arrest, if we did not comply. We felt that not only our artistic freedom but also our safety is being jeopardized.”

According to the artists, Kiasma, which was instrumental in helping the #RightToLife movement, did not at any moment make clear what the security threat was.

And here lies the problem, according to Hami Bahadori, a local artist who was part of the artist group. He said that he is not the representative of al migrant communities in Helsinki and was simply a part of the lecture-performance group.

“The fact that our group was diverse and made by artists with different backgrounds, privileges, and roles, brings this issue more into attention,” he said.  “We were simply a group of artists trying to do our job in an art museum”

“Instead of exposing the sources of these [far-right]  threats,” he continued. “Kiasma is outsourcing its responsibility to companies to hide the threats. If there is a threat, it’s the job of a democratic society like Finland to stand up to such intimidation.”


The #RightToLife movement helped asylum seekers to have a say in their dire situation.

White Finnish privilege #50

Who controls the narrative and what is said and how are good examples of white privilege in any society.

The fact that Kiasma did not specify what group(s) were threatening the performance show, unfortunately, that Kiasma caved in to pressure and intimidation.

We should challenge far-right groups instead of giving space to them. It is no secret that one of these extremist groups is Finland First, which spreads hatred against asylum seekers and other minorities.

A democratic society cannot function if we drown out the voices of minorities like asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, and migrants in general.

Their voices must have space and their voices protected.

This did not, unfortunately, happen on February 10.

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  1. intternetnetsi

    As always you invent far right threat while right info is available.
    She told kiasma that there will be lecture but didnt tell about performance so kiasma couldnt update their security plan, what they always do.


    “Kiasma sanoo maanantaisessa tiedotteessaan, että erinäisten kommunikaatiokatkosten ja väärinymmärrysten vuoksi luentoesityksen muuttuminen kollektiiviseksi performanssiksi ja esityksen tarkka sisältö välittyi Kiasmassa liian myöhään, jotta turvallisuussuunnitelma olisi ehditty päivittää.”

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