Institute

The Finnish Cultural Institute 

The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is a cultural institute based in Brussels. It was founded in 1993 and its scope of operations covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The Institute is one of the 17 Finnish cultural and science institutes.  It is an independent, non-profit organisation funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture as well as various public and private funds. The Institute is maintained by the Foundation for the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.

Operations

The Finnish Cultural Institute in the Benelux Trust serves as a liaison between stakeholders in the field of culture from Finland and the Benelux countries. The Institute is an expert organisation that provides information and builds up contacts in a broad field of culture.

The Institute offers artists and organisations opportunities to create discussion, new projects and new possibilities of collaboration. The operations aim at long-term, sustainable cooperation among artists and other professionals in the field from Finland and the Benelux countries. The Institute engages in a wide range of activities throughout the whole field of culture, including e.g. visual arts, performing arts, literature, design and cinema arts.

Staff

KATI LAAKSO
Director

Mail: a2F0aS5sYWFrc29AZmlubmN1bHQuYmU=
Instagram: @katevalley 
Twitter: @kate_valley
Sign: Aquarius

Kati moved to Brussels from Tokyo, Japan where she was working as the Head of Arts and Communications at the Finnish Institute in Japan. Kati has, among others, previously lived in New York for six years working at the Finnish Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Finland and as part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project. Kati’s strengths lie in her expertise in the visual arts and design fields, her extensive international work experience and networks, as well as her skills in managing a diverse range of projects. She graduated from the Stockholm University with a Masters Degree in Business Administration and Economics and a minor in Art History, and has since immersed herself in the beauty and excitement of the arts.

TIINA EEROLAINEN
Administration Manager
(Mon - Wed)


Finances, Administration, Human Resources - Finnish Courses 
Mail: dGlpbmEuZWVyb2xhaW5lbkBmaW5uY3VsdC5iZQ==
Phone: +31 (4)68 15 56 72 - +32 (0)474 282095
Instagram: @pikkutintti
Sign: Libra

Tiina has been living in Leuven since 1982, and speaks Dutch fluently! Still, Finland and especially the landscape around Artjärvi will always have a special place in her heart. Kauppatori in Helsinki on a Summer’s day comes second. In Brussels, she enjoys the lively neighbourhood of the “Marollen”, with its narrow streets, original stores, restaurants and cafes and diverse population. Having a penchant for smart and feisty women, Lisbeth Salander from the Stieg Larsson novels and Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice have to be her favourite fictional characters. 

MALIN BERGSTRÖM
Project Manager

RE/defining Masculinities, TelepART, overseeing general projects and daily communication

Mail: bWFsaW4uYmVyZ3N0cm9tQGZpbm5jdWx0LmJl
Phone: +31 (4)68 15 56 72
Instagram: @mala.bergstrom
Sign: Gemini

Malin is our crazy cat lady and she’s damn proud of it. When she’s not at home cuddling up with her two furry friends, you can find her writing and illustrating. She has a strong passion for comics, and dreams of becoming a published novelist. 
Before moving to Brussels, Malin lived in Finland, the UK, and Estonia but her favourite place in the world is Galveston, Texas. The quiet seaside charm peppered with Louisiana flavour drew her to this sleepy peninsula south of Houston, with dreams of sitting on a porch-swing, taking in the hot summer wind.

HANNA MOENS
Communication & Project Coordinator

General communication, Social Media - Design projects 

Mail: aGFubmEubW9lbnNAZmlubmN1bHQuYmU=
Phone: +32 472 64 93 85 
Instagram: @hannamoens
Sign: Scorpio

Unlike her expat colleagues, Hanna has lived in Belgium all her life and can answer (almost) all questions about this country’s quirky habits and traditions. She loves Scandinavian cultures and there is nothing she likes more than having a cinnamon bun in Copenhagen, shop the streets of Stockholm or discover new places to eat in Helsinki. Next to her work at FinnCult, she also works as a freelancer, mainly in design and communications. Oh, and she also really likes flowers.

KAISA AHVONEN
Communications & Project Assistant

RE/defining Finnish Contemporary Art & Design, RE/defining Masculinities, New visual identity, GoCommission

Mail: a2Fpc2EuYWh2b25lbkBmaW5uY3VsdC5iZQ==
Instagram: @kaisa_a_
Sign: Leo

 

Kaisa is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in French and masters the language perfectly. Not a surprise that her favourite city is the ever-inspiring Paris. She’s a true global citizen, having lived in Turku, Helsinki, Bretagne, Paris, Lyon and now in Brussels. Still, it’s travelling that makes her happiest, discovering new places, cultures, languages and skills on the go. When she’s at home in Brussels, you can find her in Saint Gilles or around Sainte-Catherine, two places that feel like a village in the city where you can always discover something new around the corner.

EMIL KUSNETSOFF
Communications & Project Assistant

RE/defining Masculinities, TelepART, Spaces of Peace

Mail: ZW1pbC5rdXNuZXRzb2ZmQGZpbm5jdWx0LmJl
Instagram: @ekusnets
Sign: Aries

While he was the official Dwarf Hamster Guardian in his student association, Emil’s role at the Institute is more diverse. Emil has a Master’s in Public International Law and is currently finishing his Bachelor in French. In Finland, he lived in many places, from Eura to Sastamala, before moving to Oslo and Paris. Still, his favourite city in the world is Turku, because of the great memories and awesome people he met there during his studies. If you want to make him laugh, just turn on ‘what.’ by Bo Burnham or any Parks & recreation scene including Ron Swanson.

Administration

The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is maintained by Finnish Cultural Institute in the Benelux Trust. The Foundation is Finnish and its domicile is Helsinki.

Executive board of the Foundation for the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux 

Pasi Saukkonen, chairperson, adjunct professor, Twitter QHBhc2lfc2F1a2tvbmVu
Kalle Jämsen, director
Sakari Karjalainen, adjunct professor, Twitter @sakari_k
Hannu Suihkonen, secretary general
Antti Wihanto, honorary consul for Belgium

Suvi Innilä, senior specialist, deputy member
Kaarlo Kalliala, bishop, deputy member, Twitter @KKalliala
Martti Kivistö, director, deputy member
Laura Kolbe, professor, deputy member, Twitter @LauraKolbe
Niki Matheson, director, deputy member

Ombudsman
Minna Ruusuvirta
TWlubmEuUnV1c3V2aXJ0YUBmaW5uY3VsdC5iZQ==

Contact (post only):
Suomen Benelux-instituutin säätiö
Kalliolinnantie 4
00140 Helsinki
Finland

The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is a non-profit, general interest association registered in Belgium. The name in the Register of Associations of Belgium is “Fins Cultureel Instituut voor de Benelux, vereniging zonder winstoogmerk”, abbreviated as “vzw”. In French the form of association is “association sans but lucrative”, abbreviation “asbl”.