Our society

Benelux Countries and Finland
Photograph from a street view with a military security guard crossing a dark road.
© Pirita Männikkö

Culture is a force that holds society together. Society also places many expectations on the instrumental value of the arts, whether one thinks of the economy, peacekeeping, healthcare or education. Although the strength of the arts lies foremost in individual and personal encounters, their societal value has once again gained importance both in Finland as well as the Benelux countries. Terror attacks, the future of refugees, the polarisation of the current discussion climate, environmental issues and the global political situation affect us all.


The ‘Our society’ programme speaks to practitioners within the arts and the role of culture both in our target countries as well as in broader Europe. Part of the overall programme was realised in the spring of 2016 together with the Finnish Institute in London with, amongst others, a report on the coverage of the refugee issue by the media. In 2017, we will be dealing with the theme of homelessness as part of the MOBILE HOME 2017 collaborative project. We are also inviting members of the European Parliament to sweat it out on behalf of Europe in a deeply cleansing discussion series.


This theme will run through all the Institute’s activities. Our aim is to play an active, open and interactive part in present-day society.


Collaborating with us on the ‘Our society’ programme events are amongst others ArtHelsinki, BOZAR, Castrum Pregrini, EUNIC Brussels, Equama,the European Parliament, the European Federation for Journalists, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, the Finnish Institutes in Berlin, London, the Middle East and Paris, the Union of Journalists in Finland and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission.