”Veijo Baltzar is a great Finnish and European cultural figure. In addition to his diverse literal and artistic achievements, he is a dynamic cultural and social activist. Baltzar is one of the few Finnish personalities, who possess capacity in European cultural life, especially as the promoter of multiculturality.”
Former Prime Minister of Finland Mr. Paavo Lipponen
Veijo Baltzar was granted an honorary title Cultural Counsellor in 2011 by the President of Finland Tarja Halonen. Honorary titles, granted by the President are rare, altogether 13 000 since 1918. There are eight Cultural Counsellors in Finland.
Baltzar has been a significant activist in the sector of societal, cultural, Roma and multicultural politcs in Finland and internationally since the 1960s. His active involvement in political discourse has always stemmed from his personal interest and motivation. Baltzar has run as a candidate in Parliamentary elections and he constantly works closely with the leading Finnish and European politicians.
Veijo Baltzar is an author of numerous international and domestic societal and cultural-political initiatives. He raised the discussion of Roma Holocaust in Finland in public debate in 2010 (project The Forgotten Genocide). The exhibition “Miranda – The Roma Holocaust”, created by Baltzar the following year, launched its World Tour in Spring 2017.
Baltzar was one of the firsts to bring out the minority questions in Finland and has been a leading contributor in multicultural issues ever since. In March 2014 Veijo Baltzar organized an international two-day minister-level conference ”The Conscience of Europe”, in which he published his 24 law initiatives for renewal of EU’s policies of multiculturalism.
“Baltzar reminds me of ‘wandering intellectual’, one of the most important thinkers in the Czech intellectual tradition and history from 16th century, Jan Amos Komenski. Baltzar challenges many concepts, such as the Western liberal understanding of human rights by pointing to its narrowmindedness, and brings forth in a valuable way elements that are important in developing multicultural societies, and even international peace”
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Petr Drulák
priZes and awards
1980 1st prize in the Golden Harp – competition in Dublin for TV-play The Red
1981 The Theatre Action of the Year prize. Awarded by Finnish Theatre Center.
1992 The Art award of the Province of Kuopio.
1991 The Culture award of county Rautalampi.
1999 The 3rd prize in the international “Amico Rom” - competition. Lanciano Italy.
2000 The 2nd prize in the international “Amico Rom” - competition. Lanciano Italy.
2002 Arvo Turtiainen Literature Prize.
2008 Mikael Agricola medal celebrating 40-year literary career. Helsinki, Tammi
2011 An honorary title of Cultural Counsellor, kulttuurineuvos, granted by the
President of Finland Tarja Halonen.
2016 Finalist and honorable mention (international recognition for 50-year activity
for the benefit of European Roma), European Roma Spirit Award (ERSA).
2017 Artist pension, granted by Arts Promotion Centre Finland as recognition for
meritious artistic activity
intercultural experiential education
Veijo Baltzar has developed his unique methodology of directing and teaching, based on multicultural intelligence, since 1974. Since 2010, Drom Association has been actively involved in developing Intercultural Experiential Education. This concept originates from Veijo Baltzar’s philosophical thinking, based on his experiences of life, cultural activities and pedagogical work.
Chancellor of Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture Anita Lehikoinen has noted that Baltzar’s pedagogical methods represent potential Finnish product of export, having a remarkable potential of responding to modern challenges, that should be developed further.