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cultural projects
the centre for intercultural interaction oskar

The OSKAR Centre for Intercultural Interaction headed by Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar was opened in Kuopio, Northern Savo in November 2018. The region represents traditional Finnish countryside with beautiful landscapes, forests and hundreds of lakes. At the same, OSKAR center is situated 19 km from the vital City of Kuopio. 

Located in a beautiful forested rural setting, the real appeal, OSKAR awaits visitors. The architectural design by Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar, boldly blends traditional log architecture and a modern contemporary touch with a robust choice of material providing guests and visitors a moment of rest, a break from daily routines, and a path to creativity and inspiration.

 

The Centre invites artists, scientists, cultural figures, politicians and young people to share wide-ranging dialogue and debate with the goal of tackling the common European challenges of multiculturalism. The key objective of the OSKAR centre is to promote intercultural debate, interaction and learning through arts and culture, to expand knowledge of related innovation, development strategies, actions and measures, and of different ways to pose constructive challenges for society.

The Centre functions as a platform for various artistic and research practices and cultural activities. It provides premises for workshops, courses and seminar activities, and for organising different events such as concerts, festivals and art exhibitions. The work of the OSKAR Centre is jointly administered and coordinated by the Creative Association for Arts and Culture Drom in cooperation with IRWA (International Roma Writer Association).

 
NORDIC ROMA ARTIST PLATFORM (NRAP) 2017 – 2019

Nordic Roma Artist Platform is a Nordic initiative dedicated to upgrading the status of Romani arts and artists within the Nordic region. The international project is led by world-renowned Finnish author and artist, Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar.

NRAP seeks permanent change in awareness of the Nordic Roma artists in national and international contexts as well as in upgrading their societal positions and recognition in the Nordic region and beyond. In the frames of the project will be established an online Nordic Roma Artist Platform. The purpose of the Platform will be to represent a global easy-to- find-and- access source of high-quality information about Nordic Roma arts and artists.

In the publication discussion event in Nordic Cultural Point, Helsinki 28. 11. 2018 the members of NRAP jury emphasized that rich, vital and diverse art traditions have existed and evolved in Nordic countries side by side with majority cultures, but that they have remained fairly invisible until present. Described as "though negotiations" by the chairman of jury Veijo Baltzar, the process of selection was an attempt to create a composition of quality artist that would have far-reaching and solid effects to the societies of Nordic region and and globally.

An 8-person Nordic jury, consisting of highest authorities of arts and culture gathered in Kuopio in the OSKAR centre for Intercultural Interaction in the frames of Nordic Roma Artist Platform. Hosted and chaired by Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar, the jury gathered to nominate 12 forerunning artists from Nordic countries for groundbreaking and exemplary activities.

 
UPGRADE2018!

“Upgrade 2018!” is an international cooperation initiative by renowned Finnish author and artist Mr Veijo Baltzar, coordinated by DROM Association and co-financed by Nordic Cultural Point. The project was dedicated to promotion of Intercultural Dialogue in the Baltic region. Its purpose was contributing to sustainable multicultural Europe, based on common analysis of the course of society as well as innovative methods and initiatives elaborated together during the encounters of the meetings.

A central theme and basis for discussion in the Upgrade2018! meetings were 20 cross-disciplinary law initiatives by Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar for renewing EU’s policies of multiculturalism. Final result of the events and joint work of the participants was the Cross-Baltic strategy of cultural cooperation for promotion of the network's objectives.

“The issue of European cultural heritage has been discussed for a long time, however, Veijo Baltzar is a first public figure who has framed this discussion in the context of the present-day, 2018. I’ve jumped with great enthusiasm into train, put into motion by this European leader, tasking and addressing colossal challenging questions and objectives to the society and European Union.”

– Artūrs Avotiņš, Happy Art Museum, Latvia

 
THROUGH MIRANDA'S EYES 2016–2018

The exhibition "Miranda – the Roma Holocaust" was created in Finland in 2011 by a world-leading Roma author, Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar in collaboration with 11 international archives, Anne Frank Foundation (NL), University of Helsinki (FI) and Museum of Romani Culture (CZ).

Miranda exhibition tells about the silenced genocide of the Roma in the Second World War’s Europe through an authentic story of Slovakian-born Roma Holocaust survivor Miranda. Miranda started its World Tour in 2017 and has already reached 36 M citizens internationally.

Miranda represents unique and innovative cultural and pedagogical product. Instead of focusing on atrocities or victim hood of the Roma, the exhibition speaks through arts and brings forth the values, soul and culture of the Roma people in past and present.

INTERNATIONAL OPENINGS

2017

15 Feb      Espoo Cultural Centre, Espoo, Finland 
11 May      Museum of Occupations, Tallinn, Estonia
15 May      Latvian Holocaust and Riga Ghetto

                  Museum, Riga, Latvia
29 Jun       National and University Library in Zagreb,

                  Croatia
2 Aug        Sered´ Holocaust Museum/Slovak National

                  Museum, Slovakia
3 Aug        Holocaust Memorial Centre, Budapest,

                  Hungary
27 Sept     Varaždin’s Old Synagogue, Varaždin,

                  Croatia

2018

24 Jan      Office of the Ombudsman, Brno, Czech

                 republic
29 Jan      Synagogue of Koprivnica, Koprivnica, Croatia
9 Feb       Gimnazija Fran Galović (High school),

                 Koprivnica, Croatia
8 Mar        K2 gallery, Hrvatski dom, Krizevci, Croatia
15 Mar     Copenhagen Main Library, Denmark
20 Mar     European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
12 Apr      Osijek, Croatia

2 Oct        Valga Museum, Estonia

School Tour Riga, Latvia

24 Oct      Secondary school 33. Riga, Latvia

2 Nov       Secondary school 89. Riga, Latvia

30 Nov     Riga Eastern Upper School, Latvia

12.12        Rīgas Grīziņkalna J.G.Herderavidusskola,

                 Latvia

 
 
 
the conscience of europe 2013 – 2015

Under the direction of its chairman, author and Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar, the Drom Association for Creative Arts and Culture produced The Conscience of Europe project 2013-2015, an international series of events dedicated to reforms in European policies of multiculturalism. The project had received funding from the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union

The Conscience of Europe project consisted of three parts: an international minister-level conference of the same name held 18-19 March 2014, the Finnish tour of the exhibition Miranda - The Roma Holocaust and the cabaret With the Seven String Guitar. The need for broader discussion on multicultural Europe was already present at the time. Veijo Baltzar wanted to continue the discussion and decided to arrange an event in which influential European decision-makers would engage in common discussion and analysis-making of the future direction of multicultural Europe.

The conference

The main event of the project was the international minister-level Conscience of Europe conference held at the Finnish Parliamentary Annex, Helsinki, on 18–19 March 2014.

Project's complementary events
Baltzar – kki – humak 2011 – 2012

In early 2011, the section for universities and research of Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture became convinced that Veijo Baltzar's pedagogical methodology of Intercultural Experiential Education expresses a way of thinking that is truly new and important for developing society that should be developed further.

The main objective of the project was to study Baltzar's pedagogical approach from the perspectives of society, pedagogy and teaching methods. The main source material of the pilot project was the manuscript of Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar's book "Kokemuspohjainen filosofia" (title in English Towards Experiential Philosophy, English version of the book was published in 2014), published in the spring of 2012 (ntamo, 160 p.)

the forgotten genocide 2010

"The Forgotten Genocide" was the first series of events ever organized in Finland that discussed the European Roma Holocaust as well as the persecution of the Roma during and after WWII in Finland. The event received significant visibility both nationally and internationally.

The objective of this project was to make the Roma Holocaust known to the public especially in Finland and other Nordic countries, and to encourage other European countries towards active awareness and recognition of history. The seminar dealt largely with the history of the Roma during the Second World War and the present situation of Roma in Europe. Many important issues were raised which the Drom Association continues to address, leading to creation of many new initiatives by Drom in Finland and internationally.

The Baltzar-KKI-HUMAK project focused on the theoretical starting points of Baltzar's pedagogy. Anita Lehikoinen, head of the section for universities and research of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, urged Baltzar to continue his work of developing his pedagogical concepts. She noted that a wide range of evidence describing applications of intercultural experiential education is an important basis in the future.

"The Roma must be recognized as a nation among nations and they must be encouraged to act for the good of their nation. Concrete and far-reaching action for the benefit of the Roma is needed in Europe. These measures include, among others, political decisions for improving the position of the Roma in Europe and

measures and projects in support of Roma culture and identity."

– Veijo Baltzar