Jaakko Nousiainen has been appointed Director of the Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland on a four year contract. Previously, Jaakko headed the Institute’s Arts Programme. “This is an exciting opportunity to continue our long term work in a new role”, says Nousiainen.
The Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland, which until recently was known as the Finnish Institute in London, is celebrating its 30th birthday this year. To mark the occasion, the Institute has revamped its name, strategy and visual identity. “We aim to expand our work and networks across the UK and Ireland. In the coming years, we want to strengthen ties between creative professionals and societal impact makers in Scotland and Finland”, notes Nousiainen.
Doctor of Arts Nousiainen has a wide range of professional experience in the arts, culture and digital media. Nousiainen has previously worked as Head of New Media Development at the Finnish Broadcasting Company, and created experimental contemporary opera formats. Since 2017, he has led the Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland’s Arts Programme. Nousiainen’s career has taken him to Germany and Japan prior to this.
“Brexit, Covid-19 and sustainable development goals emphasise the importance of cultural relations between the UK, Ireland and Finland. We need each other more than ever and recent events challenge us to rethink collaboration and mobility. The Institute will continue to be bold and adaptable, thanks to Jaakko Nousiainen’s perspective, insight, firm commitment to the Institute’s core values and ability to form meaningful and impactful partnerships and collaborative relationships” says Tommi Laitio, Chair of the Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland’s board.
The Institute finds itself at a crossroads as Brexit and Covid-19 pose a threat to transnational collaboration.
“We want our be more inclusive and actively commit to anti-racist practices. We must also address the challenges posed by the global environmental crisis. The role of culture as a tool for physical and mental wellbeing will be crucial in the period that follows this pandemic. Our immediate programming will already be addressing these key issues.
“I grew up next to the river which marks the border between Finland and Sweden, but the people on both sides have always been one community. It’s exactly this kind of inclusive mentality that is needed in Ireland and the UK now”, says Nousiainen.
For further information and interview requests, please contact:
Chair of the board, Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland
+358 (0)50 563 4950