HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme

A statement published in context of Helsinki Art Institutions for Equality initiative, May 2018.

As a response to the Helsinki Art Institutions for Equality, HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme has initiated a regular series of meetings amongst the staff to discuss the topics of ethics and equality. The topics that have so far been addressed include diversity , financial / economic conditions , transparency , a ccessibility , ecology and freedom of speech .

One important commitment that HIAP has made is to become a more sustainable organisation in terms of the ecological footprint of the organisation. To this end, HIAP will collaborate with Mustarinda to establish more ecological working practices. One key discovery from the discussions from this spring is that in order to establish economically sustainable practices, the organisation itself (in terms of staff, projects, etc) needs to have enough stability in order to engage in long term planning. This need corresponds to a goal set in the HIAP strategy document for years 2016-2020 ( http://www.hiap.fi/strategia) – HIAP needs to achieve a better balance in terms of available resources and the scale of activities. So far we have reduced the amount of residencies by making them longer (200 residencies in 2014, approx 40 residencies in 2019). HIAP will also work to improve the working conditions of cultural workers and artists at HIAP and in general. We have been able to reach a situation in which we can offer the studios, apartments and other facilities for artists always without charge, and all the international residencies come with a monthly working grant.

In near future HIAP will work to improve the transparency of decision-making and will add more information about the accessibility to our venues. We will continue the discussions related to diversity and other topics, and these discussions will inform the further development of the general HIAP strategy. HIAP will also continue to collaborate with Perpetuum Mobile to realise AR-Safe Haven Helsinki residencies, which focus on freedom of expression and are offered for artists who face persecution in their home country due to their artistic practice.

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