Puhos Loves People is an ongoing socially engaged project set in the Puhos Mall, one of the liveliest multicultural hubs of the Helsinki city. The ptoject aims to strengthen cultural activity within the mall´s communities and to increase interaction between different socio-ethnic groups in the Mall´s area.

The Puhos is one of the Finland´s oldest shopping centres maintained by different multilingual actors. The mall consists of different communities, shops, restaurants, cafés and mosques forming an intercultural meeting point which gathers people from diverse backgrounds. 

The first event of the project, the Puhos Loves People 2017 festival, was organized in August 2017 to increase visibility of the mall and interaction between different ethnic communities in the area.  The festival gathered around one thousand visitors and consisted of multilingual music- and poetry programmes; composition work and performance for Puhos Mall by local youths (organised as part of Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma Theatre URB 17 Festival programme); workshops; as well as pop-up and local restaurants serving multiethnic cuisines. 

The second Puhos Loves People festival was held in August 2018  and aimed to diversify and expand the production team and the visitor groups of the event. The event was collaboratively produced by local and other Helsinki based communities and individuals gathering around 3000 visitors. The programme of the festival consisted of multilingual music performances; Puhos fashion show; workshops; urban children disco; Bollywood dance group´s performance; Puhos restaurant day event; and public art works. 

The festival website

Puhos ♡ People 2017 festival,  JP Kaljonen, Sirkku Halme, Badbaado Organisation, Joonas Lehtola and local communities, Socially engaged project, Finland 2017.

Puhos ♡ People 2018 festival, JP Kaljonen, Sirkku Halme, Badbaado Organisation, in cooperation with Funky Amigos Organisation, McMbay, Muutoksii Organisation, Meh Organisation, Tusovka Organisation, A-ryhmä, Writers´ and Artists´ Association Kiila, Oranssi Organisation, Itäkeskus Library, musician Joonas Lehtola, musician Megbah Ahmed, Elyas Lemechele, Alanya Oriental Market, Kirkuk Cafe, Restaurant Arbailo, Sabir halal-Meat Shop and Tronk. Festival host: Saartu Gada. Festival communication: Daria Tarkhova & Asha Sheikh Musse. Sound Techinician: Ville Saaristo. Festival area visualisation: artist Kristiina Tuura. Logistics: Barre Ahmed (Anwar), Socially engaged project 2018.