Puhos ♡ People is a community based project set in the Puhos Mall – the liveliest transcultural hub´s of the Helsinki City – to develop cultural activity within the mall´s communities, and to strengthen interaction between different social groups in the Itäkeskus area of Helsinki.

Consisting of various different communities, shops, cafes, restaurants and mosques ran by Somali-, Kurdish- as well as Arab speaking residents Puhos is spontaneously developed intercultural meeting place which gathers people from various language backgrounds.

The projects´s background lies on the late 2016 published news of demolishing the Puhos mall and raising ethnic confrontations in Finland. As a cross-cultural centre Puhos has been increasingly targeted by escalated opinions and xenophobic demonstrations, broadening the gap between different socioethnic groups in the Itäkeskus area.

The first event of the project was organized in August 2017 comprising of community based cultural festival set out to increase cultural capital and visibility of the Puhos mall. The event was targeted for families and gathered around one thousand participants.The festival 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 festival website

Puhos ♡ People, JP Kaljonen, Sirkku Halme, Badbaado Organisation and local communities, Community based project, Finland 2017-.