The more freedom you have at work, the more you have to do yourself – Taike & Cupore talks in Kuopio 

Emmi Lahtinen, Researcher of Cupore presented on 20th June an art and culture barometer made by Taike and Cupore in Kuopio, which looked at the well-being of artists at work. According to the barometer, experiences of well-being at work vary a lot. However, the meaningfulness and freedom of work are the most important factors of well-being at work for artists. Then again uncertainty and lack of support are burdensome. 

In the discussion at the barometer event, the emphases highlighted by the barometer were well recognized. Participating in the discussion moderated by writer and state literature committee chairman Marjo Heiskanen were dance artist, STST chairman Sanni Kriikku from Kuopio, visual artist Leena Mäki-Patola from Varkaus and actor Santeri Niskanen from Kuopio. 

The more freedom you have at work, the more you have to do yourself 

In the barometer responses, the artists named as an important resource the possibility of influencing the goals, contents and schedules of their own work. This was experienced to be the core of the artist’s work in this discussion as well. Various paradoxes and contradictions in an artist’s work cause stress. It was also found that professionals who graduate from artist training enter working life with very different emphasis depending on the art field. 

Worrying about financial security causes challenges in coping. Freedom of work is important, but it also comes with big challenges, e.g. has to work as an employer against his will. In the discussion it was also thought about what would best secure the work. More money is needed. Colleagues and the support of the artist community were felt to be almost equally important. It was also noted that the amount of volunteer work is large, whether in the position of the applicant or the decision-maker! 

There should be more information related to artistry 

The discussion also emphasized the importance of information and statistics about artistic work. It would be more important than ever to produce information about the situation of artists for the decision makers in the municipalities, the state and the parliament. 

In the hope of disrupting

Writers Marjo Heiskanen and Jouni Tossavainen presented a poetry collage they had written and compiled for the occasion, in which, in addition to their own poetry texts, the barometer’s answers was used. 

Text: Arja Laitinen, Taike