Chemnitz and Tampere are united by the goal of becoming European Capital of Culture. And so we are in lively exchange with the application office of our Finnish twin city. The idea of a residence for four photographers from Tampere was also born. The internationally working artists Marja-Liisa Torniainen, Hannu Vanhanen, Aimo Hyvärinen and Susanna Myllylä would like to use their stay to make contacts in Chemnitz. “Among other things, the exchange with photographers and cultural institutions in Chemnitz is on the agenda for us, as we are looking for cooperation partners for our international photo triennial Backlight. The 16th edition of the triennial will take place in 2020 on the theme ‘Photography meets research and new technologies’,” explains Hannu Vanhanen, director of the Backlight photo triennial.

Besides visits to the Excellence Cluster MERGE at the TU Chemnitz, the Saxon Museum of Industry Chemnitz, the Saxon Textile Research Institute e. V. (STIF), the Chemnitzer Filmwerkstatt or the Chemnitzer Künstlerbund, a networking meeting with other Chemnitz initiatives, festival makers and artists took place on Tuesday evening, after the opening of the exhibition “Tampere DOC” in the Volkshochschule im Tietz (4th floor). The entertaining vernissage was the casual prelude to the photographic and cinematic examination by ten photographers from Tampere of the transformation of their city, for example through the construction of a new tram line and a city tunnel over two kilometers long. The exhibition thus builds a bridge to the twin city of Chemnitz, where comparable aspects of urban development are at the centre of the application for the Capital of Culture 2025. It can be seen until 26 May.

In addition, the four Finnish artists started on Tuesday in two five-day workshops with photographers from Chemnitz, which will focus on “Urban Waters – between Art and Documentation” on the one hand, and “Life and Places in Suburbs” on the other. The results will then be presented on Saturday, 11 May at 2 pm, also on the Tietz (4th floor).

The photographers’ residency is a joint project of the municipal EU office, the VHS Chemnitz and the application office Chemnitz2025 for the title “European Capital of Culture 2025”. The city of Tampere is applying for the title of “European Capital of Culture” for the year 2026. With the residency we are thus actively working on the networking between Tampere2026 and Chemnitz2025. “During their stay, the group is also developing ideas for an artist exchange with Chemnitz this autumn,” says photographer Marja-Liisa Torniainen of the Tampere Artists’ Association.

Photos: Fabian Thüroff