Photo: Bonnie Fortune

Voima sportti-päivä

The ’Power sports day’ (Voima sportti-päivä in Finnish) was a prototype-event which took place at the Pyhäjoki sports track on Sunday 11th of August. The event was imagined as a direct intervention and/or a participatory performance where people could freely interact, and express their feelings towards the planned construction of the nuclear power plant. The sport track itself is supported by, among others, the Finnish power company Fennovoima.

The main (and only) event of the Power Sports Day was a track-running race between different actors portraying the main protagonists of the power ’race’ for Pyhäjoki Nuclear power plant construction. Infact, the participants of the race were the main shareholderes dressed up in cardboard-box costumes, trash and storage symbols for the neoliberal market system. The audience present was also invited to participate and freely interact with the leading players according to their wishes. Some props were provided: running-hurdles and fences, banana boxes, and bananas too, where skins could be thrown to symbolise slip-ups or discontent. Additional roles were offered for active citizens: the goose (Hanhi in Finnish), which is the heraldic symbol of Pyhäjoki municipality.

While the power sports runners were running around the track, the chronological development of Fennovoima–as it was founded until the present day–was read out over the tannoy-speaker system, identifying transition points, dramatic over-takings, as well as building future expectations. Our event, potentially using Fennovoima sponsored equipment and space could be interpreted as being temporarily occupied for the local emboddied performance of runners, active citizens and spectators, even if the power-plant planning developments have also played out in Finnish national and international news and social media.

The track-run, as a sports game with loosely specified rules, is an anaolgy to the free-market economic system, and one which isn’t always easy for shareholder investors. Hence, it reflected also the reality which Fennovoima energy corporation has had to face during their 6 year history. Just to mention one example: Pro Hanhikivi, a local NGO organisation founded in 2007, to protect the natural and social environment against the nuclear power-plant, have been purposefully resisting and the construction project, raising awareness of extraordinary measures that Fennovoima have taken, including taking on risk and request to buyout or evict private landowners to make space for the power race.

The whole Power Sports Day event left a self-produced mess, which reflects the economic reality such projects embrace. The geese (the active citizens) tidied up with care the mess that remained.. Leaving behind good memories of the sweat produced.

’Voima sportti-päivä’ event promotion poster 08.08.2013 [847 KB]
NB: Only the ’Voimajuoksu’ (Power-race) & ’Videolähetys nettiin’ (internet video streaming) took place at 17.00 due to changes in other schedule.

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