Helsinki Pride Week, Finland’s largest human rights and cultural event, will be celebrated this year from 28 June to 4 July. For the second year, the City of Helsinki is one of the main partners of Helsinki Pride week. Equality and non-discrimination will be celebrated all over the city, but the main event venue Pride House will be located for the first time at Helsinki City Hall, where various discussion events, encounters and a photo exhibition will be held during the week. Pride House will also offer Pride Info & Shop as usual.
“Even in Finland, equal civic rights, human dignity and the right to self-expression are still not a given. Pride highlights important themes, provides meaningful encounters and draws attention to key issues. The City of Helsinki is proud to be involved in all the efforts. As such, it is natural for the City hall, too, to fly the colours of the rainbow in the summer during the Pride event,” says Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
The aim of the Helsinki Pride event co-operation is to increase community spirit, inclusion and visibility in the city, as well as to increase citizens’ knowledge of equality, non-discrimination and human rights. In addition, the aim is also to increase Helsinki’s positive awareness and image as an employer, as well as to send a message to the city’s citizens that the City of Helsinki promotes equality, both in its services and as an employer.
The City of Helsinki will offer its staff a Pride-themed programme from 31 May to 4 June. Helsinki walks with Pride week invites all City of Helsinki staff to the Pride walk to show their support for Helsinki as an employer who stands firmly behind the principles of equality, non-discrimination and human rights. In addition to Pride walks in work communities, the week also includes a podcast on equality and non-discrimination in work life, as well as Pride online training for City of Helsinki staff, with rainbow vocabulary and rainbow-sensitive customer encounters.
As in previous years, the City of Helsinki will participate as a partner in the implementation of the Youth Pride week organised by Helsinki Pride. This year, Nuorten Pride House (Youth Pride House) is located in Vallila, in connection with the new premises of IrisHelsing- a rainbow youth service. During the Youth Pride week, young people will also be offered more and more activities around Helsinki, Maunulatalo, Kanneltalo and Oodi, among others.
In addition to this, a photographic exhibition Meistä (About Us), featuring LGBTQ models who are living in Finland and belong to an indigenous and ethnic or religious minority, will open at Caisa International Cultural Centre on 17 May. The exhibition will be available at the City Hall during Pride Week. The opening of the exhibition will be celebrated with a panel discussion hosted by Brigita Krasniqi, founder of the feminist and anti-racist civil society organisation Fem-R. Jani Toivola, Pinja Pieski, Yasmin Ibrahim, Jay Jimeno and Lorenzo Standen will also participate in the panel discussion.
Helsinki Pride week takes on a hybrid form
This year, Helsinki Pride will take on a hybrid form for the second time, i.e. events will be organised as physical gatherings within the limits of current official recommendations. Programme organisers will also use different online platforms to enable participation in events, including for community members belonging to risk groups. In addition, the daily programme will be broadcast on the event pages of Helsinki Pride.
A renewed online procession will also be created on the event pages, which everyone can join in to demonstrate, support and celebrate Helsinki Pride week. Small groups, communities and groups of friends can increase the visibility of Pride on the streets and online, as well as on social media. During Helsinki Pride week, the cityscape will also have an impact campaign that will be implemented together with the event’s official partners. The campaign will also highlight the theme of the year, which commemorates the anniversary years of Finland’s rainbow history and makes visible work that still needs to be done to create a truly equal and safe Finland.
As the Pride procession or park festival, which brings together tens of thousands of people, cannot be held responsibly even this year, Helsinki Pride 2021 will culminate on Saturday 3 July with a Helsinki Pride concert featuring SANNI, Tuure Boelius, Yeboyah, Benjamin, NikoLa & Pola Ivanka. The concert will be hosted by Cristal Snow and Lola Lorenzo. The concert will be held in Black Box, Helsinki Ice Hall, and can be viewed live on Pride Stream and Yle Teema.