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Brave Hinterland

A woman standing on a moving ferry in the winter

You need to be brave to live here. Brave too to pack up and leave, starting a new life elsewhere. But even braver to stay and try to change things.

Far away from everything, on the periphery of Europe we face an uncompromising nature, extreme climate (change), enormous distances and wild vastness, excessive light and excessive darkness. Only a few in Europe are willing to live with extreme hardship and extreme beauty.
Yet Europe is much more than just its geographical core. We want Europe to get excited by its edges in 2026!

Finally, actual Climate Change impacts us more visibly here than almost anywhere else in Europe with biodiversity already significantly diminished. The global response to climate change has so far been too timid. We explore this topic in our theme Brave Hinterland.

Programme Lines

Each of the three programme themes include programme lines which enable us to group connected projects together to maximise synergy and impact.

Between East and West

Oulu exploring its roots and the routes linking it to Europe. These routes shaped the identity, cultural and societal development of the city and deserve exploring.

Naturally Art

Pulsing forces of the North – Nature and Art. With the growing focus on climate change, we cannot ignore or deny nature’s forces – whether you live in Oulu region or on the southernmost shores of Europe. We wish to showcase our region’s traditional engagement with nature reminding us how it enriches our lives, sharing
its vibrant inspiration with a broader Europe.

Northern Vibes

We do things differently here. We sit in hot saunas and then dive into frozen waters. We cycle on our bikes in minus 25-degrees Celsius. It’s an everyday experience for us, but a surprise to most of the rest of the world. Having fun in the snow hides a deeper message about the sensitivity and disappearance of our traditional habitat. Join us on a journey through our unique way of living and learn to appreciate winter’s natural wonders!

Latest

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Varikko: a show that makes you want to come back for more

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Aalto Siilo: Farewell to Hoppers 24th September

Aalto Siilo: Farewell to Hoppers 24th September

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Arctic Food Lab: Why does it matter? Views from two experts in Oulu

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Culture personality of the Week: Petri Kuusela

Culture personality of the Week: Petri Kuusela

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Cultural Personality of the week: Charles Gil

Cultural Personality of the week: Charles Gil

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Combining Art and Technology for Oulu2026

Combining Art and Technology for Oulu2026

The fairy tale wall is a large interactive touch screen that creates a magical immersive space for children. In addition to watching and getting involved with a fairy tale, the screen has an option to create a snowstorm, make waves in a river, build a pile of colourful autumn leaves and even chase northern lights – all that simply by drawing with fingers. There’s also a panel where users can play musical instruments. What makes the screen even more unique is that you don’t even have to touch it: the surface is so sensitive that it reacts to hand waves.

Oulu2026 lounge offers free multicultural performances and live music during Qstock festival weekend

Oulu2026 lounge offers free multicultural performances and live music during Qstock festival weekend

The traditional Qstock Festival takes place in late July, but this year the festival features also free-entry Oulu2026 park in Linnansaari from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th July. The park is located near the Qstock festival area offering visitors a relaxing place to enjoy festival and culture atmosphere free of charge. 
Oulu2026 Producer Heikki Myllylahti tells us that the Oulu2026 programme for the park is now ready for publication!