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Cool contrasts

Oulu2026 valo ja hahmo

Oulu is the kingdom of great contrasts – positive, but also challenging. Contrasts such as the nightless nights of the midnight sun and sunless days in the heart of winter. Contrasts have the power both to connect and disconnect, but also to create something new.

Cool Contrasts is about rebalancing our communities. There is already a recognised European need to use culture as a means to help reduce health inequalities. Oulu2026 will work with our citizens and with European partners to develop cultural practices that promote positive engagement to re-balance these inequalities. People are literally dying of loneliness in parts of Europe, both in big cities and in struggling rural hinterlands.

Oulu2026 wants to help Europe to reconnect with itself, promoting community life and face-to-face connection and exploring mental wellbeing  through sensitive and thoughtful projects.

How do we learn to better understand each other? What new and surprising connections can we create and nourish? We can listen, appreciate, be curious, supportive and interested in each other. Let’s celebrate our differences in the city of contrasts!

Programme Lines

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

Art <3 Tech

Every day, nearly three billion people use mobile technology developed in Oulu. The city has long been a pioneer in technology research, product development and start-ups – and now it wants to take over Art&Tech. The models used to produce the culture of the future will increasingly utilise a hybrid strategy, a combination of virtual and physical experiences.

Dark Matters

No one has such an intimate relationship with light as us northerners. Acknowledging the dark and harvesting the light for health
and well-being.

Oulu Calling!

Celebrating the city’s resilience and power of reinvention as an inspiration for the future. We want to explore our local identities through outsiders’ eyes, and be surprised by what we discover about ourselves.

Latest

Oulu: the world’s tar capital

Oulu: the world’s tar capital

Today Oulu is internationally renowned as a high tech city: a major centre of competence and innovation in information and health technology. Two hundred years ago Oulu had a very different reputation. It was known as the tar capital of the world. “Whenever people ask...

Final Open Call webinar 22nd Nov – Frequently Asked Questions

Final Open Call webinar 22nd Nov – Frequently Asked Questions

The last Open Call 2022 webinar focuses on Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Open Call process, the application system, funding, and activities related to the Capital of Culture. During the webinar, applicants are encouraged to ask questions from the Oulu2026...

Oulu2026 Culture Personality: Rap artist Sana

Oulu2026 Culture Personality: Rap artist Sana

Our cultural personality of the week is Sanna Rönnberg, better known to the audiences as Sana, under which name she has been making music since 2005. Sanna says that her dream of a career in music started when she was seven, when she first heard American rap on the...

Art in the City: the Oulu2026 mural 

Art in the City: the Oulu2026 mural 

“In winter it might change people’s lives. They look at this painting and they remember that summers in Finland are always very nice.” A piece of art with the power to change lives. A comment every artist longs to hear. It came from a man looking admiringly at the...

Cultural personality of the week: Transistori

Cultural personality of the week: Transistori

Our cultural personality of the week is  Transistori, an experimental sound art collective from Oulu and the highlight of the “Farewell to the Hoppers” musical event. The collective specialises in playing buildings, structures and scrap. From the very start,...