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  • Writer's pictureCharissa Martinkauppi

"Integration Effort of the Year"

Jag är en sång mellan dina läppar has been nominated for an integration award!

Jag är en sång mellan dina läppar - Olen laulu huulillasi - Ana bin shafeifak nagham - I am a song between your lips was a community theatre piece I directed in 2017 in Haparanda. During the migrant crisis of 2015-2016, the small town became the new home of many refugees, principally from Syria and Afghanistan. Situated on the Swedish-Finnish border, Haparanda is no stranger to refugees. During WW1, the town played an important role in the exchange of prisoners of war between Germany and Russia and later on witnessed the wars in Finland, beginning with the civil war in 1918. During 2016 writer Per Allan Olsson and theatremaker Pia Suonvieri came up with the idea of how the sharing of these stories of war in Finland and the Middle East through theatre and music could increase integration in the small community. Using interviews and historical research as source material Per Allan Olsson began writing the script for what would become the music theatre piece that I had the privilege of directing. It was a joyous, challenging and unforgettable experience which is difficult to put into words. I got to work with a group of incredibly beautiful, strong and talented people who gave generously of themselves to make this piece and I will always be grateful that I was given a chance to be part of this project.

Now the it has been nominated for a Swedish Rural Network Award in the category Integration Effort of the Year alongside many other interesting projects.

The winner will be announced at the Ullbagge Gala on the 13th November. Fingers crossed!

Photo: Kenneth Mikko

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