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It gathered 10,000 people on the streets of Helsinki’s Kallio district for the music, food and plain fun on a Saturday night in August last year and according to the police at the scene, the law enforcement had nothing to do but to roll their thumbs.
One could call Kallio Block Party a success story!
What made this peaceful but ceremonious event happen was the Kallio-liike community.
On a Wednesday night in January this year, chatter could be heard from the fully packed Kallion Kulttuurikammari. Like the name suggests, the independently held non-profit event venue is located in Kallio, open for all and available for anyone to reserve for no cost. It welcomes people to organise events of all sorts from discussions to gigs and poetry nights to meetings. But today, the venue was the place for the first Kallio-liike meeting of the year. It was a powwov, among others, for the next Kallio Block Party to be arranged in late summer, for the fifth year in a row.
Strives to influence
Although Kallio-liike is politically non-aligned, it does strive to influence the political decision-making.
The idea behind the group sparked from the will to make a difference. The community was formed in the effort of saving ‘Hurstin leipäjono’ – a breadline for the poor that was causing friction between the home owners of Helsinginkatu and the Hursti association (Veikko ja Lahja Hurstin Laupeudentyö ry) that served the food.
Kallio-liike has also been the prime mover of the trial for making Vaasankatu a pedestrian street and currently it is interested in developing ideas for turning Vaasanpuistikko (the infamous ‘Piritori’ or ‘Amphetamine square’) – currently an empty square with many problems – into its full potential. Kallio-liike wants to bring people together and to invigorate Kallio by organising events of a different kind.
In the past, the community has crowded the streets with popular flea markets, free-for-all-to-eat street kitchens (Korttelikeittiö) and opening the ‘Christmas Street of Vaasankatu’ – only to name a few. The beauty of Kallio-liike is that anyone can come and join the organising fun. Kallio-liike welcomes both young and old, Finnish and foreign, old and new organisers to their meetings to plan their ideal block party. You don’t have to be a professional nor have the know-how to do something. What counts is that you have an idea or the enthusiasm and time to create.
The next Kallio Block Party 2015 meeting February 9 from 18:30-20:30 at
Helsingin Evankelistinen Opisto (HEO) Pylvässali, Kirstinkatu 1.
The next Kallio-liike meeting March 11, at 18:00, Kallion Kulttuuri Kammari.
For more information on Kallio-liike
Kallion Kulttuurikammari, Kaarlenkatu 15
Open from 12.00 – till late
For more information and reservations: http://www.lumination.fi/kammari/kammari-in-english/
or 040 9366 438 / Sakari Laurila