IHME Helsinki and Climate Security Festival to Join Forces

Image of Kellohalli restaurant. A hall with long tabels.
Maaleipä Challenge Award Ceremony will take place in Kellohalli in Teurastamo on 21 September 2024. Photo: Laura Nissinen.

IHME Helsinki and the Safer Climate network are joining forces to organise the Climate Security Festival and the main IHME Helsinki Commission 2024 event in September. The three-day event starts with the Climate Security Festival programme at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Kumpula on 19-20 September and continues with IHME Helsinki Commission 2024 programme at Teurastamo Kellohalli on Saturday 21 September.

IHME Helsinki Commission 2024 is the Maaleipä Challenge devised by the London-based duo Cooking Sections. The Challenge invites all bread makers in homes, schools and bakeries to make bread with ingredients produced with respect for soil health and biodiversity. Reduction in and impoverishment of agricultural land are a global problem, and the consequences of one-sided intensive farming are also visible in Finland. The theme of the second edition of the Climate Security Festival, inspired by the Maaleipä Challenge, is food security.

From Food Security to the Future of Food Production

The Safer Climate network, which brings together research, art and civil society actors, is coordinated by the University of Helsinki’s Institute of Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR). Rosa Rantanen, who runs the network, says the aim of the Festival is to create as open and equal a space as possible for an exploratory climate debate involving researchers, civil society actors, artists and other interested parties.

Through the theme of Food Security we aim to explore together our views on the production, consumption and cultural significance of food, as well as the relationship between food and our bodies, our environment, and planetary health.

Paula Toppila, Executive Director and Curator of IHME Helsinki, will give a keynote speech on the role of art and art institutions in the sustainability transition, taking IHME Helsinki and the Maaleipä Challenge as a case study. Artists Aliisa Talja and Samuli Laine (WAUHAUS collective) have been invited by IHME Helsinki to produce a workshop that will nourish participants emotionally and look forward into the future of food production Those at the Meteorological Institute will also be able to experience Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova’s Palianytsija, which she began making while reflecting on her role as an artist after Russia’s war of aggression began in 2022. The stone “loaves” in Palianytsija are for sale, with the entire proceeds going to beneficiaries in Ukraine chosen by the artist.

I attended the first Climate Security Festival last year, and was inspired by the open-minded way it brought people from different sectors together in a common concern for the climate and in sharing, all in an empowering atmosphere. It’s great that Maaleipä Challenge will culminate in this context, and that our understanding of both soil health as a part of food security and our ability to influence it will grow. The thought-provoking works at the festival by Zhanna Kadyrova, Aliisa Talja and Samuli Laine will also encourage participation and active involvement,

says Paula Toppila.

The main language of the Climate Security Festival is English. The event is open to all, free of charge, but registration is required. The registration form and further details of the programme will be posted on the Climate Security Festival website and social media channels in June.

The IHME Helsinki Commission 2024 Maaleipä Challenge will run from 15 April to 1 September 2024. The award ceremony at Teurastamo Kellohalli on 21 September will celebrate the best of the Maaleipä breads and their creators. The event is open to all, free of charge, and does not require registration. The event will be in Finnish and English.

Check out the Climate Security Festival: Join in the Maaleipä Challenge:

Climate Security Festival will take place from 19 September to 20 September.