IHME Helsinki Podcast: Contemporary Art, Neoliberalism, Environmental Crisis


Contemporary Art, Neoliberalism, Environmental Crisis

The collaboration between IHME Helsinki and Helsinki Open Waves continues with a podcast, in which Executive Director and Curator Paula Toppila and the Kurdish artist and musician Hiwa K discuss the connections between neoliberalism and the environmental crisis. Chicago Boys – While We Were Singing, They Were Dreaming, initiated by Hiwa K in London in 2010, was IHME Helsinki Commission 2023. In the podcast, Paula and Hiwa discuss the factors that influenced the creation of the work and its simultaneous enactment in Helsinki and Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan. Hiwa unpacks the impact of neoliberalism on the environmental crisis and how the 2003 Iraq war can be seen as a neoliberal project comparable to the 1973 Chilean coup d’état.


Producer and editor: Paula Toppila
Host and guest: Paula Toppila and Hiwa K
Sound mixing: Bailey Polkinghorne

Hiwa K lives in Berlin and Sulaymaniyah, where he returned three years ago having lived in Germany for twenty years. Hiwa K’s artistic work reflects an ongoing critique of the art-education system, art practices defined as being professional, and the myth of the artist. As a result, many of his works are powerfully communal and participatory. They re-evaluate the processes underlying teaching and learning systems, and rely on ordinary life and people as the most important site for learning.

IHME Helsinki is a contemporary art commissioning agency that annually commissions a work by an international artist in public space and produces a series of events intended to give rise to vision and hope amid the environmental crisis. IHME Helsinki Commissions combine art, science and climate work. Through them and other events IHME Helsinki promotes the cultural change needed to tackle the environmental crisis.

Podcast is produced in collaboration with Helsinki Open Waves.

Listen to the episode

IHME Helsinki Podcast:

Contemporary Art, Neoliberalism and Environmental Crisis