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Opening event of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union will be inaugurated on 8 July in a summer party organised by the City of Helsinki.

This popular event will take place in Kansalaistori Square and the adjoining park area by Lake Töölönlahti in the heart of Helsinki. During that day, a participatory performative artwork designed by the environmental artist Kaisa Salmi will be mounted in Kansalaistori Square next to the venue of the Presidency meetings to take a stand on climate change.

The artwork was commissioned by the Prime Minister's Office, who wishes to use this occasion to underscore the importance of circular economy and the role of sustainable meeting arrangements during the Finnish Presidency.

“Sustainability is the thread that runs throughout our meeting arrangements. One of our goals is to do without paper and plastic as far as possible,” says Senior Specialist Annikka Alanko from the Presidency Secretariat.

“Plastic Mama will aid us to expand this way of thinking beyond the meeting venue in a collective and participatory manner,” she explains.

Made of recycled plastic by a thousand schoolchildren, Plastic Mama is a baroque dress that will rise up to ten meters during the Kansalaistori Square summer party. Standing at the top of her plastic creation, artist Kaisa Salmi will be sermonizing on environmental issues for a total of ten hours.

The event will also celebrate the opening of the Helsinki Cup football tournament. Young football players arriving from all over the world will present their greetings to Plastic Mama in the form of recycled plastic objects.

The texts to be read out during the lifetime of the artwork are authored by the Finnish writer Juha Hurme and artist Kaisa Salmi herself. The artistic working group for Plastic Mama also includes dress designer Marjatta Nissinen and set designer Markku Pätilä.

Besides the Prime Minister's Office, the other organisers are Europe Information (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), the European Parliament liaison office in Finland, and the European Commission Representation in Finland.