The Lost City
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Oulu 2008 is an Experience Park that hijacks the city of Oulu 6. – 13. September. During its eight days it offers an alternative view on the city: Oulu 2008 is a replica model of the ancient times… and you are a future tourist, visiting its exotic wonders! With the change of perspective, everyday environments turn into sources of reinterpretation and inspiration: the old becomes novel, and the normal veils itself in mysteries.

Type: Experience Park | Buyer: Don Walsh | Constructor: Kadonnut kaupunki

Here’s a selection of what Oulu 2008 will offer:

The Opening Shows: 6. – 7.9. at the City Theatre of Oulu. Here you’ll receive a tourist’s introduction to Oulu, the lost city of from bygone ages – get to know the exotic excitements offered by this city of savages!

Tourist-info Oulu 2008: open 6. – 13.9. at Rotuaari. The nerve centre of the Experience park offers playful rides, guided tours, new identities and information from another reality (by phone and on the spot).

Oulu 2008 also infiltrates the networks: Characters, background stories, snippets of shows, information videos are all seeded into the opportune niches of the internet.

In addition, guided City Tours exhibit the greatest wonders of the city, and Tourist Clubs offer outlandish nightlife for the party-goers.

Oulu 2008 is also a game – playable version of reality. The participants can move deeper into its mysteries, exploring new roles and contexts in the middle of the everyday Oulu – even a possibility of construction your very own version of it. In the Final Gala of 13.9. we celebrate the different perspectives, awarding the alternative views of Oulu 2008, and its most intrepid explorers.

You can take a peek at Oulu 2008 here:

Production: Flow Productions

Sponsors: The North Ostrobothnia Regional Fund, National Council for Dance, National Council for Dramatic Art, Alfred Kordelin Foundation

Co-operation partners:

Oulu City Theatre:

Oulu Music Video festival:

Reality Research Center (Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus):

Night of the Arts 2008 (Taiteiden Yö 2008)

Muse Festival (Muusajuhlat)

The Oulu Days (Oulun Päivät)

JoJo – Oulu Dance Center


Sami Henrik Haapala, Dancer – Actor

Sami Henrik Haapala graduated as a dancer from Outokumpu, Finland, in 2003. He is currently involved in MA Degree studies in Acting in Liverpool (LIPA, UK) and will graduate in the summer of 2008. Sami also has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Helsinki, majoring in Cultural Antropology and Musicology and Art Education.

Haapala has performed in a great number of theatre and dance performances both in Finland and abroad. His special act consists of performance clubs which he has been organizing and where he has personally been performing since 1998, for example, in Helsinki, Joensuu, Oulu and Paris.

Janne Saarakkala, Director – Scriptwriter

Janne Saarakkala graduated from the degree programme in Directing of the Theatre Academy of Finland in 1997 and has since then been operating as a freelance director and script writer at various theatres, in independent groups and at the Radio Theatre. In addition, Saarakkala was the Artistic Director of the Students’ Theatre (Ylioppilasteatteri) in 1999 – 2000. Ever since 2001, Saarakkala has been actively operating in the Reality Research Center (Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus) (2001 -) as a director, script writer, performer and as a member of the Editorial Board of the Esitys (Performance) magazine.

In 2007, Saarakkala was working at the Reality Research Center together with Pilvi Porkola as a Research Coordinator and they were involved in a study regarding the form and possibilities of a political performance in current day society. The artistic outcome of the study includes, for example, Lure I – Exhibition of Infinite Possibilities), Lure II – Exhibition of a New Worker and On All Fours (Kontallaan) – A Political Street Performance.

Since 2005, Saarakkala has been involved as a representative of the Reality Research Center in the international theatre co-operation network, @work Network. In 2005 – 2007, the topic was work. The project was completed in a week-long festival in Copenhagen in April 2007. In the autumn of 2007, a new topic of civilization was chosen and a performance series regarding this topic will have its premiere in Istanbul in 2010.

Pekko Koskinen, Game Scriptwriter – Game Director

Pekko Koskinen currently works as a Game Designer at Playsign. Previously he was member of the game research team LudoCraft (University of Oulu, Finland), from the projects of which he received a number of merits, such as the 1st prize of the category at the Independent Games Festival (San Francisco, 2007), and a finalist of the same competition a year earlier (San Jose). In the awarded projects, he worked as a Game Concept Designer and a Sound Designer. He has also been the Vice-Chair of Suomen sanataideopetuksen seura (Finnish Association of Verbal Arts) and has taught creative writing across Finland, emphasizing the possibilities of play in textual expression.

His other works include two play-structured art exhibitions, Mielikuvien pelilaudalla (Imageries on a Game Board) and Toden tuntumassa (The Sense of Verity) and the dance piece Muodonruodoksia (Branches, Switches, Forms) (all in Cultural Centre Valve, 2006 – 2007). In the spring of 2008 he held a keynote speech in the Independent Games Summit of the world’s largest game conference (GDC), discussing playful approaches to everyday reality.

Lately he has began to doubt his personal role in the world. Wouldn’t the most rational move be to give up one’s personal self and transform into a pure operator, weaving things within a playful glimmer?

Toni Alatalo, Programmer – Context Designer

Toni Alatalo is Information System Designer and Programmer from Oulu and he has been working as a Developer of Internet-based services since 1994, when he was an entrepreneur at Net People Oy. He was one of the founding members of the degree program in Digital Media of the Department of Information Processing Science at the University of Oulu in 1998 and he was working there, for example, as a Researcher and Project Manager until 2005. The past years, Alatalo has been back in the entrepreneurship, currently as Technical Director of Playsign, specializing in 3d graphics/animation and game programming.

Marianne Sotti, Costume Designer

Marianne Sotti graduated as a Master of Arts from the Faculty of Art and Design of the University of Lapland in 2006. She is currently following her Master’s Degree studies at the same university. Sotti has been involved in the Students’ Theatre in Rovaniemi and Oulu. In addition, she has been involved in the costume design for the ballet Snow Queen (Lumikuningatar) which was carried out as a joint project between the Lapland Ballet School and the Rovaniemi City Theatre. In 2007, she did her traineeship at the Oulu City Theatre as an Assistant of Costume Designer Pasi R‰bin‰ for the opera Tales of Hoffmann and in 2008 she had an opportunity of assisting Costume Designer Pirjo Valinen for the theatre play Elektra.

Jonna Wikström, Performance Artist – Teacher of Theatre Expression

Jonna Wikström graduated as a class teacher from the University of Helsinki, added by subject studies of Drama Pedagogics (University of Jyväskylä) in 2002. In addition, she graduated as a director of theatre expression from Stadia Helsinki Polytechnic in 2004 and finished her specializing studies of dramaturgy from the field of theatre research at Stadia Helsinki Polytechnic in 2006. Wikström has been working in a number of freelance productions as a performer, director and script writer. Furthermore, she is teaching drama and theatre education in various schools and institutes and is currently preparing study material on theatre expression for primary schools for the Finnish language book series Kirjakuja of the publishing company Tammi.

Sini-Sisko Kalajoki, Actor – Director

Sini-Sisko Kalajoki graduated from Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences as a director of theatre expression in 2007. She has been working as an actor and director both in professional and non-professional groups (for example, Theatre Willi Lakeus, Kokkola City Theatre, puppet theatre Akseli Klonk). In addition, Kalajoki has familiarized herself with various fields of Applied Drama and she has also directed her own texts for stage. After her graduation, she has been working, for example, at the puppet theatre Akseli Klonk.

Vaatu Kalajoki, dancer-choreographer

Laura Ollikainen, Actor

Maija Mattiina Pihlaja, assistant producer

Pekka Heinonen, video design

Tomi Hurskainen, graphic design

Pirjo Yli-Maunula, dancer-choreographer, producer