Kuopio’s ANTI Festival brings gastronomy and arts together

Kuopio’s ANTI Festival creates synergies between gastronomy and arts

26 October 2020Food will be the central theme of Kuopio’s ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival 2020 (27 October – 1 November), that this year will celebrate the title of Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy 2020-21 awarded by IGCAT.

By showcasing food-related pieces of art, the event will bring gastronomy and arts together, thus reinforcing cross-sectoral dialogue within the region.

“We began thinking about the theme for this year’s festival some years ago – food, and its associative acts of cooking, eating, growing, farming, providing, the list is long, it is at the centre of life” reads the curatorial statement of ANTI Festival’s Artistic Directors, Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan.

Food “is personal, private, deeply social, public, political, it speaks to industry, to production, to micro, local, national and international economies and ecologies, it is global, it is domestic, very often, perhaps always, it is gendered, it has to do with our bodies, how we see each other and how we see ourselves.”

“We know now, more clearly than at any point in human civilisation that if we get food wrong we will bring an end to human civilisation. And we know that when the ability to sit together and eat together, with friends, with family, is taken away from us it signals that something is fundamentally wrong; we want to eat together – it is a human thing to do, it feels good.”

ANTI Festival has now come to its 19th edition, organised in partnership with ProAgria Eastern Finland, the Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation and Savonia University of Applied Sciences, all founding stakeholders of Kuopio, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2020-21.

International Executive Director of Kuopio 2020-21 and IGCAT Expert, Ilona Sares affirmed that “ANTI Festival always has the ability to surprise and evoke reflection from different perspectives. The festival also teaches us the encounter of the new and the stranger, and tolerance with their works of art.”

Since 2002, ANTI Festival “works with innovative artists on projects that explore and explode urban space,” highlights the official website. Organised as an annual event in Kuopio, the festival hosts “projects by artists from around the world” that “inhabit the spaces of public life – homes, shops, city squares, business, forests, lakes – and directly engage communities and audiences in the making and showing of their work.”

In 2007, the City of Kuopio awarded ANTI with an honorary certificate for Promoting Internationalisation in the City of Kuopio stressing that it is “Finland’s most international and largest festival of contemporary and performing art.”

ANTI Festival also provides the world’s only International Prize for Live Art.

ANTI Festival 2020 programme and much more are available on ANTIZINE vol. 8 and on the official website www.antifestival.com.

About the Regions of Gastronomy Platform   

Candidate and awarded Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to raise awareness about the importance of their cultural and food uniqueness; stimulate creativity and gastronomic innovation; educate for better nutrition; improve sustainable tourism standards; highlight distinctive food cultures; and strengthen community well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance to safeguard and promote distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. This is essential to balance against globalised food trends that are impacting on our planet, health and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the Regions of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the Young Chef Award, the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Visitor Experience and the Food Film Menu.