Tapiola Monuments, or Muistomerkkejä Tapiolasta – Minnesmärken från Hagalund: Espoo cultural grants in support of art in Espoo and for Espoo residents

Published: 22.11.2021 11.53Updated: 22.11.2021 14.51
Two actors sitting on restaurant chairs, with the director modifying a teddy bear costume.
Director Markus Jäntti-Tuominen and actors Ella Jäntti and Riikka Lähteenmäki preparing for the short film shoot at Grilli Toro. Photo: Olli Urpela

The City of Espoo annually supports various cultural and artistic projects and creative work. Grants are available for events involving Espoo residents, cultural well-being projects and other art and cultural projects related to Espoo. The aim is to promote vibrant cultural activities in the different areas of the city.

In 2021, the City of Espoo Culture Committee supported more than 90 great projects. With the support of a local culture grant, this short film project helps record what Espoo was like before and what it is like today. 

Memories of Tapiola in a short film

The Muistomerkkejä Tapiolasta – Minnesmärken från Hagalund (Tapiola Monuments) series by Markus Jäntti-Tuominen examines monuments by means of contemporary art. The series asks us to consider things that would deserve a monument even if traditionally not seen worthy of one. The first short film of the series erects a monument to the nightlife and restaurant culture of Tapiola, bringing together fictional characters representing well-known Tapiola restaurants at Grilli Toro, a North Tapiola landmark. Besides Jäntti-Tuominen, the scriptwriters included Tomi and Joni Hakasalo.

Jäntti-Tuominen started the planning and background work of the project already in 2020 in residence at Tapiola Artist House. The idea for the project was inspired by the desire to make local art focused on one area. The restaurant and nightlife theme was chosen because of its everyday relevance; local restaurants have played an important role in the lives of Espoo residents for decades.

With the support of the project grant, filming got underway in August 2021. The work involves several people, and the grant has been used to cover the cost of costumes, staging, lighting and the like.

The working group from left to right: actors Ella Jäntti and Riikka Lähteenmäki, producer Melissa Heininen, actor Anssi Väisänen, cameraman’s assistant/scriptwriter Joni Hakasalo, director/scriptwriter Markus Jäntti-Tuominen, sound engineer/scriptwriter Tomi Hakasalo, cameraman/lighting engineer Oskari Koponen.Photo: Olli Urpela

The short film is based on the stories and experiences of the people of Espoo who were interviewed and asked for their recollections related to important yet everyday local places. Many Espoo residents were keen to share their memories, the collection of which Jäntti-Tuominen found both inspiring and fun. He collected over 40 restaurant and nightlife stories from Espoo residents ranging from 20 years of age up to veteran consumers in their 80s. The memories paint a picture of the local restaurant culture in Tapiola from the 1950s and 1960s to the present day.

The film’s characters reflect the character and behaviour of the people described in the stories by Espoo residents, including some direct quotes from the interviews. The stories and memories collected during the project show that there used to be more nightlife in Tapiola. Jäntti-Tuominen hopes that the short film not only reminds us of past times but also highlights the intrinsic value of the restaurant and nightlife culture in Tapiola both now and in future. The aim is to have the short film shown to both local and international audiences.

More information on project grants is available at espoo.fi/kulttuuriavustukset. In addition to artists and professional art and cultural communities, organisations and working groups can apply for grants. If you or your community is interested in applying for a grant, please review the application instructions and criteria and the Frequently Asked Questions section carefully. The next project grants will open for application in February 2022. Fresh collaborative initiatives from applicants are welcome; the grants are also intended to support new actors.