The Kaikuu tours in the Ateneum Art Museum are designed for Finnish language students with different backgrounds. Conducted in 2020 and 2021, the tours are organised in collaboration with students from the Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki.
The tours are based on open discussion in front of artworks. Art and culture offer a context that enables people to discover new perspectives and common interests or experiences. By talking with each other we can learn about culture, art, history and what it means to be a human being.
The museum guides conducting the Kaikuu tours are trained to involve everyone equally. The tours foster equality and give participants a chance to talk about issues that are important to them. We feel that museums have increasingly become places of interaction, coupled with a growing demand for more relaxed and informal encounters. We have therefore made sure that the Kaikuu tours are open-ended – all interpretations of art are equally correct.
The Kaikuu tours will be conducted in 2020 and 2021 in collaboration with students from the Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki. The Ateneum guide will meet up with the group three times, first at school and then two times in the Ateneum. While each group and each encounter is different, the tours will give every participant an opportunity to talk about their own story, experience or ideas awakened by the works they have seen in the museum.
The first meeting is designed to establish a sense of familiarity. The guide and the group get to know each other by using pictures of artworks. Each group member selects an art card they feel is interesting and tells to the rest of the group what caught their eye in the picture. The meeting concludes with a discussion to discover if any shared themes have emerged.
The second meeting is all about discovery. At the museum the group learns about the works of art through discussion with the guide. Each group member selects an artwork they find interesting and takes a photo of it with their mobile phone, for example.
In preparation for the last meeting, which takes place in the museum, each group member writes down at school their thoughts about the work they chose: what they feel is touching or remarkable about it or why it awakens memories.
The theme of the last meeting is new stories. Each group member takes turns presenting their chosen work and sharing their thoughts about it. The guide listens along with the rest of the group. Everyone can join in the discussion and ask questions. The second museum visit also includes hands-on creative work either in a workshop or in an exhibition space in the museum. Alternatively, the creative session can be arranged to take place in the school under the teacher’s guidance.
All tours are conducted in clear Finnish adapted to the group’s level of proficiency. Students at all levels of proficiency can participate in the tour, no one being excluded. The tours encourage voluntary and spontaneous participation in Finnish, whether the students are native speakers or know just a few Finnish words. The guides are trained to speak easy Finnish when needed.