Kannelmäki visit 27.10 2011

We arrived to Kannelmäki by train around 16.30. There were much more people both on the train and around the train station than last week when we arrived around eight in the morning. We went to see the Operaatio Pulssi exhibition at Kanneltalo, there were quite a few youngsters both outside the cultural centre and inside. Some were hanging out on the sofas, others were viewing the Pulssi exhibition. There will be a Pulssi Gaala next week, 4.11 for young people over 12+. The exhibition exposed photos from various projects and workshops and a video, which at least partly was made during a Pulssi-moviemaking course. We will most likely meet the coordinator of Pulssi next week (week 44).

We went to the Kanneltalo café, the lady who works there was chatting with the customers, it seems she knows many of the customers rather well. I had a tea left unpaid from an earlier visit, I payed it and she said I was a ‘wonderful person’ and that especially today she needed a lot of money. There was a lady coming to the café who seemed to be a regular customer. She sat down next to our table and asked us how we are, when she realized that only one of us spoke finnish she changed into english. We chatted a little, she said she was doing fine, but she didn’t really like Kannelmäki, but didn’t know why. She left her table and went to talk with some people sitting at an other table, she was told by the lady working in the café, to leave the costumers alone several times.

We talked with the café-keeper about the possibility to organize our Ravintola Päivä event in her café. It now seems we will be organizing a brunch in Kanneltalo the 19.11. There was going to be another event in the afternoon, therefore we decided about the brunch. The café keeper had been thinking about organizing something linked to health and wellbeing, already earlier, and since our project is linked to wellbeing this theme would suit the event pretty well. We decided to meet 3.11 to plan the event more properly.

We went walking around Kannelmäki, first pretty much the same route as last week, to see how our question notes were doing, adding some quotes, which were based on answers we got while talking with people last week. By the station all of our signs had been ripped down, but on the other places our questions were still left. Some of our notes had even got some comments added.

There were some people hanging out by the old mall. Youngsters by the grill and some other people who seemed to be regular visitors of the place. We also recognized a man we had been talking to last week. When walking away from the mall we met a girl and asked her what she thinks about Kannelmäki. She said it’s ok, but she doesn’t like the area around the old mall that much, that it is a bit crappy. She told us she was a student and that for now it is ok to live in Kannelmäki, but that she would never by an apartment there.

We talked with a young guy about what he thinks about the area. He had been living there 7 years, he thought it is ok. He didn’t think it had changed that much during that time, only the Prisma got bigger, but that didn’t really affect the area much. He thought that there are good connections to all directions from Kannelmäki, that there are good services in the area and that it is good that there is a mix of nature and urbanism in the area. The negative side, he thought is the restlessness, especially around the train station and the Sitratori. We asked if it is really unsafe in that area or if it is more just restless. He said it’s rather restless, than dangerous, he had at least not so far had anything happened to him there.

By a small football field there were about five teenager boys hanging out. They all lived in the area, they didn’t have so much to comment about the area, we tried to ask about good and bad sides, one of them said that there is no bad things to say about the place, joking a bit ironically. We asked where they usually go, if there are some certain places, Kanneltalo or the youth centre for example, “not really” they said. One of them said he sometimes goes to the youthcentre. Another said that Kannelmäen Neste is a place where young people might hang out (but we were left a bit unsure whether he was serious or not). The guys were polite, even though it was hard to know if they were serious or joking while answering our questions.

We continued walking in a direction we had not been before, it was on the same side of the railway station as Sitra Tori. Mostly block buildings, and after a while we came to some smaller paths which went through a small forrest area. We came to a place with two sports fields and a playground and a skateboard parc, this was by the river called “Mätäjoki”. There was a mum with her two children on the football field. She had been living in Kannelmäki about one year. She said it’s ok, but that there are people who give her a bit of a headache, especially considering living there with children. She also mentioned the Sitra Tori being restless and said that she got the impression the old mall is quite restless as well, but that she never goes there.

We went back to Kanneltalo, there were a lot of people in the lobby, apparently there was going to be a theatre play in there. We went to the library to make some notes about our visit, the library also had a lot of visitors. We had agreed with the youth centre to visit them at 7pm, so we went there, just in time to see how their house meeting (Talokokous) works. Once a week they have a house meeting in the youthcentre, where the youth gets to decide about certain topics. They have some money to spend each week, this week they decided to make some food for the money they had. They also got info about upcoming events.

One of the youth workers told us a bit about how the youthcentre works. They have certain things happening the same day each week, but many of those who come there mostly want to hang out and be with their friends. For the youth it is a place to be safe and meet their friends. But there are different kind of activities also. They had and ongoing competition for a wallpainting, where the best drawing is going to be realized by the youth themselves. There was  Operaatio Pulssi DJ-course going on in one of the spaces in the centre. They also have a kitchen, a x-box room, an ateljé and a room for girls. Most of the things that are done or changed in the centre is realized by the youth themselves. For example the girls room was designed and realized by those girls who wanted to participate in the project. We asked how they think some kind of project where youth and elderly would be brought together would work. According to the youth worker we spoke with it would probably be easier with those who are 9-12 years old than with the older ones, who were in the centre by the time of our visit. The older ones are not as easy to get involved in new activities, they mostly want to do their own things. At 19.30, by the time of the soap opera; Salatut Elämät, the centre got very calm since almost everyone gathered by the TV. This is the time when the youth workers can take it easy, drink tea and relax. We agreed on staying in contact, and that we could promote some events or projects through the youth centre in the future. There are quite good spaces in the youth centre that would be possible to use.