Tampere-based theater director and author Juha Hurme lived in Espoo for almost two months in August – September. Now he tells what he thinks of Finland’s second largest city.
It, who claims that Espoo is a young city with no history, does not know what he is talking about. Or well, as a city Espoo is of course young, officially it has only been a city since 1972 – but history, that’s enough.
It’s actually pretty funny at all to think that a place would be historyless. Yes, everything has a past. In some places it has only remained better within our reach than in others.
In Matinkylä, hidden in the middle of apartment buildings, ancient history is right at your fingertips. Or, in fact, right now a theater director and author Juha Hurmeen under the sole of the shoe.
We stand on the edge of the damn field in Tiistilä and look at thousands of years old rocks. Sometimes, a long, long time ago, this place has had a seaside. Now it is reminiscent of round gray stones.
“I’m digging these damn fields. I move a lot in Lapland, where there are these. Here is the feeling that Lapland is in the middle of us in Espoo. ”
Here Hurme was also the first to move from Tampere to Espoo at the beginning of August to work on the Harhama play at the Espoo City Theater. The theater had acquired an apartment in Matinkylä for Hurme and his adult daughter, Harhama’s choreographer. To Sarah Hurme and Juha Hurme’s two-year-old son Toukolle.
It is an honor for the Hurme family not to touch map applications or navigators, but to get there using a paper map and compass. And since Matinkylä was a strange place for Saara and Juha Hurme, they also looked at the map and compass when navigating from Matinkylä metro station to Tiistilä apartment building.
Juha Hurme had previously considered that near the new home was a historical attraction, the damn field of Tiistilä and the rugged Rajakallio – or Råberget, as the Swedish name used by Hurme belongs. He was impressed by the landscape.
“This is a protected plot, and there is close urban planning around it. It would be interesting to trace who is being thanked, for example, that there is no apartment building right here now, ”Hurme says, letting his gaze wander around the dark rocks of Pirunpello.
Gore is clearly excited that he is allowed to talk about Espoo.
“I talk a lot about theater and literature. It’s kind of understandable, but this is something different! ”
Hurme calculates that he has lived for short periods in 25 Finnish cities. It is part of the job of a theater director. Usually there are two to three months on site. In Espoo, the pace of training had been intensified, partly due to coronavirus contingencies, and the visit was therefore shorter than usual.
However, Hurme already has a clear idea of what makes Espoo special:
“Espoo is honestly like a city, but there are unedged oases left in the city. It is not practiced elsewhere in Finland. I find it really ingenious. Espoo has to go through forests, and the biodiversity that is there provides health. It provides the microbes and the defenses and well-being that we really desperately need. ”
Hurme runs a lot, has been running since she was a child. From Matinkylä, the runs often took you to the shore track or Suomenoja bird ponds and from there to Espoo Central Park. Hurme was already familiar with Nuuksio National Park, where he has always enjoyed himself.
Hurme praises Espoo’s natural sites profusely.
“Espoo can be truly proud of its forests. That we have this kind of thing here in the metropolitan cluster! The value of this is increasing with the ecological crisis. Finland can proudly present this to the world! ”
When we walk back from the cliffs towards Matinkylä metro station, Hurme looks at the tall apartment buildings rising around.
“I have a pragmatic relationship with life, and I think houses like that are just jesus. For ecological reasons, I believe that people should live in apartment buildings. I have nothing against apartment buildings. We needed apartment buildings. Espoo cannot be a completely nature park, ”Hurme reflects.
Under the new residential areas, he would not cut down the forest, and especially the detached house areas Hurme would not be built at all.
“I’m quite sharply in favor of the prohibition and limitation. The whole globe is currently learning that not everything can be obtained. This is one of those things: not all Finns can have a detached house. It’s not just possible, and it’s good to understand. Now the conversation with nature is at the point that we don’t have terribly room for maneuver. That I am sorry but the rich, I would not give you any more plots of land in Espoo, ”Hurme declares.
From Matinkylä, the journey continues by metro to Tapiola, where the Espoo City Theater is located. While living in Matinkylä, Hurme went on a commute either by metro or by walking along the shoreline. During the last week and a half of training, he lived in Pohjois-Tapiola, as the kitchen renovation began in the Matinkylä apartment.
The previous one Hurme once spent more time at Tapiola in 1997, when he directed the play Daniel Hjort for the Espoo City Theater.
On the way to Tapiola, Hurme talks about his idea, which involves Tapiola, the Ainoa shopping center, the Kalevala and Judge Nurmio.
Hurme and Tuomari Nurmio have a joint company with the idea of “producing new user interfaces for Baltic Finnish poetry, the Kalevala as well”, as Hurme has described the collaboration in previous interviews.
And the Kalevala, it is strongly present in Tapiola.
“Even that format of the mall name‘ Sole ’is correct. Elias lönnrot invented the Kalevala story of Joukahainen’s sister. He came up with the name Aino because Aino was Joukahainen’s only sister. That is, the shape of the Only comes directly from Lönnrot’s booklet! Do the people of Espoo know that it has its roots in the Kalevala? ” Hurme asks and continues:
“We could organize an Espoo attack on these issues with Judge Nurmio and declare to the people of Espoo that this is the Kalevala city of Finland!”
The metro arrives in the Finnish city of Kalevala, and Hurme sets out purposefully to navigate the escalators. Tapiola, which is in the middle of construction work, has been criticized as difficult to navigate. Hurme also admits that it took him a while before he learned to walk from the subway to the theater.
“There are two road signs in Tapiola that guide you to the Espoo City Theater. I love Lewis Carrolia and Franz Kafkaa, and was such a Juha in Wonderland feeling. In this way, from a layman’s point of view, Tapiola’s turmoil feels irrational, but it must have a plan. ”
Now, however, we are not heading for theater. Instead, Hurme’s steps go towards North Tapiola, where there is one more object he wants to show us. It is reportedly the finest tree in Espoo.
Small During our Espoo tour, it has become clear that the forest is what Hurme values. He says he doesn’t like manicured parks because they resemble golf courses.
The route from the metro station towards the finest tree in Espoo takes you past Silkkiniity. The meadow is an integral part of Tapiola and its landscape. Does the flat green lawn of the meadow bring to mind the golf course in Hurme?
“This is really beautiful. And nice for kids, athletes, sunbathers and dog walkers! There should just be too much manicured lawn, because it is not an ecologically good and diverse way of life. ”
Best of course, right after the meadow, a natural forest begins. Hurme gains momentum again:
“In my speech, the old forest and the unspoilt forest are often repeated, but this is just that old and unspoilt forest. This is an anxious form in Kainuu. In Kainuu, power felling is quite shocking, and it is such a tree field. This is the real forest. ”
We’re going a jogging trail in the woods for some distance. Then Hurme stops. According to Hurme, here is the most beautiful tree in Espoo, between the jogging route and the detached houses in North Tapiola.
It is undeniably handsome: a spruce that has spread its roots over a rock. And again, we are deep in history:
“That stone has been there for ten thousand years. Roughly just over a hundred years ago, there was thick moss on that rock. A cone of a spruce has fallen on it, maybe a squirrel has thrown it into it. And that’s what has grown this six. There may have been other seedlings in it, but this has won the battle. Little by little it has realized to grow its roots to the ground. This is the story, ”Hurme explains and looks at the wood admiringly.
Soon, at the request of the photographer, he already sits on the rhizome of a spruce and enthusiastically continues the atmosphere of the roots of the trees and mutual communication.
Finally, Hurme has a message for the people of Espoo:
“I challenge all Espoo residents to look for this more handsome tree!”
Which would be better suited for a forest town in Kalevala.