Vuoden globaali esteettinen teko

Vuodesta 2015 lähtien Suomen Estetiikan Seura on myöntänyt kunniapalkinnon myös vuoden globaalista esteettisestä teosta. Palkinnolla seura haluaa edistää estetiikasta käytyä kansainvälistä keskustelua ja sen merkitystä yhteiskunnassa.

2023 The Little Princess Trust

The Little Princess Trust has been gifting free wigs to children and young people with hair loss since 2005. In doing so, the charity has promoted discussion about the dimension and relevance of aesthetics in everyday life and its connection to ethics and personal identity beyond commercial interests and influences.

The charity has diligently highlighted the importance of being able to express one’s identity in a way one chooses regardless of age, state of one’s health, and financial status. Additionally, relying on donations, the Little Princess Trust has brought attention to the duty of social care we all share in our everyday lives and to the potential low threshold actions, such as donating hair, that can improve the aesthetic well-being of others.

For these reasons, the jury deems The Little Princess Trust to fulfill the criteria of the Global Aesthetic Achievement of the Year Prize for its long-standing and praiseworthy work.

2022 Swiss Artistic Research Network (SARN)

The Finnish Society for Aesthetics grants an honorary prize for the Global Aesthetic Deed of the year to a person or an organization that, with their actions, has developed discourse on the questions of art, beauty and aesthetics. In the year 2022 the prize will be granted to the Swiss Artistic Research Network (SARN) in collaboration with Zettel Macht Sachen for their workshop held during the annual meeting of SARN in the Spring of 2022.

The international association Swiss Artistic Research Network SARN in collaboration with Zettel Macht Sachen opened the annual meeting of SARN in the Spring of 2022 with an extraordinary workshop for the participants of the online meeting: Each attendee had the chance to arrange 12 small round shaped objects received in the mail before the meeting into an image of the future board of SARN.

The round objects served as transitory objects to make something like an annual meeting of an association a more tangible event in times of Pandemic. We like to award this aesthetic, radically creative and playful act with the annual Global Aesthetic Act Award of The Finnish Society for Aesthetics.

2021 ACAN-verkoston (Architects! Climate Action Network) Climate Curriculum-kampanja

Rakennetun ympäristön osallisuus ja merkitys ilmastokriisiin vastaamisessa on tiedostettu jo pitkään, ja viimeistään IPCC:n (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) raporttien piirtämä kokokuva tilanteen hälyttävyydestä ja välittömän toiminnan tarpeesta on toiminut kansainvälisenä herätteenä uusille menettelytavoille. Rakennetun ympäristön parissa toimivien tahojen muuttuvat tavoitteet ja käytännöt voidaan nähdä kansallisesti yhä keskustelun alla olevassa Maankäyttö- ja rakennuslain (MRL) kokonaisuudistuksessa, ja kansainvälisesti julistuksissa, kuten Isossa-Britanniassa perustetuissa ‘Built Environment Declares’ ja ’Architects Declare’, joiden allekirjoittajina on kasvava ja laaja valikoima toimijoita kaikista asutetuista maanosista.

Niinikään Isosta-Britanniasta lähtöisin oleva ACAN-verkosto toimii samassa viitekehyksessä, ja osin samoin tavoittein kuin ’Declare’-julistukset, mutta se on kohdistanut toimintaansa myös koulutukseen. Verkoston käynnistämä Climate Curriculum-kampanja keskittyy arkkitehtuurin koulutukseen vaikuttamiseen opiskelijoita ja opiskelijaryhmiä suoraan tukemalla. Climate Curriculum on tarjonnut välineitä ja menetelmiä rakennetun ympäristön suunnittelun parissa työskenteleville opiskelijoille haastaa heidän saamansa koulutuksen rakenteita ja sisältöjä. Kampanja tuo yhteen globaalin hätätilan ajankohtaisuuden, muutoksen mahdollistavat välineet ja kysymyksenasettelun. Se vastaa samalla ilmastohaasteen akuutisti tiedostavien opiskelijoiden ilmastoahdistukseen konkreettisilla tavoilla, joiden vaikutus siihen millä keinoin suunnittelemme tulevaisuuden asuin- ja elinympäristömme on merkittävä.

Kampanja on vaikuttanut näkyvästi Isossa-Britanniassa ja nyt kansainvälisesti. Suomessa kampanja on heijastunut esimerkiksi You Tell Me -kollektiivin toimintaan ja arkkitehtuurin laitosten sisällä käytäviin opiskelijalähtöisiin keskusteluihin ja opetuksen kehittämiseen.

2020 #BlackLivesMatter

#BlackLivesMatter came to be a central transformative force in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 by a police officer. Following this brutal event, commemorative murals have been created in numerous cities in the US and globally.

Since then, the transformative power of the #BlackLivesMatter movement has had a central position in fostering decolonizing practices throughout the world. The main focus has been on the police brutality targeted to the black communities and other minorities in the US, but another significant aspect, pertinent to this prize on aesthetics, how the movement affects the urban landscape, education, and artistic practices.

On June 5, 2020, the street outside the White House in Washington was officially renamed to Black Lives Matter Plaza, which was rapidly followed by many similar formal and informal performative and public gestures in the US. On June 7, the #BlackLivesMatter protesters toppled down and threw the statue of Edward Colston to River Avon in Bristol. Colston was a late 17th and early 18th-century philanthropist, but also a slave trader. A few days later, during protests in Belgium, this act was followed by the defacing of the monument of King Leopold II, outside the Africa Museum in Brussels. Similar acts took place globally in many forms during the summer 2020. Instead of regarding these events as vandalism, they rather could be termed as ethico-aesthetic and performative acts to call for European countries to reckon their racist histories.

#BlackLivesMatter movement has also fostered a call for action to encourage art and cultural institutions to take action against structural racism within their institutions. The movement requests institutions and people working within these institutions to regard their privileges and to develop more inclusive and anti-racist strategies.

These transformative processes combine successfully the ethico-aesthetic production of subjectivities as a collectivity, not unlike the political movements of the late 1960s effected on the conceptual art practices or how Arab Spring and Occupy movements in the early 2010s raised the question of increasing global inequality. With such a transformative power #BlackLivesMatter movement has created a true paradigm shift on how aesthetics, politics, society and arts are integrally related, today and hereafter.

#BlackLivesMatter was founded 2013 as a response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. The mission of this decentralized movement is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and police. It aims to combat and counter the acts of violence on persons of colour, not only in the US, UK and Canada, but globally. 

2019 Health Evidence Network (HEN) Synthesis Report on Arts and Health & International Association of Art (IAA) Europe’s Campaign Exhibition Remuneration in Europe: Pay the Artist Now!

The Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on arts and health is so far the most comprehensive survey on the impact that arts and culture have on health and well-being. The report was developed within the WHO as part of The cultural contexts of health and well-being (CCH) project, and it was published in Helsinki on the 11th of November 2019. The report reviews global academic literature in English and Russian from January 2000 to May 2019. It covers over 3000 studies in total and presents synthesized evidence of the potential impact of art on both mental and physical health. Among other policy considerations, the report suggests strengthening structures and mechanisms for collaboration between the culture, social care, and health sectors within the European region. The extent of the report is arguably remarkable, which is the most important reason for awarding the report as the Global Aesthetic Achievement of 2019. The report’s synthesis of the current evidence on the topic is seminal for both research and practices relating to the connection between the arts and well-being in the global scale.

The International Association of Art (IAA) Europe is a network representing professional visual artists in Europe and is one of the five cultural regions (Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe) of the International Association of Art (IAA), the largest international non-governmental association of visual artists. The network’s campaign Exhibition Remuneration in Europe: Pay the artist now! was launched on World Art Day, the 15th of April 2019. It is a continuation of the Exhibition Remuneration Right in Europe symposium, which was held in Brussels in November 2018. The campaign’s mission is to advocate fair exhibition remuneration for all European visual artists, who are still commonly believed to receive their income through selling their works. Together with fostering the discussion on the topic, the campaign has provided information and models of exhibition remuneration and inspired to create guidelines for visual artists’ payments in Europe. As part of the discussion, the delegates of the National Committees of IAA Europe signed the network’s resolution on the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive 2019 for an appropriate and proportionate remuneration of Visual Artists in Europe on the 23rd of November 2019. As the visual arts represent one of the largest sectors of creative and cultural industries in the EU (CCIs), the campaign is a notable precursor on a global scale.

While the HEN report 67 encourages us to deepen the discussion on aesthetic value and the necessity of arts and culture in developing individual well-being as well as in developing well-being societies, the campaign Pay The Artist Now! suggests us to consider the societal structures that relate to artists themselves. Thus, with the shared award of the Global Aesthetic Achievement of the Year 2019, we wish to foster the discussion about the connections between well-being, artistic work, and societal structures.