Riku Laakkonen (FIN)

He is a puppeteer, drama instructor, social circus instructor and director.  After studying in DAMU (Theatre Academy of Music and Arts) in Prague, Theatre Laboratory ECS and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences he has been working with both professionals and amateurs.  Over the years he has used applied theatre and applied puppetry as a working method with prisoners, refugees, disabled people, people with dementia, mental health rehabilitees and many other groups.  He is one of the founder members of the Centre of Stage Animation Research (founded 2007). Riku has taught puppetry and acting from pre-school to university level and in his work he is mostly interested combining elements from puppetry and drama. Last four years Riku has been working in culture center PiiPoo which is accessable centre for art and culture. PiiPoo developes inclusive cultural services for all, cultural activities for disalbled people and people who need special help in some field in their life. PiiPoo is co-operating with several municipalities and cities, private and public sectors as well as consumers.

An animated object - a vehicle for communication

A language creates reality. What if reality that I am living is strange to me or what if I am facing that kind of things in my reality that I don´t have words to them. What if I am controlled by language that I don´t recognize? Art and in this case theatre and to say it more presicely puppet theatre can help us to create a creative space where you can communicate using puppets and objects to make them to be your voice. We can be stigmatized and pushed to be in a periphery in our society. When we have that kind of experiences - art can work as a bridge where you can walk safely.
In his entry Riku Laakkonen will make a short introduction about his work in an applied puppetry field in Finland and will make a closer look to one or two cases from his work and finally he will do a short manifestation.

Our thanks for contacting and communicating with the Finnish party go out to Professor Ida Hledíková.