On 28 April 2013, ninety-five years after Finland's civil war (27 January-15 May 1918), artist Kaisa Salmi created a performance called Fellman Field: A Living Monument to 22,000 People. It was a site-specific event organized at Fellman Park in Lahti. There, for almost a week in 1918, thousands of civil war prisoners were held to await transport to a prison camp. In 2013, an impressive number of people (close to 10,000) gathered at this site to participate in a commemoration of the civil war, which is still one of the most repressed traumas in the national consciousness of the Finns. This article discusses Fellman Field as an artwork in terms of its utilization of embodied empathy: the sympathetic understanding of the other through physical and emotional experience. The case of Fellman Field demonstrates the challenges and successes of a site-specific participatory performance that aims to promote understanding and constructively handle the complexity of a national tragedy.
|Theatre Research International
|Number of pages
|Published - Mar 2019
|MoE publication type
|A1 Journal article-refereed
Fields of Science
- 6131 Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts