The idea of an annual Art and Media event started to grow already back in 2007. But it wasn’t always known as International Week…
Going back to 2007
That year, 2007, the TAMK School of Art and Media decided to organize a public event to showcase the students’ talents from the Finlayson campus in the heart of Tampere to the city folk. Our, then, Head of Degree Program in Fine Arts Juha Suonpää and Principal Lecturer Cai Melakoski were key in generating this first event, the Tampere Art Factory, TAF for short.
TAF 2008 was an open event with concerts and performances, exhibitions, and activities for children and families in the Finlayson area, in early May. The international aspect was already central in the role of the event, as there were workshops and lectures by international guests from the partner universities, and the results of the workshops were presented as part of the TAF program. Around 50 guests from abroad enjoyed Finnish culture.
First TAF was a great experience and a huge challenge for the team and organization. To be honest, we were aiming to get a big audience and expectations were not realistic. The second TAF was made with not so much effort for the public, open event and a broad target group but focusing on TAMK Art & Media students and staff.
Back in 2008, the media landscape looked totally different. The social media had just started to grow, the first platforms like YouTube and Twitter both started in 2005 and began to spread swiftly. Facebook arrived in Finland during the summer of 2007 and got really big during 2008.
Tampere Art Factory through the years
August of 2008 the first TAMK Media and Arts blog was started. This is were all the updates and announcements would be posted for nearly the next decade.
The next year, they decided TAF would become an annual event, with the second edition of Tampere Art Factory, in the hear of Tampere. The event became a showcase of the Bachelors of Culture and Arts students, with fine art exhibitions, film screenings, interactive media, installations, music, lights – everything the TAMK School of Art and Media are able to do with excellence.
TAF is above all a demonstration of the skills and talent of the graduates and other students of the School of Art and Media at TAMK University of Applied Sciences, and their friends. This year, 2009, also the music and media students of Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences contribute to TAF programme.TAF 2009 Announcement
Guests from all over the world joined the annual event in Finlayson, as did many residents of Tampere, enjoying the art.
Between 2008 to 2010 we also published the TAF magazine, with the occasional few English pages.
During those years the International Week was organized at the same time with Tampere Art Factory but they were like two different events: iWeek more academic with the audience from universities and TAF with exhibitions, screenings and performances for audiences outside of TAMK. International guests came before the festival to lead and attend workshops, and network with colleagues from other universities.
If you have a look at the subjects of the workshops then, 11 years ago, you can see that same topics have not changed! For example, “Teaching and Learning with the Internet Generation – Methods and Solutions“
Some of the workshops in 2010 included cinema and moving images for parties; read more here!
TAF as an event continued until its final year in 2012.
International Week is reborn and almost “superinternational” in 2013
Previously, international week was a pre-event for TAF with workshops and panels with guest lecturers from partner universities. In 2013, the entire event was called International Week. It comprised of lectures, presentations, tutorials and workshops by guests, as well as exhibitions and Finnish evening activities like sauna.
While this was the first year of International Week, it was the last in the Finlayson campus…
TAMK Media and Arts move to Mediapolis
In 2014 TAMK Media and Arts studies were moved to the recently renovated Mediapolis by Lake Tohloppi, the current campus. Here International Week, or iWeek, has blossomed into an exciting annual event. It showcases the first to third year students works, there are workshops, panels, lectures and more. The week is filled with interesting discussions, ideas for new projects, and connections being made.
International Week in Recent Years
Sohvi has always been a part of the coordinating of the event, always ready to welcome the guests with a big smile!
This year was the first time that the United Studios was focused on as its own ensemble. The success of the performances was a happy surprise as for many years the people creating the iWeek have thought about what could be organized there. At the Mediapolis campus, we have amazing facilities and spaces at our disposal so it was inspiring to see how they were used in the exhibitions, installations, and performances.
“Busy days in Mediapolis! Students of Event Management working in United Studios, students of Fine Arts around second floor to get their exhibitions ready, reminding all the students to register for workshops, arrangements, checking & confirming the practicalities, decorating the campus with posters and flyers.”
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