I was born in Tampere and spent the first 20 years of my life in Tampere. When back in the days, in my 20s, I moved to the south to study, I didn’t know I would end up working in field the arts.
I notice myself returning to Tampere again and again. My first professional work was a TV show called Nahkiaiset, which was filmed at the redbrick milieu of Finlayson and Tampella. Both of the big theatres of the city have had my plays on stage, and I’ve had a chance to visit Tampere Theatre Festival with my work few times too. Thousands of hours of planning on different projects have been spent in the many cafés of Tampere, in the forest paths of Pyynikki and in the landscape of Pispala ridge.
Now, when I live elsewhere and a bit further, the beauty of this old factory town and its beautiful rapids, is even clearer than before. Tampere is an active and a unique city, that has an optimum balance of education and down to earth attitude. To be chosen as the European capital of culture would be a great proof of how culture has always been a big part of this wonderful city, and still is.
Juha Jokela is a playwright and a theatre director.