I spent this past weekend at the Musta Pispala festival in Pispala, a suburb of Tampere, Finland. I don’t know… this might have been the best anarchist gathering I’ve ever been to. A few hundred people came over the course of the weekend, mostly anarchists from all over Finland. I was immediately struck by how welcoming the atmosphere was, by how friendly people were, how engaged and unpretentious the scene here seems to be. I sat in a meeting in which green and red anarchists listened respectfully to each other… hell they even work with each other here. I led my usual anarchism and fiction workshop, and a really interesting anarchism in the USA workshop in which tons of people had insightful comments and questions. I attended workshops on the anarchist prisoners of spain and on the anti-fascist scene and struggle in Russia.
The festival opened with a few hundred people marching without incident from the city center out to a complex of three abandoned factories in the suburbs, where a squatted party was thrown. The sun went down sometime after eleven and the twilight lasts until 1am before starting again sometime around 3am. I never got over this.
The second night I went to the beach on a lake. The third night, a crowded punk show at a collective-run bar and venue, where I watched an amazing doom/stoner/hardcore/crust band that refuses to record, I think named Ward. The fourth night, after the festival was over, I watched the world cup championship. Something I never would have dreamed of doing had I been in the states. It’s bizarre and beautiful to be places where my cultural conceptions and stereotypes simply do not apply.
36 images below, most of abandoned factories and sunsets and all of that lovely stuff.