Role of Arts in Health Prevention And Promotion – case: Museum of Contemporary Emotions

We’ve been so proud at KULTA ry – a Central Organization for Finnish Culture and Arts Associations, to be able to spread the word how here in Finland we use culture and art in health prevention and promotion. Next opportunity for us to do it is at summit for , which is a project co-funded by the European Comission with partners all over Europe, consisting for example

Next week in Bologna KULTA ry is giving a presentation on the Museum of Contemporary emotions. The museum combines science and art in recording the feelings experienced during the pandemic in Finland. It was launched by the Prime Minister’s Office on 7 October 2021The museum has won many international prizes, like The Webby Award, honoring the best of the internet.

Images for the museum were provided by some 30 photographers who captured everyday life during the pandemic in Finland as part of the State of Emergency 2020 project. Works for the museum were also created by six artists who graduated during the pandemic. Heta-Linnea Kovanen, Janne Saarinen, Jenni Turunlahti, Jonna Hyttinen and Terhi Adler each interpreted one of the six basic emotions through the Summer of the Arts project, a major initiative of the Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2021 implemented by the KULTA ry. I’m so happy, that we could be a partner for the Prime Minister’s office during the crisis and proud, that the office recognized the power of art.

A museum that seeks to strengthen the resilience of society

The museum project was part of the Finland Forward communications campaign co-ordinated by the Prime Minister’s Office, which seeked to support the work and resilience of people and society in crisis conditions, and in recovering from a crisis. Psychological resilience is one of the seven vital functions of society defined in Finland’s Security Strategy for Society. Experiences of being heard and seen are an important factor in maintaining psychological resilience. Speaking and expressing emotions also play a supportive role. The museum provides an opportunity for this, and thereby seeks to reinforce the resilience of society.

For recovery to begin, we must first face our feelings. The museum encourages self-reflection, helping people to find a perspective for their own feelings and experiences within the broader context of pandemic phenomena. The museum relies on the academically rigorous emotions theory of Paul Ekman, recognising the six basic human emotions of anger, surprise, disgust, happiness, fear, and sadness.

The Finnish, Swedish and English-language museums may be accessed at: | |

Rosa Meriläinen
Secretary General


Kulttuuri- ja taidealan keskusjärjestö KULTA ry on vuonna 2018 toimintansa aloittanut kulttuurin ja taiteen edunvalvoja. Järjestön tehtävä on parantaa kulttuurin ja taiteen yhteiskunnallista arvostusta ja taloudellisia toimintaedellytyksiä.
KULTA rf är kultur- och konstområdets centralorganisation. Vi arbetar för att stärka kulturens samhälleliga uppskattning och ekonomiska förutsättningar.
KULTA ry is a central organization for support and producer associations operating in the Finnish arts and culture industry. Its purpose is to advance the overall economic growth, operating conditions and social standing of the arts and culture industry.