A SAFE HÖYHENTÄMÖ

In May 2023, we got together to think about what kind of place we want Höyhentämö to be to visit and work at. The following principles are based on how we hope we will remember to behave and what we hope others will consider when they are at Höyhentämö.

Höyhentämö is also committed to ESKUS – Performance Centre’s parity and equality plan and directions for a safer space

If you have any questions about these matters, you can contact us: info@hoyhentamo.fi / 045 671 1047

Content warnings

  • We issue content warnings on a performance-by-performance basis if the physical performance space or situation or the content of the work contains elements that may limit participation. The audience member can always choose whether to read the content warnings or not. There is a link “content warnings” on the performance’s own web page and when buying a ticket in the web store, if there are any. Content warnings are also available at the performance venue.
  • All current content warnings and more information about content warnings can be found on the Content warnings page.

For audience members and participants

  • A space – even the black, empty theatre space – is not a neutral background. It can create security, relaxation, focus – or restlessness, insecurity, or difficulty to participate. We strive to be aware of things that can have a negative impact, to fix them, or to communicate clearly if we have not been able to do so.
  • However, if you notice something that prevents you from staying in the space, enjoying yourself or fully participating, contact anyone from Höyhentämö who is there, and we will try to remedy the situation.
  • These may include physical barriers: obstacles such as stairs, thresholds and low spaces or floor materials that make movement difficult; obstacles to seeing or hearing properly; seats that are not ergonomic or are suitable only for some people; restrooms or foyers or lobbies suitable only for some; possible air quality and respiratory problems, etc.
  • They can also be stimuli: loud sounds or noise, disturbing lights or flashes, disturbing smells, restless or noisy spaces, etc.
  • Online, on social media or participating remotely we also share a space, even if it’s virtual, and we strive to be aware if there are similar barriers to (full) participation, and remove them, or inform if we have not been able to do so.
  • Psychological factors can also create insecurity and prevent full participation in performances or events. When we make performances and projects, we try to be aware of whether there are elements in them that can disturb or distress someone – knowing that these situations cannot always be foreseen and that art sometimes disturbs and provokes knowingly and on purpose, and others may want just that. We compile information about these elements (content warnings) and make it available on request. The content warnings are also available in advance on Höyhentämö’s website.
  • We don’t design performances or events for anyone in particular. We try not to make assumptions about the audience members or participants. You can’t be the wrong audience – we might be the wrong theatre if we haven’t been able to take you into account. Let us know if there’s something we could do better, or if there’s something you’d like to bring to our attention. We always strive for better.
  • When we are in shared spaces, we have different ideas about what the common rules of the game are and what unspoken rules we follow. We assume that people’s intentions are good, but there is no need to tolerate violating another person’s boundaries. So respect the physical and psychological integrity of others and take care of your own boundaries as well. When you don’t know, the surest thing is to ask for permission, or bring up the matter or apologise if you feel that you may have acted wrongly. If you feel that the other person is acting wrongly towards you, it is always allowed to point it out, or if the matter is not resolved through normal communication, contact anyone from Höyhentämö present, or afterwards at info@hoyhentamo.fi.
  • Sometimes performances are photographed, recorded or filmed. The documentation may be used for publicity, social media or just for our own records. We will always ask for permission clearly (and preferably in writing) from the people who may appear in the documentation, and inform where the material may be used.
  • When we communicate, we try to ensure that the message has been received. If the information is somewhere, it doesn’t help unless it’s genuinely accessible. When we communicate, we will consider who we are talking to and what they need to know more than what we want to say. If something remains unclear, you can always contact us: info@hoyhentamo.fi.
  • During 2024, we will train harassment contact persons and people with first aid skills, and we will inform how to contact them or when and where they will be present.

For Höyhentämö members and partners

Physical space

  • A space – even the black, empty theatre space – is not a neutral background. It creates security, relaxation, focus – or restlessness, insecurity, difficulty participating. We will remind ourselves of the space we are in. How does it affect? What could be done about it? If something seems dangerous or disturbing, you can always say so.
  • We will try to find out if there are physical obstacles in the space that can prevent some people from staying there, enjoying themselves or participating fully, and to remove them: obstacles such as stairs, thresholds and low spaces, obstacles to seeing or hearing, only non-ergonomic seats, floor materials that make it difficult to move, toilets that are only suitable for some people, possible air quality and breathing problems, etc. We will inform how we have solved the issue, or if we have not been able to do it.
  • We will try to find out if there are stimuli in the space that can prevent someone from staying there, enjoying themselves or fully participating, and to remove them: loud sounds, background noise, restless activity, disturbing lights or flashes, disturbing smells…
  • Online, on social media or participating remotely we also share a space, even if it’s virtual, and we strive to be aware if there are similar barriers to (full) participation, and remove them.
  • Sometimes projects are photographed, recorded or filmed. The documentation may be used for publicity, social media or just for our own records. We will always ask for permission clearly (and preferably in writing) from the people who may appear in the documentation.

Psychological safety

  • We should remember that we all come from somewhere else and bring with us things that are not born out of this situation. We will remind ourselves of that and ask each other: how are you today? 
  • We may also bring with us unspoken assumptions about shared rules. Have we discussed them, have we agreed on them? Would now be the right time to do so, or to write it down?
  • We are incomparable, incompatible, in the end we cannot fully understand each other – we will enjoy it and the creativity it enables, we will strive towards understanding knowing that in the end we cannot fully internalise the other’s experience.
  • We will try to listen with curiosity and seek understanding, avoiding confrontation and unnecessary drama. We’ll try to put aside the idea that there is a right and wrong answer, solution or way of thinking. If we can’t quite understand what someone else says or does, we will try to formulate it in our own words and ask if this was the issue. We ask questions without making any claims or an expectation of a specific answer.
  • We will try to recognise others’ boundaries, we will listen when they express them, and we will understand that they are different for different people. When in doubt, we ask. We don’t push anyone to push their limits. We also make sure that our own limits are not exceeded.
  • We will allow incompleteness, being in the process, the conversation continuing, things being in motion. We don’t aim to have the last word or shut down the conversation – instead, we can move it aside for a while.
  • We will try to give criticism without judgement and to accept criticism without belittling it, assuming that it is given with good intentions. We will give feedback in time, before it bottles up and becomes emotional. We seek to identify situations where we have acted poorly and apologise.
  • We will avoid behaviour that may seem threatening, pressuring, or anxiety-inducing to others – even if we don’t think so ourselves, we will listen to the other’s feelings: there is surely a reason for them. We don’t shout or raise our voices.
  • When we communicate, we try to ensure that the message has been received. If the information is somewhere, it doesn’t help unless it’s genuinely accessible. When we communicate, we will consider who we are talking to and what they need to know more than what we want to say. 
  • When we make performances and projects, we will try to be aware of whether there are elements in them that can disturb or distress someone – knowing that these situations cannot always be foreseen and that art sometimes disturbs and provokes knowingly and on purpose, and others may want just that. We compile information about these elements (content warnings) and make it available on request.

A healthy work environment

  • We want both rigorous training and creative meandering, but we want to know which one we are engaged in at any given time. When we want to work with focus and precision, we will put other things aside for the moment: rambling chatter, conversations that stray far off topic, working on other things…
  • We will respect each other’s time and won’t steal it. We will agree when we start and stop, when we take breaks, and will stick to it. 
  • We will agree on what is working time. We won’t assume that Höyhentämö’s business is taken care of on anyone’s own time. We will pay for working time whenever possible. We will arrange that work so that there is also an opportunity for time off, we will avoid evening and weekend work. If something needs to be done or decided, we will bring it up in time so that there is time to process or prepare it at a board meeting or otherwise during working hours. We won’t assume that anyone should be available all the time.
  • We understand that we operate in a work environment that can be stressful. We have different jobs and projects both at Höyhentämö and outside of it, we scrape together our living from many sources and tolerate uncertainty; creative work is inspiring but also energy-consuming, and there are particularly stressful and intensive periods. Burning out is a real risk in our field. We want to keep it at bay.
  • Although the ethos of the time is that you have to do as much work as you can handle and it is normal to always be in a hurry, we don’t have to act like that. Everyone sets their own limits according to their own resources – not as far as they can go, but so that there is room for maintaining one’s mental health! They don’t need to be explained. We will not push people to do more even in subtle ways or when the situation is “on”. We will listen to each other about how they are doing, and we will also actively ask about it.
  • During 2024, we will organise occupational health care for the people we employ.
  • We will think about what “must” really be done. Does the feeling of compulsion come from a genuine need? How would we really like to participate, what are we willing to do?
  • Sometimes we’re all over the place, we’re not getting anything done, we laugh at bad jokes, we just chat about our lives, we lie on the floor. That’s beneficial too.
  • When a working group is formed for a performance or other longer project, the ones leading will go through the ethical practices of the project with the group at the start of the work, emphasising equal dialogue and criticality towards unhealthy power structures. A contact person outside the working group, who can always be contacted about problems arising in terms of equality or well-being at work, is appointed for the project.
  • During 2024, we will train harassment contact persons.

Keeping in mind

  • That these principles are written down somewhere means nothing if we do not keep them in mind and return to them. We will try to remind ourselves and each other of them. We can always bring them up if we feel that they are being overlooked.
  • Höyhentämö’s board discusses these principles at least once a year and checks whether they are working and whether they require updating, and if necessary appoints a group or person to take the matter forward.
  • The future of Höyhentämö is outlined and dreamed about in the “future seminars”. Matters related to atmosphere, safety and well-being at work are also kept in mind and discussed there.

“If something feels important, notice it.
Note it down: on paper, on the computer, in your flesh, in your soul…
And go back to it and talk about it, ask it again, be with it, share it.”

info@hoyhentamo.fi
tuottaja@hoyhentamo.fi
+358 45 671 1047
Y-tunnus: Y-1052591-9
Kaasutehtaankatu 1/33
00540 Helsinki

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info@hoyhentamo.fi
tuottaja@hoyhentamo.fi
+358 45 671 1047
Y-tunnus: Y-1052591-9

Kaasutehtaankatu 1/33
00540 Helsinki
Käyntiosoite: Puhdistamo 6, Suvilahti

Google map