Oulu August Festivals follows the journey of six young artists towards the European Capital of Culture year 2026

Six young artists have been selected for the documentary series "Artists Arise in the Delta" for the years 2024-2026. As part of Oulu August Festivals’ Delta Life project, the series follows the artists' journey towards Oulu 2026 European Capital of Culture year. The documentary series features Ida Remsu, Marianne Kauppila, and Duo Emilia and Joonatan from Oulu, Niilo Korsulainen, originally from Oulu but studying in Helsinki, and Mandi Koskela from Ranua. The age range of the artists is 14–28 years.

Ida Remsu, a dancer and dance teacher student studying at the Oulu University of Applied Sciences, describes her participation in the series as follows: "It's interesting to see what kind of traces I, as an artist, will leave during this project, and which ones will be washed away with the waves. However, on this shoreline, I intend to dance and, like the waves, create a momentary joy for those watching."

Representing dance art is also Mandi Koskela, a pole dancer from Ranua, who is a two-time world champion in the Pole Sport junior A category. "It's so great to be involved in such a project! I'm looking forward to all the new and wonderful things!"

Musical siblings Joonatan and Emilia Lappalainen are featured in the documentary series as a duo. Joonatan studies classical percussions and drum set at the Oulu Conservatory, while Emilia studies violin and singing at the Oulu Conservatory and in the youth education program at the Sibelius Academy. "It will be interesting to look back and see what has been done, and also to give other people the opportunity to see what the life of a young aspiring artist is like," says Emilia Lappalainen.

Niilo Korsulainen, a composer of art music, is currently studying music theory at the Sibelius Academy. "At best, melodies are like a gateway to another world for me, somewhere I usually only reach in dreams, or to those magical, somehow unreal moments that can be experienced, for example, on a summer night in the midst of nature," Korsulainen describes his relationship with art music.

According to visual artist Marianne Kauppila, who specializes in mural art, murals have the power to unite communities and visually enhance urban spaces. "I am fascinated by the idea of how huge works of art transform spaces, tell stories, and reflect the spirit of the times, and at best, depict the values and life of their location, whether it's a public urban space, office space, or private hangout."

The artists' journey is followed on the social media channels and the website of the Northern Cultural Stream. The entire project will be condensed into a series of short documentaries, which will be released in the summer of 2026.  The project will culminate in the artists’ performances or exhibitions in the Oulujoki River Delta area during Oulu August Festivals in 2026.

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