Laboratorio 1400: The Culmination of History, Fiction and Theatre Arts
Laboratorio 1400 project reexamines how medieval history is narrated and performed in the Medieval Market. The Kone Foundation has funded the preparations of the project in 2017.
The goal of this project is to bring to view that history isn’t a univocal tale that is effortlessly etched into historical and archeological studies, traced from the studies to textbooks and then lifted from the textbooks to stage. The Middle Ages in Finland have been preserved in diverse fragments which at times require heavy interpretation to be understood. Laboratorio 1400 project implements a market play that relies less than before on singular facts and the fictitious events created as their background. Instead, tensions are built between the familiar and the strange and the play displays social and cultural phenomena that would have been possible and probable in medieval Turku, but the records of which have not necessarily survived to this day.
Brand new programme segments will also be implemented and the process of making the market play will be made more transparent to the audiences. The programme will be more inclusive and it will be targeted towards different groups of market-goers: the enthusiasts looking for a profound experience, local families with children and casual visitors.
History is taught by raising questions and providing answers to the questions in accessible forums where Middle Ages and the performance of which are discussed and commented upon. Examples of these forums are a blog and a video blog where the playwright and historians comment upon the process of making the play.
The Medieval Market is the largest medieval and historical event in Finland. The aim of Laboratorio 1400 project is that by 2021 The Medieval Market will be known through Europe as an festival with artistic ambition and a creative combinations of science and culture, and that people will travel from other countries to participate in the event.
Laboratorio 1400 project is particularly topical because it challenges the currently emerging pseudoscientific tellings of Finland’s past and promotes the academically researched understanding of history among the medieval enthusiasts. The project has received a grant from Kone Foundation for the year 2017 as a #rohkeatekijä, ”bold doer” for blending science and art in a new, interesting and open-minded way.
Laboratorio 1400 project steering group
Reima Välimäki (chairperson)
2nd Vice Chair of The City Board of Turku
Project worker and secretary of the steering group
p. 040 132 9994