Photographer: Aleksi Kokora – Editor: Sems Erik
Ten years ago, Finland witnessed a slow cultural development in terms of diversity, especially when it came to funding cultural projects that were directed at minorities.
On the other hand, several organizations from various ethnic backgrounds lacked the bravery and will to create cultural programs that reflected the requirements of the social and cultural context of minorities and immigrants as a whole.
In general, cultural associations were still traditional with their projects, afraid of doing things outside of the box and generally considered unpopular on a larger scale, which also reflected a fear of the high cost of these projects.
Through this article, we are sending a message to call for all officials of these institutions and associations, as well as the concerned governmental agencies, to further support cultural differences by encouraging and supporting different distinct and developmental projects. This encouragement is to make this projects or the other similar to last and thrive. As a result, all of these would serve as the focus of our discussion today. Among the media projects that have emerged in recent years are:
The idea behind this media project was launched within the youth section of the Suomen Islamilainen Neuvosto (SINE) Foundation. The proposed media initiative by Bilel Sehli calls for a magazine that highlights the genuine participation of young people in a multicultural society. This topic sparked the interest of many people at the time. The Ministry of Education and Culture provided funding for the magazines.
After a while, the idea was launched and a team consisting of more than 11 members was formed under the supervision and founding of Sehli.
The team began to receive overwhelming media coverage internally in Finland through media meetings, conferences, and interviews on both radio and magazines, not to mention the TV channels, which encouraged the team to work further.
By then, because of administrative decision, the Project was ended by the sponsoring institution due to lack of coordination.
Since the media project and the magazine’s success only lasted for one season.
The publication had several sections, the most notable of which featured articles with a religious nature and others that illustrated various lifestyles. They were all released in 2010. With funding of €28,000, the Ministry of Culture and Education supported the endeavor.
Having the same editor-in-chief as Bilel Sehli, the Finnish media considered that this magazine was an extension of “Umma”. Despite some of the reasons that some of his team were used to working together before, Bilel Sehli explained to the Finnish and European media that he and his team agreed to discontinue the previous media project.
In particular, any magazine project can be a new window for media development that highlights the lifestyle of Muslims in the West in a modern manner within the framework of joint coordination with one of the youth institutions, Nuorten Muslimien Foorumi (NMF).
During that period, the magazine witnessed a media outcry that exceeded other youth cultural magazines. He stated that more than 36 advertising media articles shared the information or the news in the most famous Finnish magazines, such as Helsinki Sanomat, Me naiset magazine , and television interviews in Finnish, Swedish, and Danish channels, in addition to some articles in other foreign media in Tunisia, such as the African news institution, as well as Al Jazeera on its website, where the event was completely covered.
From these articles, the magazine is considered a lifestyle magazine. Its most prominent section was fashion, which witnessed a large turnout that resulted in interesting collaborations with the most famous fashion houses like H&M, Brothers, Aleksi 13, Milton, Mango, Jack & Jones, and others that were assisting in providing those sections with clothes. This was a precedent of its kind for a magazine with a non-marketing cultural character.
In addition to articles from many countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Dubai, Finland, and Denmark, All of them are aimed at shedding light on creative youth from around the world in various fields, including entrepreneurship, health, culture, sports, and others.
Through amateur and specialized books, as was the case with professionals in photography and photo design, with a distinguished elite of the most important activists in the field, the magazine was published in 2014 on a seasonal basis and only lasted for two years. The Ministry of Culture and Education supported the project with 37,000€.
A magazine that lasted only one edition and focused on African affairs in general. The most important aspect of this is the introduction of African culture in a variety of ways through articles that improve the role played by these communities in society.
The most striking characteristic of this magazine was the collaboration with well-known models in the fashion world. The magazine is also directed in its editorial section by a Somali African woman, a young woman who is active in Finnish society and in the media.
This sequence reflects the extent of the influence of African women and the home they make for Samia Mohamud on March 15, 2022.
These projects may witness different returns, but this stays for the future.
There were no possibilities for the continuation of the Ana Magazine, because of its need for greater financial support.
Sehli also noted, was that he pursued academic studies in the field of media for more than three years in an effort to enter the industry more professionally after his career as an activist and amateur in the media.
Sehli participated in many media projects in Finland. The most important one was with the Helsinki Municipality, specifically as an independent journalist in a localized media project, as well as his participation in training courses in some Finnish TV channels.
He is also currently preparing to conquer the world of media and television through one of the television programs whose details have not yet been disclosed and many other media.
In the European community, there are many challenges, especially for young people from different cultures, to be active in society in many fields, whether in the form of institutional activity or in the form of cultural projects that can be accomplished with an individual structure.
Through this article we aim to encourage young people to innovate with ideas and projects and not to succumb to the challenges and insist on success. Even sporadically, because this will affect the formation of a personality with competence and skills that will always make it ready for success and continuous creativity because experience does not come through various experiences. It aims to accelerate the concrete life of the rich and mature individual, whose role in society will become very efficient.