This week’s Oulu2026 Cultural Personality is Antti Leikas. He is “a man, a father, a writer, the chairman of the Oulu Writers’ Club, an entrepreneur, a professional in communications, as well as a restless photographer.” He has studied mathematics.
How does your life look like and feel now, during these exceptional times?
“Exciting and interesting. I’m working on a new book project which includes some photography and very much self-examination, hopefully learning about oneself, too.”
How does Oulu look like through your eyes right now?
“Oulu looks like a city that has room for surprises. Example: for a long time now, I have dreamt of studying modern dance, the type which would suit a stiff adult man. Well, when I stopped dreaming and grabbed my phone, the dream was easily realized because I found an instructor, a location and a group. All this with practically a few phone calls and WhatsApp messages. Now we practice once a week. Where else could this happen so smoothly?”
Oulu is bidding for the title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC). What makes our region the best candidate for the title?
“I will refer to the previous answer. Anything can happen here. And the actual reason: we need cultural recognition, because Oulu is so much more than a technology city where Nokia left. – Especially as it didn’t leave from here.”
Send your regards to the Oulu of 2026, when we are the European Capital of Culture
“Goddamnit! Remember that this is not the end of the project, this was the beginning!”
Antti Leikas, photographed in Oulu by Mirkka Oja-Leikas