The premises of Frame’s operations are equality, respect for freedom of expression and acknowledging the many voices of the art world. Frame also acknowledges sustainability in all its operations.
Frame promotes ecological, social and economic sustainability in its operations. For us, responsibility means that our operations take into account human rights, freedom of speech, equality, inclusivity, well-being at work, ecological sustainability and sustainable and responsible financial management.
Learn more about our safer space guidelines and our instructions for preventing inappropriate treatment and harassment below. We are also committed to promoting anti-racism in contemporary art.
Ecological sustainability is crucial for the preservation of the world and its ecosystems. For our part, we want to preserve the opportunities for a good life for the current and future inhabitants of the earth. Under the heading Ecological sustainability, we tell how this is promoted in Frame’s operations.
With these principles, we work to create safer spaces in our events and office spaces:
Respect and support. Respect everyone present in the shared space, their speeches, and their participation. Act with good intentions and take care of each other.
Assumption and generalisation. Let’s not make assumptions about people’s gender, pronouns, sexual orientation, health status, background, abilities etc. without them being told. Respect everyone’s right to self-determination and privacy.
Consent. Don’t touch or take pictures of anyone without consent. Ask for consent and respect the answer received. In digital spaces, get consent before taking a screenshot or recordings of participants. Be willing to apologise, be open to critique, and change your behaviour if someone asks.
Accountability. Everyone present is involved in the realisation of a safer space. If you witness or encounter discrimination or inappropriate behaviour, please inform this to Frame’s staff onsite or please use the feedback form.
We welcome feedback before, during, and after the events. You can provide this anonymously via the event feedback form. Alternatively, you may contact the events named contact person.
These guidelines were updated during spring 2022 and published in August 2022. They include adaptations from The Peace Education Institute’s Guidelines for Safer Space document and Commonfield and Community Agreements. Please feel free to borrow or adapt our guidelines for your needs while creating safer spaces for events.
Frame does not accept inappropriate treatment, discrimination or harassment of any kind in its working community, spaces or events. All employees have the duty to act when they detect inappropriate behaviour in the working community. All employees must make sure that other employees are never subjected to harassment or inappropriate treatment at the workplace.
The guidelines against inappropriate treatment apply to all Frame employees, interns, Board members, working groups and expert panel members. They apply also to partners and individuals who work or otherwise contribute in Frame’s events or other projects.
Frame is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Maintaining the work environment is based on mutual trust.
Inappropriate Treatment, Discrimination And Harassment
Everyone should accept the fact that the workplace is populated with different kinds of people with whom we need to be able to work. Everyone should show good manners while at work.
Discrimination, harassment and inappropriate treatment are not acceptable behaviour in the working environment. No one should be discriminated based on their gender, age, origin, nationality, language, religion, beliefs, opinions, political activities, trade union activities, family relations, health, disability, sexual orientation or other reasons related to one’s person. Discrimination is prohibited whether it is based on a fact or presumption about the person themselves or someone else.
Frame aims to be a pluralistic employer and may thus apply affirmative action in relation to gender identity, gender expression or ethnicity. This is not considered discrimination because it happens in the context of acceptable aims and the means must be viewed as justifiable and necessary in relation to these aims.
Actions that breach these guidelines will be followed by disciplinary action that may result in the termination of employment.
Workplace harassment may consist of
- denigration or ridicule
- deprecating a fellow employee’s professional skills
- excluding someone from the work community
- withholding tasks
- physical violence
- sexual harassment
Harassment does not consist of
- conflicts arising from work-related decisions or interpretations
- work-related disagreements among employees
- the employer using their right to direct and making justifiable comments or taking justified disciplinary action based on the employee’s performance – e.g. a warning
- directing someone to examinations related to work performance if there have been problems with performance and appropriate discussions between the employee and supervisor have been arranged
Every workplace will experience disputes between people. Workplace harassment may sometimes be difficult to distinguish from normal workplace conflicts.
For the subject of harassment
Inappropriate behaviour should not be tolerated. If you are treated inappropriately, let the person know immediately that you do not approve of their actions and tell them to stop. They may not understand they are acting in an inappropriate manner.
Keep a record of the events. Write down who was responsible for the behaviour, when and how it happened, and what you did yourself. The harasser cannot be held responsible if the events cannot be substantiated. Possible emails or other correspondence should also be saved.
If the inappropriate behaviour continues, contact your employer. If the harasser is your supervisor, contact the Director. When you report the harassment to the Director, itemise the events and document them via, e.g., email. You may also contact your health and safety representative and your union. If your employer does not act to prevent harassment or their actions are not effective, turn to your occupational safety and health authority in the Regional State Administrative Agency. After you have notified the Agency, you are liable to participate in the proceedings related to the issue.
Submitting a complaint should not in any way be used against the employee nor should it have a negative effect on their position. In contrast, a baseless or deliberately malicious complaint is a violation of the principles of these guidelines and it will be considered an infraction.
For the supervisor
The employee has a duty to monitor the work community and make an unprompted intervention when problems are detected. When the supervisor receives information about inappropriate treatment by whatever channels, they must investigate the matter and take immediate and appropriate action. No one outside the workplace can assume the supervisor’s duties and responsibilities. Neglecting to address inappropriate behaviour may in some cases lead to penalize the employer for crimes against occupational safety and health. The employer must conduct themselves appropriately when addressing the person who believes they have been treated inappropriately.
If you are accused of inappropriate behaviour or harassment
Inform your supervisor if necessary, because it is best if your supervisor hears from you directly. Even if you do not believe you have been guilty of harassment, do not belittle the accuser’s feelings. Instead, immediately stop the behaviour that has been described as inappropriate.
The employer’s duty to act
The employer has a legal duty to act when an employee experiences harassment or inappropriate behaviour. The Director is responsible for investigating the occurrence. The Director must immediately hear the parties, remain impartial and clarify the course of the events. The Director calls the parties into a meeting that is recorded into a memo. The discussion includes an agreement on the procedures and follow-up steps. These are recorded into the memo. It is the duty of the Director to make sure that the procedures and the follow-up are carried out. If the Director is accused of harassment, the foundation’s Chairman of the Board is responsible for investigating the events.
The work community consists of people with very different backgrounds and experiences, and this is why people experience different kinds of things as inappropriate. Despite conflicts, the community must be able to work together, and thus it is important to solve conflicts in a positive manner.
Workplace mediation is a solution-oriented conflict management procedure where a trained and neutral mediator assists in discussions where the parties of the conflict can find a satisfactory solution for all. Other means of support are available for the work community and individual community members during and after the mediation. The procedures may include support from occupational health care.
Action involving labour laws
If the employee continues the inappropriate treatment or if the case is severe, this can lead to actions involving labour laws. In such cases, the Head of Administration and Director or the Chairman of the Board are responsible to managing the case. If the harassment includes a deliberate violation of physical integrity or similar threats, the employee can report the case to the police.
Head of Administration
Sari Väänänen, email@example.com
Raija Koli, raija.koli@frame-finland-fi
Chairperson of the Board
Jaakko Lindgren, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frame’s anti-discrimination guidelines Are Based on the following legislation:
Act on Equality between Women and Men
The Criminal Code of Finland
Occupational Safety and Health Act
Employment Contracts Act
In August 2020 we received the Call for Action for Art Institutions in Finland letter. The letter, shared via private Call for Action Facebook group, invited us to look at our organisation and our work through a series of questions revolving around the issue of racism.
The questions were circulated as part of group effort aiming to normalise anti-racist work as part of the standard policy of art organisations, communities and networks in Finland. The letter included 26 questions* ranging from accessibility to recruitment, urging Finnish art institutions to actively work towards an anti-racist and intersectional feminist arts scene.
We welcomed these questions as an opportunity to delve deeper into our organisation and to review our work in a series of ten workshops held between August and November 2020.
The letter invited us to look at our work through the prism of racial inequality and racism, but we also used it as an opportunity to tackle any obstacles that may exist on the path to equity, equality and diversity. We did our best to identify everything that we can directly impact and change, and also issues we need to work on as a collaborative effort across the whole field of contemporary art.
All of us working at Frame – permanent staff, temporary staff and interns alike – participated actively in the sessions. Each session had a focus person who was responsible for preparing the session and, when deemed necessary, for sending extra materials to read in advance. Throughout the sessions we reflected collectively on the premises of our work and how it is organised.
We would like to thank the community of Finland-based BIPOC creatives and their white allies for creating and sending the letter. We would also like to encourage arts organisations to support associations and collectives such as Art for Equality, Ruskeat tytöt and Fem-R for the invaluable work they are doing and for the resources they are providing for us and everyone to use and to learn from.
Frame’s statement, December 2020
Frame Contemporary Art Finland’s remit is to function as an information centre for contemporary art in Finland and to create international opportunities for Finnish and Finland-based professional artists and other art professionals working within the field of contemporary art.
Our work is publicly funded and we carry out our remit by providing grants, arranging access to meetings with foreign visiting curators, and by offering opportunities to participate in research trips abroad and participation in our public programmes. As an umbrella organisation, Frame takes an active role in the public conversation concerning these issues within the contemporary art field.
Equity – including racial equality, diversity and anti-racism – is a high priority for us. We are committed to fully comprehend our cultural, economic and social privileges and to actively identify and remain mindful of the positions from which we speak. We will continue to educate ourselves in these matters.
We know that we need more education, tools and skills to implement the deconstruction of whiteness in Frame’s activities and working models in the future. In 2021 we all – board members, grants board members, staff and interns – will receive equity (anti-racist and anti-bias) education from external experts.
Our strategy states that the basis of Frame’s work rests on the principles of equity, freedom of speech and recognition of the multiple voices of art professionals.
While workshopping the questions presented to us we recognised a need to further improve our anti-racism, diversity and inclusivity efforts in four areas: recruitment, accessibility, communication and content.
Reviewing our recruitment practices
The members of the board, the grants board and all of the staff currently working at Frame are white. While this whiteness is not tantamount to a complete absence of diversity, it is obvious that it reflects larger structural problems in society and in the field of contemporary art.
Frame’s board is appointed by the Ministry for Education and Culture with input from the current board. The staff and interns are recruited through open application processes.
Ethnic diversity has not been a special focus in our recruitment process in the past. To increase diversity, we will reconsider our recruitment practices: the channels, language, terms and expressions used in our recruitment ads, our decision-making criteria and our language requirements.
We will additionally harness tools such as quotas and affirmative action. We will also work on ways of actively encouraging applications from more diverse candidates. We recognize that by requiring applicants to have a full command of Finnish language skills poses a significant obstacle to diverse recruiting in the Finnish art field, and we have accordingly opened positions for non-Finnish speaking professionals.
We already have an internal anti-harassment policy which aims to secure a safe working environment for all. To make sure that the ethos of our policy is alive and well within our organisation we implement it actively through an induction system for new board members, grant board members, staff and interns and twice yearly development discussions for all staff and interns.
The harassment policy also covers our visitors programme and public events. We monitor this policy by asking for feedback from all visitors and programme participants. The principles of a safer space are visible in all our events.
Accessibility is high priority in our programme
As an information centre, we work together with a highly diverse range of stakeholders and audiences.
In our knowledge production, communication and networking activities, we target our work at groups such as contemporary art professionals in Finland and abroad, Finnish officials, policymakers, funders, international and Finnish media, Finnish and Finland-based artists and actors in the cultural field, especially in Finland. Our public programming embraces audiences both in Finland and abroad, ranging from specialised professional audiences to the highly diverse public attending the Venice Biennale.
We need to do further work to evaluate our focus group and audience structures. While we have statistics on language, we face challenges in collecting information and measuring the racial equality and diversity of our focus groups and our audiences. We recognise that more inclusive use of language and more diverse programming leads to more diverse focus group members and audiences.
Accessibility is a high priority for us and we work to make our services as accessible as possible on all levels – in our programming, events, texts and digital platforms. Inclusion is a key focus of our five-year Rehearsing Hospitalities programme. The second edition of the Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion series, published in 2020, looked beyond normative and institutionalised understandings of access, and considered access from a manifold of approaches, perceptions and relations.
In our role as an information centre for contemporary art in Finland, we constantly think about the language and the register we use. We recognise that good writing and accessible texts are important and that complicated content and uses of jargon are inaccessible.
Language comes into play in our work in multiple ways. As an institution issuing publicly funded grants, we are obliged to comply with Finnish regulations concerning the right to use one’s official native language, i.e. Finnish or Swedish. In our work we constantly balance between Finnish, Swedish and English, and sometimes Sámi, and we use different languages and different registers within different communication platforms.
While we recognise that our services should be available in more languages and language forms such as captioning, sign language, and digital access, we do not have enough resources to translate everything. Due to the scope of our national and international work, all information can never be completely in Finnish and English, and we are selective in what we translate into Swedish or Sámi. However, we aim to be transparent about the choices we make.
We comply with the EU Directive on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications. We will launch a new accessible website in early 2021 and continue to develop our grants system in line with legislation.
We acknowledge that our offices at Ratakatu 1 are not accessible. When organising events we comply with accessibility information and tools recommended by Culture for All Service.
Openness and transparency are key in all our communication
The primary source of information about Frame is our website, https://frame-finland.fi, which is in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.
We use inclusive language in all our communications ranging from emails, marketing material and social media to websites and contracts. We do not assume that one person represents all members of a particular community, and we pay attention to the terminology we use when referring to attributes or identities.
We aim to be very open and transparent in sharing information about whom we work with, what criteria we use, and how decisions are made. In open calls and for grants, we publish qualification criteria and the names of the members of the juries on our website, in individual announcements as well as in our yearly report. In programming we publish the names of collaborators and funders. We provide answers to queries effectively and apologise for our mistakes openly and honestly.
Frame is a private foundation funded primarily through public funds from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. We adhere to principles of Good Governance of Foundations and Best Practices for Foundations laid down by the Association of Finnish Foundations. We comply with all Acts and regulations concerning public funding and its uses. We report on the uses of funds and partners in our yearly report.
We will work harder to disrupt normative and simplified narratives
We understand that omnipresent whiteness is hard to recognise and deconstruct. Whiteness is perpetuated through readings of artistic quality and professionality. We are part of structures that habitually normalise exclusion of artists, curators and art workers through art education, arts funding and other institutional structures within contemporary art. We acknowledge that the questions of the quality of art and professionality are highly contested.
We recognise the diversity and different cultural conditions that shape the Finnish art scene. Artists and other art practitioners in Finland are rooted in many diverse traditions and cultures. We strive to disrupt normative and simplified narratives in favour of presenting more complex stories from a range of practitioners, knowledges and backgrounds. We have changed our programming to reflect the increasing diversity of the Finnish art field. We collaborate with actors who are actively deconstructing white history to de-centre white and western canons and histories.
This work has been at the core of the Rehearsing Hospitalities programme and Miracle Workers Collective project at the Finnish Pavilion in the Venice Biennale 2019. We constantly evaluate content choices from the perspective of racial equality and diversity in all our programme work from the Venice Biennale to Rehearsing Hospitalities, from our international visitor programme to all other activities. The range of artists and art professionals promoted and funded through the various channels of our work has significantly increased and diversified in recent years.
We see that our past efforts working on these issues have already had an impact on the diversity of represented artists and other actors, but we also acknowledge that there is still more to do and that actual change requires constant work.
As we continue with our work within contemporary art, we will do our best to take the necessary steps toward a more equal and diverse working environment and to change our work routines so that we can keep questioning and improving our existing practices. We pledge to collaborate on these issues with everyone involved in the arts field on all levels: institutions, artists, curators and marginalised communities.
*Questions by the Call for Action for Art Institutions in Finland
1. How are racial equality, diversity and anti-racism discussed in your organisation?
2. What anti-racist strategies does your organisation already employ and/or is aiming to develop?
3. Does your organisation have a non-discrimination plan? Has it been made public? What goals and actions does it include?
4. Has your organisation appointed an equality officer?
Is there a separate compensation for this work or does it fall under free labour?
5. Does your entire staff receive anti-racist and anti-bias education and training by an external expert?
6. How do you address racially driven incidents at the workplace and in public events? In these situations, who is the person to approach? How are these situations handled? In what ways are the wellbeing of the employee / audience member / artist facing racial discrimination ensured?
7. Are the principles of a safer space visible and acknowledged by your work community? Are they also implemented, visible and acknowledged in public events?
8. How is ethnic diversity taken into account in recruitment?
9. How do you plan to promote racial equality and diversity in your organisation?
10. In case your staff consists only of white individuals, consider why this is the case. Could something be done differently?
11. In what ways do you recognise and deconstruct white privilege, as well as the practices that normalize and prioritize those privileges?
12. Identifying one’s own position and privileges: what does this mean within your organisation and in your external communication efforts?
13. How does your organisation actively participate in deconstructing white history and the Western Canon? How is this recognised in the planning and curating programmes?
14. How would you describe your audience structure? Who is present and who is missing? How have you succeeded in terms of racial equality, diversity and accessibility?
15. Is your programme also accessible to non-Finnish-speaking audiences?
16. How is racial equality, diversity and anti-racism taken into account in the curation of your contents? Whose works are selected for the programmes? Who is on stage?
17. What kinds of roles and narratives does your organisation reproduce?
18. Who are you producing content for?
19. At the moment whiteness, ability, cisgenderism, and often a male gaze and androcentrism are accepted as “neutral” points of view. How do your contents approach ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, bodysize, class, religion, culture, and their intersections?
20. How does your organisation report its decision-making? Is it available to the public?
21. When advertising open positions and inviting collaborators through open calls for your programmes, do you disclose your selection criteria?
22. Do you communicate in inclusive language, which does not exclude members of marginalised groups?
23. How do you communicate about your organisation’s funding and associated partners?
If questions arise about these issues, how do you respond?
24. How is criticism received in your organisation? Do you apologise publicly for mistakes you may have committed? Are you prepared to modify your ways of operating based on received critical feedback?
25. Do your staff members and content producers have possibilities to criticise problematic contents, without jeopardizing their position in the organisation?
26. Is the information regarding accessibility and barrier-free mobility publicly available in your spaces and events? From whose perspective do you consider your spatial planning?
We want to promote the international visibility of Finnish art and encounters without burdening the environment. This requires information and action. We have listed our objectives below, along with actions that have been taken or are currently in process for making Frame ecologically more sustainable. Finally, we have put together tips and links to help cultural organizations take the environment into account.
Actions at an organisational level
Ecocompass certificate and environmental pledge
In Spring 2022, Frame was granted the EcoCompass certificate as recognition for progress in environmental work. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint according to the principles of continuous improvement. During the certification process, Frame has evaluated the environmental impact of its operations and implemented sustainable working models to reduce it.
As part of the EcoCompass process, Frame has taken an environmental pledge.
We have committed to:
- Continuously integrate ecological operating models into daily workflow.
- Reduce fossil fuel emissions. Identify areas of our work where we can use renewable energy.
- Choose consciously and responsibly. Ask service providers if they take sustainability into account. Consider environmental aspects in every purchase and partnership.
- Advocate for environmental responsibility with our peers and partners.
- Communicate to raise awareness among peers and partners. Promote change by sharing tools, tips and good examples of environmental work in the contemporary art field. Stay transparent about our ecological impact and ecological work through consistent and accessible public information.
Calculating Frame’s carbon footprint
Frame’s carbon footprint for 2019, 2020 and 2021 has been calculated using the Hiilifiksu järjestö (Carbon-smart organisation) project’s free and open excel-based calculator, which specializes in energy, mobility, procurement, waste and services. Services include emissions generated by serving food, cleaning, and the use of telephone and network connections.
A separate calculator was created for each area of Frame’s work – grant and programme activities, the Venice Biennale, communications and administration, and Frame employees collected the information needed for the calculation. The detailed baseline data was compiled in separate files, from which the combined data (e.g. the train-kilometers required to fullfil programme activities) were transferred to the calculator. The calculations were made according to the “sufficient accuracy” principle: the aim was to identify the largest sources of emissions without spending an unreasonable amount of time on it.
Data was entered into the calculator using various units: energy consumption in kilowatt hours, travel in passenger kilometers, food serving portions, waste kilograms. Emissions from cleaning, telephone and internet use were based on euros paid for services. Reconstructing the data from the past year was sometimes challenging, and some data was difficult to render in a usable format. With grants awarded for transportation and the installation of exhibitions, for example, only the total amounts of money were known, so this information could not be entered into the calculator.
The narrow nature of the calculator is also a problem that applies to all carbon footprint calculations: although the aim is to determine the total carbon footprint of an activity, only a limited amount of data can be entered, which means that the result of the calculation will always be less than the actual climate impact.
In 2019 Frame’s total emissions were around 600 tonnes of CO2e. In 2021, Frame’s carbon footprint was altogether around 370 tonnes of CO2e, 270 000 CO2e less than 2019. Almost 90 percent of the emissions originated from grant projects. From 2022 onwards Frame has decided not to calculate the carbon footprint.
In 2021 Frame’s total emissions were distributed between its different operations as follows.
Grant activities 325 000 kg CO2e (88 %)
Other activities together 42 000 kg CO2e:
- Venice Biennale 16 000 kg CO2e (38 %)
- Programme activity 9 000 kg CO2e (22 %)
- Staff travel 10 000 kg CO2e (24 %)
- Administration 6 500 kg CO2e (16 %)
- Communications 24 kg CO2e (0 %)
Looking at the same emissions according to source, most of Frame’s climate burden came from travel (flying) and accomodation, transportation and events.
Hiring an eco-coordinator
In 2020, Frame and three other contemporary art organizations (IHME Helsinki, HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Program and Mustarinda) hired an eco-coordinator for a one-year pilot project. The part-time eco-coordinator worked at Frame for a total of two months during the year. The organisations met regularly during the year and finally organised a joint environmental seminar.
The eco-coordinator’s tasks at Frame included guidance and reports related to carbon footprint measurements, sketching a roadmap for Frame’s carbon-neutral future and discussions and coaching sessions with staff focusing on environmental issues.
Frame keeps its feet on the ground in Finland
Frame’s personnel do not fly in Finland. In 2019, Frame made a decision to switch to using the train and bus on domestic routes. Emissions from staff travel accounted for 1% of Frame’s total emissions.
Actions in the art field
In November 2020, Frame, IHME, HIAP and Mustarinda organised a webinar on environmental issues in the art field at HAM Helsinki Art Museum.
The focus of the day was on climate change and the carbon footprint created by climate emissions, as well as opportunities for individual artists and organizations to influence the state of the environment. The seminar presented concrete climate actions by the state, organizations and individuals.
The speeches from the seminar were recorded and are available on IHME Helsinki’s YouTube channel. Powerpoint presentations of the speeches can be found in the videos’ comments fields.
Acts on a societal level
Statement on the State Travel Regulations in 2019
Frame annually awards grants for the internationalization of art. Funding is based on a special grant from the Ministry of Education and Culture, which is bound by the State Travel Regulations, which state that travel must be carried out “in the shortest possible time and at the lowest total cost”. This almost invariably favours air travel.
In order to ensure that the internationalization of art does not occur at the expense of the environment, in 2019 the Arts Information Centres, under the leadership of Frame, took the initiative to push for a change in the State Travel Regulations. This initiative, which called on the state to stop favouring flights as a form of travel, was sent to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Science and Culture, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Climate and Environment and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The state is now renewing its policies: in January 2021, a proposal for a new state travel strategy was published. Its biggest reform concerns weighing up the need for travel: when planning a trip, the first thing to consider is whether travel is necessary at all, or whether communication could be handled, for example, remotely. If travel is necessary, the proposed strategy requires that environmental considerations be taken into account. This would mean, in particular, reducing short flights.
Six steps to ecological sustainability
- Reserve adequate resources (employee time, external support)
- Determine the baseline situation (e.g. carbon footprint, energy consumption, flight mileage)
- Set targets (e.g. 50% reduction by 2030)
- Monitor the achievement of goals
- Analyse problem areas
- Develop new practices together with the entire work community