The Setting

Seaside Prison takes you to an alternative reality where Finland is under occupation. The situation on the Occupied Finnish Territory of Åland Islands resembles real-world Gaza. The occupiers restrict movement of people and goods in and out of Åland. Every now and then, they bomb the islands. You are an ordinary person who lives in Marienhamn with your family. The bombings and the fear of death and loss frame your everyday life and relations to your family and friends.

We aim for a serious and respectful treatment of the topic. Participants will not portray Palestinians. Instead, they will reflect on what their own life could be if they lived in a similar situation as the people in Gaza. Before the larp there will be a workshop that gets you ready to play. Afterwards, the events will be contextualized in a discussion with a Palestinian from Gaza. The whole event will last 4-5 hours in total, depending on the individual group of participants. The larp will be run in a theatre environment with lights, sounds, and video projection.

In Seaside Prison, participants portray two ordinary families who live next to each other. In the larp, you might be a talented student who dreams about entering a prestigious foreign university and hopes to get a visa and an exit permit. Or you could be an old person, a family head who still remembers better days when you could move freely. Or perhaps you are a fisher who is busy providing for your family when it is hard to get everyday goods. Or maybe you are somebody who risks their life to protest against the occupation.

Seaside Prison is a Palestinian-Finnish-Norwegian collaboration, designed by Kaisa Kangas, Martin Nielsen, and Mohamad Rabah. Kaisa’s and Mohamad’s previous work includes the acclaimed Palestinian-Finnish larp Halat hisar (State of Siege) where the participants spent 24 hours on a fictional university campus in occupied Helsinki.