Viscult takes place in the Joensuu Science Park, Länsikatu 15, 80110 Joensuu. The venue is the Karelia UAS Media Studies Auditorium in the Science Park’s 3A Wing, second floor. Viscult signs will guide you there from the Science Park main entrance (Länsikatu 15) and the streetside.

After the main entrance has closed at 4.30 pm, you can enter the festival through the 3A Wing main entrance at the Science Park inner yard.


...that you will not enter the auditorium in the middle of screenings.

Also, laptops and mobile phones should not be used during the screenings, because the light is disturbing to others. If you need to take notes, please use pen and paper. Thank you!


The theme of Viscult 2017 is Autonomy. Everyone shares the objective of strengthening one’s control of life and the desire to decide upon one’s own affairs. Autonomy is also the basic condition for the cultural survival of indigenous groups and ethnocultural minorities. The improvement of a group or individual situation is both supported and obstructed by cultural models, traditions and everyday practices. For example, gender, seniority, social class and intra-family relations may complicate the lives of fragile members in groups. The ownership of local resources is a fundamental survival issue for indigenous and local cultures. Globalization challenges individual and group attempts at autonomy everywhere, as common global culture and global technologies change the cultural everyday in profound ways. The Internet enables fresh forms of social agency, and the collective power of the net can be channelled to promote individual and group efforts. How does the theme of autonomy influence the documentary film process? What are the cinematic ways to mediate individual and group autonomy attempts in a documentary? What sort of ethical comprehension is needed in these documentary processes?

The Viscult Film Festival focuses especially on anthropological and ethnographic documentaries. The program consists of film screenings, student-focused workshops and plenary lectures. The events are free for all. Moreover, majority of the program will be streamed in the Internet as a real-time net broadcast, so the events can be followed from across the world.


The first international festival of ethnographic, anthropological and documentary film in Finland, the Festival of Visual Culture was founded in 2001. Through the years Viscult has seen many great filmmakers, visual anthropologists and lecturers.

The festival utilizes modern technology to bridge geographical obstacles and to our knowledge was the first film festival in the world that streamed all content – films and discussions alike – live on the Internet all over the world.

Viscult is a festival that thinks and works globally.

Viscult programs from previous years:

Viscult 2001: Strangers in Society
Viscult 2002: NAFA Goes On-Line
Viscult 2003: Petroskoi
Viscult 2004: Borders
Viscult 2005: Intimacy
Viscult 2006: Urban Life
Viscult 2007: Daily Bread
Viscult 2008: Transformations
Viscult 2009: Family
Viscult 2010: Ten Years of Viscult
Viscult 2011: Slavery
Viscult 2014: Sounds in Images
Viscult 2015: Food for Thought