Finland’s Mantsinen Group and oil refiner Neste have joined forces to tackle social exclusion of young people
One in five children in developed countries lives in poverty according to a 2017 UN report cited by Mantsinen and Neste.
Through the Zero Exclusion campaign, Mantsinen and Neste have pledged to get the voices of young people heard and raise funds to tackle social exclusion. The campaign brings together youngsters, one of the world’s leading art galleries and the Mantsinen 300, touted as the world’s largest hydraulic harbour crane.
Three young Finnish artists painted 42 artworks, using a Mantsinen 300 harbour crane with a deadweight of 380 tonnes in Vuosaari harbour as a painting tool! The artworks were produced in collaboration with the American art gallery, Albright-Knox. The paintings will be sold and the proceeds donated to a Finland-based charity, Hope ry. Neste and Mantsinen Group aim to raise €50,000 to invest in programmes designed to prevent the social exclusion of young people.
Mia Mantsinen, CEO of Mantsinen Group, said that the project is well aligned with the company’s own story. "The founders of our company come from modest backgrounds. We want to show that anyone can achieve success, as long as they are given opportunities for self-fulfilment. Once you have received a helping hand along the way, you want to help others, too."
The artworks were painted in Vuosaari harbour in Helsinki in July. The young artists received a one-hour briefing on handling the Mantsinen 300R machine from Mantsinen service engineers Henri Vänskä and Matti Mujunen.
The artworks were created under the supervision of Albright-Knox gallery’s curator Eric Jones. The aspiring artists were three 16-18-year-olds - Kip Pääkkönen, Kukka-Maaria Juvonen and Miia Kuittinen.
"The three of us wanted to participate in this project because we felt it was our turn to give something back for all the help we have received," said Miia Kuittinen. "I love art, and painting with the massive crane will remain an experience I will always remember. I hope my work inspires companies to take action and help other young people."
Heidi Peltonen, Manager of Sustainable Partnerships at Neste, said: "The challenge of social exclusion is huge and tackling it requires a collaborative effort. This is why we are inviting companies to participate. Every young person, no matter where or how they live, should feel that they are an important part of our society. One of the objectives of the Zero Exclusion campaign is to give an unconventional and inspiring voice to the participating young artists."
Social responsibility is an issue of great importance for us," Mia Mantsinen summed up. "We plan to take responsibility and take care of our extended community in the future, too."
The artworks are on display at Bio Rex, Helsinki, between 4 and 22 December 2019, and online at the Zero Exclusion campaign site. They are available to purchase on the same website.