New Plays from Finland
My Capital (2020)
My Capital (Pääomani) is a contemporary drama based on Milja Sarkola’s novel by the same name which deals with a large taboo in Finnish society: wealth inequality and money. However, it does not seek to demonize monetary wealth, but instead aims to explore the profound impact it can have on humans and their relationships to one another.
The characters do not have names, as the aim is to portray various outlooks on life as opposed to doing a character study. These characters are at once all of us and none of us, exploring the nature of debt, spending, class divide, privilege, and one’s own financial worth. The main character, Woman, maintains control by constantly obsessing over various monetary figures in her life and she is highly aware it isn’t considered ‘proper’ to discuss them out loud.
The original version of the play is trilingual (Finnish, Swedish, English), which requires readers and viewers to have a similar level of cultural capital in order to access the story and thus emphasize the metacommentary that Sarkola is highlighting with her characters. The play premiered in Q-Theatre in February 2020.
Diary 9th of May 2019
Market value of my investment funds 25 207.39 euros (9.3% profit)
My ownership stake a total of 41 400.61 euros
Mortgage balance 62 658.74 euros
Night slept badly, tiredness.
Do you know what my father-in-law once asked me? Is it true when they say that finn-swedes are stingy and cheap? I had never heard of a definition like that being used about us before.
I’ve never heard of such a thing in my lifetime either.
They won’t say it directly but that’s how those finns think about us in the inlands. What I mean is that my sister should think about that as well when she’s looking for someone from a lower class to hire as underpaid labour.
But everyone is born into their own class. Not all questions about money can always be seen from another class's perspective.
Perhaps not but in a family it should be possible to do so.
PHOTOGRAPHER FROM NEW YORK
I think there’s a good reason why people don’t want to talk about money on a personal level with too many people.
Why is that?
PHOTOGRAPHER FROM NEW YORK
We wish to deny the influence money has on our relationships because the very thought of it causes anxiety. Money defines relationships in a manner that is in conflict with life itself.
When, for example, making choices as a consumer it is natural for a person to consider what would be not only the most affordable but also the best option in order to have the ideal price-quality ratio.
But what if this beneficiary thinking was brought into our relationships? How would it impact them and how would people turn out if they only began calculating their relationships through supposed benefits to themselves?
(Milja Sarkola on her work My Capital in an interview to Seura.fi, 28 June 2020)