Go Back

Rosa Liksom

Rosa Liksom (Anni Ylävaara)
Born January 7, 1958, Ylitornio, Finnish Lapland

Master of Arts (main subject Cultural Anthropology; subsidiary subjects incl. ethnology, folk poetry, aesthetics, Art History, Religion, Finnish Literature) University of Helsinki, 1983
Studies in Universities of Moscow and Copenhagen, 1981-1986

Freelance Artist since 1991
Radio Journalist at Radio City and Reporter for City-lehti newspaper, 1989-1993 (programme deviser, interviews: Suomalaisia unelmia [‘Finnish dreams’])
Barworker, Agricultural Labourer, Shop Assistant and Bakery Assistant, Youth Drop-in Centre, Fleamarketeer at Lepakko, Sauna Boss in Freetown Christiania, Denmark; Agricultural Labourer, Shop Assistant

Photo: Pekka Mustonen
Written by Heta Muurinen
Translated by John Calton

The artist draws on all experience

At the dissertation stage of her studies Rosa Liksom had already written her first book, albeit not yet published.

“When my idea for a dissertation was turned down, it was the last straw. I wasn’t going to get the Master’s degree, I’d manage some other way."

Liksom had supported herself with various kinds of work during her study years. In moving to Denmark, she continued in much the same way whilst working on the first three books. It was possible to work six-hour days in her country of adoption, which meant there was time to practise art and write.

“I can do all sorts of work. I have been working in bars, as a farm labourer, in a shop and a bakery. It’s all been of help for my writing.”

When Liksom returned to Finland she worked for Radio City where she had her own programme and wrote a column for the City-lehti newspaper.

After her fourth book, Liksom threw herself into the role of free artist having noticed that she could live off her art, and has done so ever since.

“I have a good basic schooling. I can find information and understand what I read. For example, I read a lot of doctoral theses and can get to the essence, which would probably be tricky without academic training. Abroad, Liksom often got involved in conversations where to talk about her work wasn’t enough."

“You couldn’t cope in debates unless you’d had a broad education. You have to have something to say."

Photo: Pekka Mustonen.​
Photo: Pekka Mustonen.​


Go Back