How one British writer is showcasing immigrant life in Finland in 2040

Late Adapters

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a lonely senior in a foreign country?

According to Statistics Finland, there are currently over 231,295 immigrants making a life for themselves in Finland. While the vast majority of these are of working age now, by 2040 many will be enjoying their twilight years. But what will those years be like? It’s this question which prompted Lesley Rawstorne to write the play Late Adapters.

Tomorrow’s elderly meet future tech

A collaborative multi-media production, Late Adapters aims to provide a glimpse into the lives of elderly immigrants. Set in 2040, the English-language play focuses on three septuagenarians living in Finland, and the effects of technology, both positive and negative, on their lives. In fact, the play itself was influenced by technology — it includes video sections created with the help of volunteers from around the world, who sent in hashtags and selfies to be used in the play’s futuristic depiction of viral campaigns and online dating profiles.

But Late Adapters is not just about viral campaigns and online dating. The black comedy is based on research in the Social Services field, and is the end result of writer Lesley Rawstorne’s thesis, Exploring the Current and Future Role of Technology in the Socialisation, Wellbeing and Inclusion of Elderly Immigrants in Finland, jointly written with Ilkka Tuomi.

Tongue in cheek on tough themes

As many immigrants already know all too well, loneliness and isolation can be a major issue when relocating countries. For the elderly, these issues can be magnified even further. Late Adapters hopes to tackle tough themes such as ageing in a foreign country, social inclusion, and loneliness and bring attention to the problems that many foreigners face as they age.

Late Adapters will be showing at Helsinki senior care center Kinapori Palvelukeskus on Friday 20th of May at 16:00 and Saturday 21st of May at 13:00. Everyone is welcome, and admission is free. The play will also be showing as part of the annual Kallio Kukkii festival.

All donations will go to Helsinki Missio’s outreach work with the elderly and isolated.

This immigrant might just have filmed the most Finnish summer video ever


Open the paper today in Finland and, as in much of Europe, the likelihood is you’ll find a story about immigration. One underlining theme, which seems to be hammered home with disturbing regularity, is the idea that us immigrants are a burden upon society. This is despite the huge amounts of evidence to the contrary. In fact, and I’m living proof, research shows immigrants are net financial contributors to the countries in which they live. But immigrants enrich societies in many other ways, too.

Take talented filmmaker Leandro Righini, a South African immigrant, who has made Finland his home for the last ten years. A Creative Director at Make Films  he’s spent the last decade making beautiful short movies for countless companies. Now, he’s crafted a wistfully beautiful video about summer cottage life that might just be the most Finnish video ever. If you don’t believe us, take a look for yourself. But first let’s hear more from the man himself, about his inspiration and his love for super Suomi. 

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