Elsa Tölli is a poet, performer and a free spirit. They have made poetry videos and performances, toured as a performance poet and co-founded Lavarunoakatemia, an academy of performance poetry, which combines community learning and cultural disruption. Tölli’s first book, Fun Primavera, was published in 2020 and won Yle’s Tanssiva Karhu award. 

Tölli’s work focuses on embracing life, being present and a sense of camaraderie. As an artist, they challenge structures based on rivalry and toiling away alone by methods such as writing with other people, arranging workshops to share what they have learned, and strengthening long-term collegial relationships. 

Ella Snellman is involved in this work as a costume designer and as an outside observer.



Performances at HAM 11.5.
21.4. & 20.5.


Finaalilaulu / a Finale Song’
poetry performance 00:30:00
costume Design Ella Snellman
premiere 11.5.2023 Helsinki Art Museum HAM

A Finale Song plays, sweaty and monstrous, in the final act of the shiny Diva. An out-of-tune poem song is performed about a firestorm, fury at the barricades and quiet encounters between invisible insects underground. The aria moves through a surreal glass bubble, in a post-glamour mess, scraping the fire with her nails. We’re going to explore what happens when the texts become flesh and pulse on stage in the costumes of stage fright, adrenaline and presence.  

“Lights, cameras, action!  

People could choose the tools they wanted to use to poke the body.  

It was given words and clothes. It was all wrapped around the body, 

vers libre no longer so free.  

How did they move? In pieces. 

The eyes looked at the lights! Camera! Action!  

Everyone was staring at the glowing corpse in the sliver of light.  

It looked into the dark and couldn’t remember anything.  

... until 

the body started to move!  

             Alone, towards a new light!” 

Image Credits: 
Artist’s portrait - Patrik Rastenberger
Artwork image 1. -  Finaalilaulu (A Finale Song), spoken word performance, 2023, Elsa Tölli, pic. Aura Latva-Somppi
Artwork image 2. -  Finaalilaulu (A Finale Song), spoken word performance, 2023, Elsa Tölli, pic. Elsa Snellman