Speech Karaoke turns 10 years today!

Speech Karaoke resembles regular karaoke, but instead of a song you choose a speech from our karaoke list and perform it before a live audience from a speakers podium! The audience listens to the speaker and follows the karaoke video’s moving text from the projected screen. Our events are free of charge and usually held in bars and clubs.

The speech culture has changed a lot during the years after Occupy Wallstreet, the rise of identity politics and the #metoo movement, Donald Trump and Greta Thunbergs climate movement. When nazis used to be a joking matter we now see fascist regimes around the world taking over. Things are changing fast and we have been taking notes!

The Speech Karaoke was launched at Hämeenlinna Art Museum (Hämeenlinna, Finland) in the exhibition “I am a socialist-anarchist-individual-collectivist-individualist-communist-cooperative-aristocrat-democrat”. The Speech Karaoke was created collaboratively by artists Frank and Maria Brümmel, Krister Gråhn, Tellervo Kalleinen, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, Tuomas Laitinen, Carl Sebastian Lindberg, Pilvari Pirtola, Johanna Raekallio, Pasi Rauhala, Satu Rautiainen, Jyrki Riekki and Hanna Saarikoski. These artists also had their individual works presented in the same exhibition. The Speech Karaoke event was hosted by artist Julius Valve who soon became an official member of the group later named “Speech Karaoke Action Group” or SKAG. Active members now include also artists Essi Ojanperä, Jenna Jauhiainen and Velda Parkkinen.

There has been a lot happening in the 10 year period. The speeches for the first version of Speech Karaoke were collected from a selection of intellectuals, politicians, activists and artists in Finland. They were invited to write a speech to the Speech Karaoke. The given topic for the speeches was that it should be that of an individual presenting a bigger ideology.

The Speech Karaoke speech list has grown from a handful of speeches to an astonishing 700 speeches and counting. Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen wrote the original Speech Karaoke program we use to subtitle the speeches and run the shows. Most of the speeches in the karaoke system are in English and Finnish. There are also speeches in Swedish, Croatian, Dutch, Estonian, Russian, Norwegian, Thai, French, German, Northern Sámi, Skolt Sámi, Meänkieli etc. and the list keeps growing after every event and workshop.

We have been working with different themes through out the years, such as rights of indigenous Sámi people (Sápmispeech events) and LGTBQI+ rights (Feminism and Love Me Gender events). We have consulted and asked for help in curating the lists from activists and other people who are involved in the struggles. We have also done events involving film speeches (Oberhausen festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival and the coming Sodankylä Midnight Film Festival) and countless other versions of Speech Karaoke involving everything from local politics to last words of dying people and Startup culture. We will continue to support free speech and informing the public of all sorts of vocal representations of the world.

This year we will celebrate our 10 years journey with events in Finland and around the world. We will announce new events here in our Facebook page and our website http://speechkaraoke.org/ You can also suggest new speeches by sending us a message here!

Great to have you all on board with us!

See you at the events ❤


– Speech Karaoke Action Group

Text by Julius Valve