I introduce you to: JOJO
What is JOJO?
Jojo is a place where young adults can meet up and hang out together for free. There’s plenty of youth houses for youngsters where they can just be. But once you are older there should be such a place as well - like Jojo is now.
Who can go there?
The idea is that there is a place for young people that grew out of their youngsterhood. So basically Jojo is for young people between 20 and 29 but the rules are not so strict, of course. Their youngest customer is about 15 and the oldest already 30 years old. Age doesn’t really matter much there, neither does nationality. There are people visiting from many different countries and cultures. Everybody – doesn’t matter which age and from which country – is getting along there. “In JoJo everybody can be as he or she is”, Laura and Meri said.
What can you do there?
You can go there with your friends and just hang out and drink coffee. Anyway the braver ones are also allowed to come there alone. It’s a very good opportunity to meet new people. There’s always either Meri or Laura (or both together) with which you can talk. In Jojo they often listen to music and just speak to each other but sometimes they also play games like UNO and Kimble. There’s also a TV but normally the people come to just socialize in the “old school” kind of way. You can even study or do your homework there. “What I like about this place is, that it is like a little home to everybody”, Laura told me, sitting in her rocking chair.
How did it start?
The planning of the project started with Laura and her still little bit abstract idea in March 2016. What kind of place would it be and what kind of people would visit there? How the place would look like? She didn’t know how exactly it would be. With some help she then started to renovate the place in the train station. It should be a place that feels like home and there should be art, she knew. The furniture she chose is mostly recycled. In general JoJo is attaching importance to ecological ways, also with the coffee and tea they make there. After a lot of work JoJo opened its doors in June 2016.
What about the name?
If you have ever been playing with a jojo (in English it’s actually yo-yo) as a kid, you know how it bounces up and down if you do it correctly. And that’s the way also a good conversation goes, Laura explained.
And the logo?
A circle with the text inside usually shows that there is an underground. As Jojo is located at the train station, this fits perfectly. Also the shape of yo-yos is round.
At what time JoJo is opened?
Tuesday – Friday from 14:00 to 20:00
Every month’s last Saturday from 14:00 to 20:00
What kind of events are there in JoJo?
On every day you can rent bikes there for free, they have six of them. You just have to bring 20 euros as a deposit and fill some papers and that’s it!
The Seinäjoki Gaming Group (Seiga) organizes a game evening in Jojo on every month’s first Thursday.
Last November (and probably this November again) they organised a bright light café for one week. In that week there was free breakfast and bright light early in the morning.
Every once a while there are other events like about making your own rap music, a comic workshop, a Cosplay and the JoJo version of escape room.
Every young artist who would like to hang out her or his art is very welcome to do so in JoJo, for free.
Photos and text: Anja Kaufmann