Cultural center | Library | Artist residency | Museum | Concert stage | Research center | Cinema | Multipurpose space


Artist residency & cultural and research center

Villa Karo is a Finnish-African cultural center, which is located in the village of Grand-Popo, Benin, West Africa. The center’s goal is to enhance the African knowledge of Finnish cultural figures, promote collaboration between Finnish and African artists and researchers as well as to support Finland and Benin’s cultural exchange.


Villa Karo provides Finnish cultural and social-sector professionals an opportunity for a residency in Benin while functioning as a cultural center in Grand-Popo.


Villa Karo’s acting executive director is Julia Autio and the cultural center’s director in Benin is Kwassi Akpladokou. Villa Karo is governed by Villa Karon ystävät ry, whose chairperson is Maria Björnberg.

Villa Karo is located in Benin, as it is one of Africa’s safest and politically stable countries. There are barely any political prisoners, freedom of speech is of a European level and there are several political parties. It is also a friendly country and Africa’s own culture has survived in Benin better than in most other countries. Grand-Popo is a peaceful fishing village, which ensures the visitors a better peace of mind compared to Cotonou.




Video: Tuomas Uusheimo (2014/2017)

Music: Pentti Luomakangas & Gustave Dylamour

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