Aboagora 2015: Precious Moments, Extreme Events

The theme for Aboagora 2015, held on August 11-13 at the Sibelius Museum, was “Precious Moments, Extreme Events.” Under this theme, the Symposium addressed questions of time, changes in society, and significant and extreme events in the course of individuals’ lives and the history of humanity.

In the modern world, information moves faster than ever before. Slow, global processes of transformation, such as climate change, cause increasing alarm, but extreme and sudden events also have the power to completely change our perspective in mere seconds. In the midst of such change, interest in memory and individuals’ experience of time has grown. Definitive moments and turning points have the power to affect both individual lives and entire societies. Extreme events can traumatize whole nations, and the lives of individuals can be turned upside down in a single moment, in the blink of an eye.

Agora Speakers

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Tiina Rosenberg (Professor, Stockholm University; President of the Central Arts Council of Finland), “Speaking Up in Precarious Times: A Reflection on Arts And Humanities”

Umayya Abu-Hanna (Author, Journalist), “The Long Longing to Belong”

John D. Barrow (FRS, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge University; Professor of Geometry, London Gresham College ,UK), “Is Our Universe An Extreme Event?”

The event also featured workshops which discussed the theme from the perspectives of quantum physics, religion studies, biology, and political history, among others. Fundamental questions regarding arts and sciences were examined through an international project, “Floating Platforms,” in collaboration with the New Performance Turku Festival, an international festival for performance and live art. The aim of the project was to find different ways of approaching co-ordinated dialogue between arts and sciences. Six performance artists and six scientists from a variety of disciplines around Finland and Europe worked in pairs and discussed various themes from their own perspectives.