Aboagora 2018: “Burden/Skuld” | 22–24 August
In the years 2016-2018, Aboagora builds a thematic trilogy under the title The Threads of Fate. The title refers to Old Norse mythology and characters called Norns, who rule the destinies of both gods and humans. The three most important Norns were Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld. They have at times been interpreted as past, present and future but, in fact, layers of temporality are unavoidably entangled. For example, the question of fate (Urðr) stretches from the past to the future, and the idea of burden (Skuld) refers both to our heritage and to something we have to confront in the future. Each Norn serves as a point of entrance to the Aboagora events of 2016–2018. In 2016, Aboagora discussed “Urðr/Fate”, in 2017 it was “Verðandi/Becoming”, and Aboagora 2018 will complete the trilogy with the theme “Burden/Skuld”.
Skuld means “need”, “ought to be”, or “shall be” and refers to something that should occur or must happen in the future as a consequence of past events. Skuld was generally regarded as the youngest of the Norns and was associated with the future. In Old Norse mythology, the future was not understood as an independent era ahead of the present day, but rather as a necessity: an aspect of a cyclic process where the world to come, its inhabitants and its circumstances, were conditioned by what had been before. By bringing together past and present in pointing to the future, Skuld evokes the question of the “burden of the past” and its normative consequences for the future of humanity.
Aboagora 2018 will analyse and discuss different perspectives, utopian as well as dystopian, on the future and how the legacies of past generations lay claims on and model the possibilities of coming generations. Relevant topics include ecological and economic concerns for a sustainable future, questions of human development, policy making and normative ideological and religious frames of reference, as well as the power of science to create a better future. Aboagora will also raise the question: Is there really nothing new under sun? Can the future bring only what is entailed in the past or is it possible to change the course of history towards a desired future?
The Symposium will be held at the Sibelius Museum in Turku on August 22–24.
The Symposium Programme and details for registration will be published here in May/June 2018.