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.

Registration fee, including coffee and snacks, is 40€ (students 25 €). The registration is open until August 17:




Wednesday 22.8.

9.30–10.00 Coffee and Registration

10.00–10.15 Opening Words

Rector Kalervo Väänänen, University of Turku

10.15–12.15 AGORA: Claes Andersson and Julia Korkman: The Burden of Memory  

12.15–13.30 Lunch

13.30–15.00 Workshop: The Wicked Ocean

Anna Törnroos, Charlotta Risku, Pia Leppänen: Bivalvia, a cross-disciplinary art and science music installation, celebrating the sea and the clean water. 

Panel Discussion: Erik Bonsdorff, Nina Tynkkynen, Christoffer Boström, Anna Törnroos

15.00–15.30 Coffee

15.30–17.00 Workshop: Jan Kaus, Lieven Ameel, Jason Finch: Palimpsest cities: The Past as Burden and Possibility in City Literature

18.00 Lied concert: Marika Kivinen, mezzo and Johan von Schantz, piano: L. Onerva – Shame and Misplaced Guilt


Thursday  23.8.

10.00–11.30 AGORA: Dystopia. The Burden of Truth

Kimi Kärki: Totalitarian Alternative Histories in Trump era Television Entertainment

Albion Butters: Shades of Whiteness: Appropriation of Religious Symbols by the Nordic Alt-Right

Pertti Grönholm:  Laibach: Totalitarianism Disguised and Uncovered

11.30–13.00 Lunch

13.00–14.30 Panel Discussion: Remembering and Narrating War Stories: Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, Anni Mikkelson, Ville Kivimäki, Kukku Melkas

14.30–15.00 Coffee

15.00–17.00 Workshop:  Doctoral students from the Pre symposium

Aino Kuitunen: Polyphonic Knowing for Artistic-scientific Interventions in Energy Policy

Olga Zabalueva:  Does Dreaming of Futures Require Blindness to the Past? Museum-making Outside the Museum Frame

Katarina Markovich: Will the Technology Become a Game-changer for Law?

Isabelle Strömstedt: The Display of Innovation at the New York World’s Fair 1939

Saara Penttinen: Bringing Things Back, Travelling Back Through Them. Mobility, Materiality and Virtual Travelling through Early English Collections


19.00 Grus Grus theatre: Huviretki tienpientarelle

Based on the science fiction novel Roadside Picnic by Arkadi and Boris Strugatskin


Friday 24.8.

9.30–11.00 AGORA: Helena Ranta: Transgenerational burden

11.15 – 12.15 Workshop: The White Man’s Burden” in the Philippine-American War: Benita Heiskanen, Reetta Humalajoki, Henna-Riikka Pennanen, Malla Lehtonen

12.15–13.30 Lunch

13.30–15.00 Experiential embodied workshop: Nena Močnik: Burden of Coexistence

15:00–15.30 Coffee

15.30-16.30  Aikido: the burden redirected

A lecture and a demonstration:  Olli-Pekka Kangas, Kimi Kärki, Tuomas Martikainen, Jaakko Suominen, Reima Välimäki

17– Reception (Humanisticum)


See the full programme: Aboagora_2018_Programme_web