Aboagora Pre-symposium participants

Thursday 25 August, 13:15–14:45
Sibelius Museum

Turbulent Times

Taru Elfving, Aleksandra Dobrego, Mia Jaatsi, Shruti Jain, Jamie Jenkins, Zahra Jahanshah Rad, Zoë Robertson, Kenneth Siren, Heini Uusisilta-Immonen

ABOAGORA hosted a Pre-symposium research retreat for Doctoral Candidates in the arts, humanities and sciences and MA Arts Students at the Archipelago Centre Korpoström in the Turku archipelago on 21–23 August. The participants, led by curator and researcher Taru Elfving, were invited to reflect together on what is in the air in these turbulent times. Through the prism offered by the Archipelago Sea Biosphere area, a plurality of perspectives and multisensory approaches, they discussed a range of questions related to air and the wind, such as: What do the changes in air currents in the present tell us about the past and the future, or about the interdependencies between specific places and planetary circulations? How are the languages and knowledges of all things airy changing together with the winds and weather patterns?

In this joint panel session, the Pre-symposium participants will discuss their own academic and artistic work, as well as the myriad winds of change that are carrying us – ecological and societal, material and metaphorical – and their interconnections.

Taru Elfving

Picture of Taru Elfving
Photo: Pekko Vasantola

I am a curator and researcher of contemporary art, focused on nurturing undisciplinary and site-sensitive enquiries at the intersections of ecological, feminist and decolonial practices. As Director of CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago, I have examined ecological transformations in the Turku Archipelago region for over a decade and currently lead the research platform Spectres in Change on the island of Seili in collaboration with the Archipelago Research Institute of the University of Turku. I have a PhD from Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths University of London (2009), and I supervise doctoral students at the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Aleksandra Dobrego

Picture of Aleksandra Dobrego

I am a doctoral researcher at the Department of Languages, University of Helsinki. I study how humans make sense of continuous speech, particularly how intonation influences speech perception. My research interests have always lain in the field of spoken language, production and perception of sounds, and the differences between scripted speech (when we read out loud) and spontaneous speech which we encounter every day. I also love public engagement with research, because I believe that communicating a scientific discovery is as important as science per se.

Mia Jaatsi

Picture of Mia Jaatsi

I am a doctoral researcher in Human Geography at the University of Turku. My research examines the uses and contestations of public space in the city. I employ ethnographic research methods, including volunteer work, to explore how we live, experience and practice everyday urban space, and how these spaces enable but also restrict possibilities to participate in the public sphere. As a geographer, I connect the theme ‘Wind’ to space, which I see not only as a physical construction but as a social and cultural one, in which various power relations subsist.

Shruti Jain

Picture of Shruti Jain

Hi! I’m Shruti, from India, doing my doctoral studies at the University of Turku. My doctoral research focuses on establishing effective screening and detection technologies for diseases. This involves the use of highly fluorescent protein-linked nanoparticles to detect altered sugars in blood for early detection of cancer. This concept enables the design of simple, fast and affordable tests and can be explored for other diseases as well. I’ve won the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) contest in 2020 and came 2nd in the 2021 Millennium Pitching Contest, based on this doctoral project. I believe more effective and affordable screening strategies in place along with innovative early detection systems should be the next winds of change in healthcare.

Jamie Jenkins

Picture of Jamie Jenkins

Currently, I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. I was raised in Australia and moved to Finland in 2018 to pursue my master’s degree in environmental economics. My doctoral research focuses on the development of renewable energy technology, specifically offshore wind. I utilise scenario modelling to explore possible futures of renewable industry development and use these models to identify policies that could boost the development and innovation of renewable technology. My goal is to provide practical policy recommendations that are applicable and relevant to developing clean energy sources, improve energy security and aid in the clean energy transition.

Zahra (Elmira) Jahanshah Rad

Picture of Zahra Elmira Jahanshah Rad

I am a doctoral researcher in Materials Science at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Turku. My PhD thesis is about improving the efficiency and working lifetime of electronic and photovoltaic devices, which are made of semiconductors – devices like solar cells, smart phones, laptops, etc. I am co-inventor in three patent families and co-author in 13 peer-reviewed articles. Besides physics, I am interested in philosophy, cognitive sciences, social sciences, and environmental issues. My best friend of 14 years is my dog Goopi, who has been with me since he was a puppy.

Zoë Robertson

Picture of Zoe Robertson

I am a Finnish and Canadian multidisciplinary creator. My art explores how identity, agency and memory are moderated by space and language. I have a BA in English Literature from McGill University, and a dual degree Master’s in Journalism, Media, and Globalization from the Aarhus University and the University of Hamburg. My professional background is in media and audio production. I strongly value cross-disciplinary collaboration and find my own diversified experiences to be a strength in my creative practice. Currently, I am based in Helsinki, Finland while enrolled in the Contemporary Design Master’s program at Aalto University.

Kenneth Siren

Picture of Kenneth Siren

I’m a theatre artist and a doctoral researcher at the Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke) of the Theatre Academy with a background in theatre pedagogy. My research incorporates pragmatist philosophy and collaborative practices that allow participants to identify and transform their habits. I write and recite poetry, and my performances often combine lyrical text, movement, and audience participation. My performances often take place outside a typical theatre space, instead happening in public places, galleries, or on the audience members’ skin. I have also lectured extensively on the topic of gender diversity, a theme that features in my artistic work and research.

Heini Uusisilta-Immonen

Picture of Heini Uusisilta-Immonen

I am a visual artist currently living and working in Finland. I graduated and got my bachelor´s degree from Kankaanpää School of Fine Arts, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in 2012 and I’m currently studying in the Master’s Programme Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art at Aalto University. I work by using multiple mediums, such as installation art, sculpting and photographing. Most recently I have been focusing more on art and science and site-specific projects. Topics or themes that are recurrent in my work are family, care, sensitivity and human relationship with the natural environment.