24 AUGUST | 15:15–16:45

Close the Borders!

Anu Almagro, Volodymyr Andrushchak, Eero Erkamo, Fiikka Forsman, Kari Kallioniemi, Jaana Kurttila, Kimi Kärki, Petri Kuljuntausta, Turku Synth Club Opera Orchestra (TSO)

Fascinating Fascism and its Affective Heritage in Finnish Culture is a research project that combines research and artistic activity, funded by the Kone Foundation in 2021–2024. Its researchers and artists are creating a series of collaborative performances that will build a unified work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk) called Close the Borders!, framed initially as a “Machine Opera”, that will be premiered in 2024. The project also produces other public events and several academic publications. In Aboagora 2023, the project will present its research that feeds the artistic work, as well as a workshop module that the artistic group is currently working on, with public engagement.


Dr. Kimi Kärki (chair of the panel) is the director of the project. He works as Lecturer in Cultural Study of Music at the University of the Arts Helsinki (Seinäjoki campus) and holds a title of docent in cultural heritage studies (University of Turku), and area and cultural studies (University of Helsinki). He has mainly published on the history stadium rock spectacles, talking machines, future imagining and fascist aesthetics in popular culture. He is also an internationally touring musician and singer–songwriter, with more than forty releases in heavy metal, progressive rock and ambient. In the project he is researching Finnish fascism, Ariosophy, and esoteric takes on The Kalevala.

Dr. Kari Kallioniemi is Senior Research Fellow in Cultural History at the University of Turku, where he also holds a title of docent. His research interests lie in the relationships between different notions of nationality, neo-right and popular culture. His recent book on this subject is Englishness, Pop and Post-War Britain (Intellect, 2016).  His research in the project focuses on the aesthetic-exploitative play with fascism in cold war era Finnish (popular) culture.

Fiikka Forsman is a theatre director with a longstanding career in a variety of productions around Finland during the last 27 years. She is the director and main writer of Close the Borders!


On stage: Anu Almagro, Volodymyr Andrushchak, Turku Synth Club Opera Orchestra
Director: Fiikka Forsman
Composer: Petri Kuljuntausta
Lighting Designer: Eero Erkamo
Costume Designer: Jaana Kurttila

Actress Anu Almagro, opera singer Volodymyr Andrushchak and the Turku Synth Club Opera Orchestra will give an open rehearsal (fifth of its kind). The open rehearsal will be followed by reactions from the panel and discussions with the audience. These encounters will become part of the process. The performance is in Finnish and Swedish, but the audience can participate in the conversation in English, Ukrainian, Polish and French if they wish.

TSO: Teppo Toivonen, Ossi Hätönen, Markus Kaunismäki, Jaakko Penttinen, Jesse Juup

The Turku Synth Club Opera Orchestra (Turun Syntetisaattoriseuran Oopperaorkesteri, TSO) is a Turku-based electronic music orchestra that was formed in 2022 to perform experimental electronic and electro-acoustic music. The first major work for the TSO in 2023 and the following years will be making music for the experimental opera Close the Borders!, composed by Petri Kuljuntausta and directed by Fiikka Forsman. In its concerts in 2023, TSO will also perform the opera music on its own. TSO made its first public appearance at Akusmata Polyphonic festival in January 2023, performing three pieces composed by Petri Kuljuntausta. TSO is composed of the key members of Turun syntetisaattoriseura (Turku Synth Club): Ossi Hätönen, Jesse Juup, Markus Kaunismäki, Jaakko Penttinen and Teppo Toivonen. All of them, save Penttinen, will perform at Aboagora.

Petri Kuljuntausta works as a composer, sound artist, musician and writer-researcher. As an artist, he works with environmental sounds and live-electronics and creates sound installations for galleries and museums. Kuljuntausta has performed music for an underwater audience, improvised with birds and made music from whale calls and the sounds of the northern lights. Kuljuntausta has published three books on electronic music and sound art. Over 130 electroacoustic compositions and sound works by Kuljuntausta have been published on various record labels in Europe, Australia, India and the USA. Kuljuntausta is Adjunct Professor (Docent) of Sound Art and Electronic Music (University of Turku) and a visiting lecturer at the University of the Arts Helsinki and Aalto University in Espoo.