The Earth – planet Tellus, on which we live – is a fundamental aspect of human life, spanning the past as well as our present situation, and our hopes for the future. For the Ancient Greeks, Gaia represented a personification of the Earth, the caring Mother who ended the primordial Chaos and manifested herself as the perpetual home of all mortals. Similar depictions of the Earth as a caring parent are found in numerous mythologies from all over the world. In modern physics, the lure of Gaia goes under the name of gravity. Our relationship to the element of earth has renewed its relevance and urgency today as the traces of past utilitarian and industrial centuries, combined with human greed, indifference and exploitation, have driven Gaia to despair and to the brink of collapse.

In 2019, Aboagora deals with the element of earth through multi-disciplinary discussions with, for instance, archaeologists and geologists but also through engaging fields such as eco-theology, environmental history, literature, geography and political sciences. These disciplines serve to illuminate the fundamental groundedness of humanity in soil and dust – as a metaphor within the arts, as a concrete evolutionary process, and as a moral demand for care and indebtedness.

Aboagora consists of keynote lectures, workshops, and diverse artistic interventions. This year’s presentations will discuss the concrete historicity of earth and forests, examine underground ecosystems and study identity, belonging, and being in place – and much more.




9:30–10 Coffee and registration

10–10:30 Opening

10:30–12 AGORA: Sandra Swart (Stellenbosch University): Animal rights, whites and rites? Multi-species engagement in Africa

12–13:30 Lunch break

13:30–15 Workshop I: Earth, Trees and Cultural Change

15–15:30 Coffee

15:30–17 Workshop II: Kolmas Tila – Tredje Rummet: The Romantic Mind

19 – AGORA: mirko nikolić: the arcane of terran reproduction



10–11:30 AGORA: Tino Mager (TU Delft): Earth: the illusion of permanence

11:30–13 Lunch break

13–14:30 Workshop III: Religion and Gardening

14:30-15 Coffee

15–17 Workshop IV: Aboagora Pre-Symposium participants

18 – Fern Orchestra: Vox Herbārium – Plant Series



10–11:30 AGORA: Pauliina Feodoroff (screenwriter & director, Sámi activist): Skäädsual- Skää´dsuâl- What is the Birth Story of This Age/ What Form Can an Atonement Take

11:30–13 Lunch break

13–14:30 Workshop VI: Earth, Place, and Rootedness in Migrants’ Lives and Deaths

14:30–15 Coffee

15–16 Workshop VII: Raimo Saarinen: Soil as sculpture material and subject

16–17 Closing words & E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr: Erde

17 – Closing Reception


More details will be announced soon! Changes in the programme are possible. Aboagora reserves the right to changes.




Registered participants will have access to all symposium presentations and will be offered coffee/tea during breaks and a Closing Reception on Friday, August 23rd. The keynote lectures (“AGORA”) are free of charge and open to the public.

Registration Fee 40 € (Student Fee for MA and PhD Students 25 €)

Registration runs until Friday, August 9. Please register at