Fire, if uncontrolled, can rapidly cause massive destruction and devastation. On the other hand, even disastrous wildfires can leave behind better conditions for new life and, when carefully harnessed, fire provides warmth, power, and a useful instrument for numerous purposes. The control of fire radically changed the course of human evolution hundreds of thousands of years ago, but to this day we have not been able to master it completely. Fire has a dual nature in a figurative sense as well. In terms of personality traits and emotions, it can be equated with inspiration, zeal, and fervor, but also rage and fanaticism.
ABOAGORA 2021 will bring together viewpoints from social sciences, cultural studies, natural sciences, literature, music, and visual and performance arts to explore fire as both a literal and a metaphorical element.
REGISTRATION IS OPEN! See details below.
WEDNESDAY, 18 AUGUST
10:30–11:15 Coffee and Registration
Opening Remarks: Vesa Taatila (Rector and President, Turku University of Applied Sciences)
AGORA | Homo Sapiens on the Earth
12:30–14:00 Lunch break
“Sun, the Electric Fire of all Life” – The Sun and Fire in the Culture of Esotericism
Introduction: Maarit Leskelä-Kärki
Panel: Marja Lahelma (chair), Nina Kokkinen, Tiina Mahlamäki, Susanna Välimäki & Jasmine Westerlund
Guitar: Patrik Kleemola
Eurythmy: Pirkko Tolmunen
Sparking Trams, Silenced Rails: A Journey through European Tramscapes
Introduction: Silja Laine
Speakers: Jason Finch, Aleksandra Ianchenko, Silja Laine & Tonio Weicker
AGORA | D/other
Astrid Swan & Hanna Meretoja
Organised together with SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory
THURSDAY, 19 AUGUST
The Use of Fire
Cornelius Colliander, Kristina Mediucha & Johan Werkelin
11:00–12:30 Lunch break
Taru Elfving (chair), Riikka Armanto, Sachin Kochrekar, Ulla Kommonen, Kirsikka Paakkinen, Camila Rosa Ribeiro, Laura M. Saari, Jenni Vauhkonen & Yoshimasa Yamada
A Burning Heart – A Broken Heart
Antonia Ringbom & Cecilia Sahlgren
Jules Rochielle Sievert
Copenhagen – A play by Michael Frayn
Staged reading performed by Richard McElvain, M. Lynda Robinson & Kimi Kärki
FRIDAY, 20 AUGUST
11:00–12:30 Lunch break
Photo Exhibition: Love Crossing Boundaries & Panel Discussion: The Fire of Love and Hate
Artists: Rewan Kakil & Saara Aina
Panel: Nana Blomqvist (chair), Hannaneh Mahmoudian & Tuija Saresma
Organised in collaboration with Hub Turku. The session takes place outdoors on Luostarin välikatu (see map)
[13:45–14:00 Walking back to the Sibelius Museum]
The Conflagration of Turku, 1827: Histories of Emotion and Destruction
Hannu Salmi & Panu Savolainen
Organised in collaboration with the City of Turku
E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr
*** LIVESTREAM ENDS ***
Fire Performance by Pino Kollektiivi
Closing Remarks: Joanna Kurth (Project Director at The Museum Center of Turku)
The Closing Reception is held outdoors in the Pehr Kalm Revival behind the Sibelius Museum
Multiarts Group Third Space (Kolmas Tila)
The performance takes place at the Turku Cathedral. Please note that tickets are sold separately at the door.
The symposium will be organized as a hybrid event, taking place both at the Sibelius Museum (Piispankatu 17, Turku, Finland) and online via livestream. By paying the registration fee, you will have access to all of the sessions and performances, and you may choose freely, whether to attend in person or online.
• The registration fee is 20 € / for students and doctoral candidates 10 €.
• Registration is open until August 11 at https://konsta.utu.fi/Default.aspx?tabid=88&tap=10820
• As you register, you will be asked whether you plan to attend online or in person. However, the answer is not binding, and you are free to change your plans.
The four AGORA sessions are free of charge and open to all, but they also require signing up in advance. See https://aboagora.fi/programme/agoras/ for details.
Please note that due to the COVID-19 situation, we must limit the number of on-site participants at the Sibelius Museum in accordance with the current restrictions!
We will adhere to the orders and guidelines of the Government and health authorities regarding physical distance, masks, hygiene, and other relevant matters. We are monitoring the situation closely and reserve the right to any changes.
The event will be livestreamed and parts of the programme will be recorded and published online. The event will also be photographed and the photos will be used in ABOAGORA’s promotion and communication. With any questions, please contact us at aboagora[at]utu.fi.
ABOAGORA 2021 continues the five-year thematic plan (2019–2023) The Five Rings. The title refers to the book The Book of Five Rings, written in 1645, by Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵, c. 1584–June 13, 1645). He was a Japanese swordsman, philosopher, writer and rōnin – a samurai without a master. Musashi became renowned through stories of his masterful double-bladed swordsmanship and undefeated record in his 61 duels. Many consider him the greatest swordsman that ever lived. Near the end of his life, Musashi retreated to live as a hermit in a cave, to meditate and write a manual of kenjutsu, Japanese swordmanship, and martial arts. This practical book extends towards a philosophy of life, aiming at simplicity and no-nonsense. Throughout the years, it has also been read by people rethinking ways to lead or do business. The Book of Five Rings (五輪書, Go Rin no Sho) is divided into five books, each examining a different element of battle, just as there are different physical elements in life in Eastern religions. The five Aboagora symposia of 2019–2023 delve into these elements: Earth (2019), Water (2020), Fire (2021), Wind (2022), and Void (2023).
In 2021, Turku celebrates the tenth anniversary of the city’s year as the European Capital of Culture. ABOAGORA: “Fire” is part of the anniversary programme.
Cover photo: Pekko Vasantola, graphic design by Frida Backman