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This year, Aboagora will organise the first annual Avant Aboagora, entitled “‘Tuuli kertoo salaisuuksia’ – Tieteen ja taiteen dialogeja”, at TEHDAS Teatteri on 23 May (in Finnish). The event is free of charge and open for all.


24–26 August 2022

Sibelius Museum, Piispankatu 17, Turku, Finland

Air is the fundamental element for life and breathing, but it is also a source of pleasure and joy. It has been a playground for artists experimenting with lightness and transparency from acrobatics to visual arts. With climate change, air and temperature have become key questions of survival. Pure air has become almost a luxury commodity as pollution and urbanization have led to a situation where urban air is increasingly manufactured, and clean air is not available for everyone. Airspace can also be controlled by drones and surveillance technology. Yet air is not a stable element: it is constantly changing and flowing, and thus it also carries the possibility for change.

ABOAGORA 2022 will approach wind both literally and metaphorically. The talks and performances will examine air as a basic element of life and ecology, but also address the complex ties between nature, technology, and human experience. The symposium will also examine the ways in which we as individuals and as societies balance between a love of lightness and a desire for power. The event will bring together the ecological and geographical scale, the experiential and lived world, and arts.

The AGORA (keynote) speakers are

Andrew Coates (Professor of Physics, University College London): “Winds in Our Solar System”

Joan Sullivan (photographer, writer and artivist, Canada): “The Wisdom of Janus: Energy Transitions as Liminal Spaces”

Hanna Johansson (Professor of Contemporary Art Research and Dean of the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki): ”The Real and Imaginary Breeze. Air in The Visual Arts”

The full programme and details for registration will be published on this page in May.

ABOAGORA 2022 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).