Pre-Symposium IV, 2021

ABOAGORA Pre-symposium IV: Burning Questions 

16–17 August 2021

Archipelago Centre Korpoström, Turku archipelago, Finland

Pre-symposium participants presenting their work at the ABOAGORA 2021 main event “Fire”. Photo: Pekko Vasantola.

The 2021 ABOAGORA Pre-symposium research retreat invited Doctoral Candidates in the arts, humanities, and sciences and MA Art Students to gather around burning questions of the world on fire today. The retreat was structured around talks, walks and workshops addressing the impacts of global warming on the Archipelago Sea Biosphere area, its marine ecosystem and cultural contexts. Through the prism offered by the site itself, a plurality of perspectives, and multisensory approaches, the participants discussed a range of ecological and societal phenomena, such as heat waves, migrations, photosynthesis, metabolism, combustion, and composting.

The aim was to reflect also on what fuels our journeys, research, and conversations. How to draw together diverse knowledge, skills and wisdom needed to feed the flame of sustainable transformations? What kinds of narratives for alternative futures might arise out of the ashes of past fires? What might be the fires needed as sign posts and beacons for a safe route?

The Pre-symposium was directed by curator and researcher Taru Elfving (CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago) and organised in collaboration with the Archipelago Centre Korpoström. The programme included presentations and workshops that offered scientific and artistic insights into the Archipelago Sea area. These formed a shared ground for discussions as well as embedded observations in the environment. The selected participants were also invited to contribute their own burning questions to the programme.

The participants discussed their work in a joint panel session on August 19, 2021 at the ABOAGORA Symposium at the Sibelius Museum in Turku.