Water is the beginning of life according to numerous mythological and religious cosmologies. God “made from water every living thing,” as this nomadic conception is formulated in the Qur’an. This is a point where scientific theories of evolution and religious narratives agree: water is the primordial element. Up to 60 % of the adult human body is water, which makes it a vital aspect of medical and physiological research. However, water is rapidly becoming one of the most contested natural resources of our time. Will the basic human need for water cause wars and conflicts in the future, or will it serve as a uniting element that opens our eyes to our common humanity and the need to work together across borders of states, creeds, and ideologies to secure clean water supplies for all in the future? Will water, in the end, prove to be thicker than blood?

This year, because of COVID-19, the tenth ABOAGORA Symposium on 19–21 August is adopting a new, hybrid form: parts of the programme at the museum will be conducted remotely. The event will be live-streamed and recorded,  so it is safe to follow the Symposium from your office, sofa, or even from the pier, surrounded by water.

ABOAGORA and the Sibelius Museum will adhere to the orders and guidelines of the Government and the health authorities regarding physical distance and other relevant matters. We follow the situation closely and reserve all rights to changes.

Registration for the Aboagora Symposium  

There will be no registration fee this year, but advance registration is mandatory.

Please register at 

Registration runs until Friday, 14 August!

Update on 6 August: We have reached our maximum capacity of at-site-participants. You can still register to follow Aboagora remotely (online)!


Changes in the programme are possible. ABOAGORA reserves the right to changes. 

Read about AGORA-speakers in here and workshops & performances in here!

Please note that you can follow the whole Symposium both at the Sibelius Museum or remotely. For more information see FAQ:





12:30-13:15 Coffee and Registration

13:15 – 13:50 Opening Ceremony

14:00 – 15:30 WORKSHOP I: Seili, Island of Life. Archaeobiology, biodiversity, history and art

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee

16:00 – 17:30 WORKSHOP  II: Waterways – A Concert and Talk on the Forgetting of Colonialism

17:30 – 18:00 Coffee

18:00 – 19:30 AGORA: Janet M. Davis (University of Texas): Sharkmania: A Cultural History ***


10:00 – 11:30 AGORA: Marko Röhr (producer, director & writer): The Eternal Circulation of Water. A Visual Journey into the Arctic Waters, Myths and Facts

11:30 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:30 WORKSHOP III: Veden väelle – For the Water Sprites

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee

15:00 – 16:30 WORKSHOP IV: Presentations from ABOAGORA Pre-Symposium

16:30 – 16:45 Coffee

16:45 – 17:30 CONCERT: The Water Project: Impressions of Water

19:30 – 20:30 The Art of Swimming ***


10:00 – 11:30 AGORA: Carola Hein (TU Delft), Negar Sanaan Bensi (Tu Delft) & Jens JorritsmaHistorical Waterscapes: adaptive Strategies between Technology and Art ***

11:30 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:30 WORKSHOP V: The Sea: A Living Lab

14:30 – 15:00 Coffee

15:00 – 16:30 AGORA: David GrossmanNatalie Lantz: Stormy Waters: Secrets Inherited and the Creation of a Family. David Grossman in conversation with translator Natalie Lantz on his new novel ***

16:45 –  Closing Ceremony & Closing Reception

*** Lecture/performance will be pre-recorded.

Please note that you can follow the whole Symposium both at the Sibelius Museum or remotely. For more information see FAQ: