The symposium will be held in August 2020. 19 artists and researchers have been invited, eight of whom are local, eight from other parts of Finland and two living abroad. It lasts 10 days, during which three groups of artists-researchers work on three different topics and invite local people to take part in community art activities. The importance of foreign artists is to bring both cultural and socio-political richness to community action. The conciliation work between art and science created with them is also taking place for international use. In addition, a philosopher comes along leading a whole set of phenomenological discussions about the lives of target sites and groups of people and a mentor going through working processes with small groups, and the Documentation Group; two videographers and a photographer.
All photographs by Touko Hujanen
Click to open the presentation: Philosopher and Mentor
Click to open the presentation: Documentary team 2020
Conflict in the Hannukainen mining project
It is planned to start the so-called mining area of the former Rautaruukki in the municipality of Kolari. Hannukainen’s mining project, which has progressed since 2005 with studies and operational plans. Since 2014, the project has been run by Tapojärvi Oy from Kolari. It is estimated that it will take about 2 years to obtain the required regulatory approvals. The nature of the area is still the finest in the world and the cleanest breathing air in the inhabited world, which attracts tourists in Fell-Lapland, the most significant industry in the region. According to a survey conducted in 2011, 48% of the turnover of companies in the municipality of Kolari came directly from tourism. Indirectly, the share is much higher. In addition to tourism, the mining plan threatens to set up private homes and nature-related hobbies (berry picking, fishing, hunting) as well as budding companies based on the collection and processing of natural products. The border of Ylläs-Pallas National Park runs 9.4 km from the border of the planned mine. Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is the most popular national park in Finland and receives almost half a million visits a year.
Proponents of the mining plan believe in the employment impact of the mine and the revitalizing impact of the entire municipality. The life expectancy of the planned mine is about 20 years, after which the nature of the area will be permanently damaged. Employability has also not taken into account the passionate robotisation of the mining industry. Hannukainen’s mining plan has driven proponents and opponents of the mine into a conflict that is rubbing the entire municipality’s population and exhausting villagers fighting for the clean nature of the mountain village area with personal funds, as well as entrepreneurs funding statements and environmental impact studies. The discussion is active in the Pro Ylläs and Ylläs without mines forums, among others.
The mining plan is considered a local conflict. However, this is an issue of national significance, e.g. From the perspective of national park activities.
In this working group, we build a dialogue with communities that have not been actively involved in the mining debate. We have asked Kolari Marthas to work with an artist-researcher group so that we can also discuss the role of family mothers as mediators of intergenerational disputes.
Click to open the presentation: Conflict in the Hannukainen mining project
Projects are planned in Lapland that will increase the need for wood. Their preparation is fast. A bioproduct factory is planned for Kemijärvi. Metsä Group is planning one pulp mill in Kemi, which, if completed, would be one of the largest in Europe. Is the wood that these plants will need from a large geographical area enough, and what about the diversity of forests that have already collapsed so far? Even now, old forests are few in Lapland; through the eyes of conservationists, there are many wooded fields in Lapland. Species are endangered when nature is one-sided. How will the diversity and recreational use of forests be guaranteed in the future? In addition, forest disputes have a dimension to forests as a carbon sink and, on the other hand, to the need to produce pulp-based material to replace plastic. Continuous afforestation seems to be one possibility, but a large-scale transition to continuous afforestation will require a strong change in attitudes.
In this working group, various local communities that do not otherwise interact with each other are also invited to the dialogue. For example, students from the Vocational College of Lapland’s natural resource education in Muonio or tourism operators who live in the area can be invited.
Click to open the presentation: Forest disputes
Powers of nature-team
Environmental crises have challenged the humanistic conception of man. They have aroused the demand to transcend human-centredness and to feel empathy and respect for non-human nature as well. A strong relationship with nature is typical of northern communities. Northern communities and cultures have retained features in the worldview and relationship with nature that reflect an experience of the vitality, will, and agency of nature (such as trees, fells, rivers, rocks). The so-called animistic relationship with nature is typical of traditional Sámi culture but also more broadly of the northern religious tradition. In this working group, we are looking for a unifying experience base on northern natural culture, which on the one hand increases interaction and understanding of cultural conflicts (Sámi, Finnish and Meongu-speaking culture) and, on the other hand, opens up the possibility of looking at the importance of northern natural culture for a transformation of values that increases commitment to nature conservation.
Click to open the presentation: Northern Nature-religion
The symposium will be made into a book and an exhibition in 2020-2021. The exhibition venue is the Rovaniemi Art Museum in summer 2021