The Winged Words Workshop Nest will dive into the historical context of Finnish nature writing and the current context of environmental change.
An example of the influence that literary works have had on bird culture in Finland is the veterinarian and writer Yrjö Kokko. Through his famous book ”Laulujoutsen/The singing swan” Kokko is widely credited with having saved the Whooper swan population in Finland from extinction and now thriving as the national symbol. In this Nest invited writers will explore Finnish environmental and literary history, changes in Scandinavian bird populations and their habitats, as well as global environmental problems and mass extinctions. The texts produced in the Nest will be published in The Conference of the Birds Anthology and be part of the final exhibition together with a workshop for the public, based on the same theme.
The place and form of this Nest is still taking shape and will be formulated during 2022.
The Winged Words Workshop Nest is curated and organized by Karoliina Lumma, Katri Aholainen and Ulla Taipale.
“Through his famous book ”Laulujoutsen/The singing swan” Kokko is widely credited with having saved the Whooper swan population in Finland from extinction and now thriving as the national symbol.“
Curators and organizers of the Winged Words Workshop:
Karoliina Lummaa (FI)
Karoliina Lummaa (FI) is a postdoctoral researcher specialised in literary studies and environmental humanities. Currently, she is affiliated with the University of Turku and to the independent BIOS Research Unit. Lummaa’s publications include research articles and co-edited anthologies on ecocriticism and posthumanism. She is the author of two monographs focusing on Finnish bird poetry and bird cultures.
Ulla Taipale (Fi)
Ulla Taipale is Finnish curator, artist, and researcher, who has vast experience in creating and curating multi-disciplinary projects combining arts and culture with natural sciences and natural phenomena. Her work is developed in collaboration with people and institutions from arts and sciences, internationally.
She currently works at the University of Helsinki, within INAR (Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research) community, curating Climate Whirl Arts Program. Simoultaneously she is busy with various creative processes and research to commission and realize new artworks in the interface of ecology, climate studies and arts such as Chorus sinensis @ Conference of Birds and Melliferopolis – Honeybees in Urban Environments. She holds a BSc in Environmental Engineering (Satakunta Politechnical University, Finland) and a Master of Arts (Visual Culture, Curating and Contemporary Art at Aalto University, Finland).
Katri Aholainen (Fi)
Doctoral Student, Literary Studies and Creative Writing
Katri Aholainen is currently a doctoral student at Turku University. In her master’s thesis, she wrote about the involvement of non-human actors in art-making processes. Her material included Yrjö Kokko’s works Laulujoutsen (1950) and They Come Back (1954). Alongside human beings, whooper swans are emerging as important actors in the works, which were completely disappearing from Finland at the time of their publication. Thanks to the size of the swan books, the Finnish attitudes towards the swans changed and the living conditions of the swans began to improve. In her dissertation, she reflected on how whooper swans participated in the process of creating books to save them.