Winged Words

Photo: Eva Bakkeslett

The Winged Words Nest dives into the historical context of nature writing in 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 have explored 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 also be published in the anticipated 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. 

Curators and organisers of Winged Words: Ulrika Jansson and Eva Bakkeslett in collaboration with Karoliina Lummaa.

Curators and organizers of the Winged Words Workshop

Karoliina Lummaa (FI)

Postdoctoral Researcher

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.

Ulrika Jansson (SE)


Ulrika Jansson’s artistic practice is based on the meeting between place, human and ecology. The artworks are multi-part in different media presented in audiovisual installations, often both indoors and outdoors.  They are expressed as sculpture and stop-motion film, where plant material and natural phenomena are brought to life, into sound works with mind-expanding techniques that enable contact with more-than-human forms of consciousness. Jansson initiates and participates in interdisciplinary projects with the aim of using artistic approaches to make global ecological problems more tangible in a local context together with other disciplines.

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.

Eva Bakkeslett (NO)


Eva Bakkeslett is an artist, curator and cultural activist. Through her work, she conveys connections between nature and culture as a living organism. Communication across species boundaries, bacterial cultures and fermentation as a process and metaphor is central to her work and disseminated in the form of socially engaged and inclusive projects. Her work provides insight into poetic, sensory and transformative processes where new perspectives are revealed and materialised. Eva is curating The Conference of the Birds with Ulrika Jansson.