Konferenssit ja seminaarit

Symposium ABOAGORA – ”Fire”

ABOAGORA – Between Arts and Sciences is an annual symposium that brings together academia, the arts, and society. In 2021, we continue our thematic plan ”The Five Rings” with the element of Fire. The event will bring together viewpoints from social sciences, cultural studies, natural sciences, literature, music, and visual and performance arts to explore fire as both a literal and a metaphorical element.


The programme is available online at https://aboagora.fi/programme/

The event consists of open keynote lectures (AGORAs) and performative sessions that combine scholarly and artistic viewpoints. This year’s presentations will examine topics such as volcanoes, global warming and the current environmental crisis, esotericism, urban transport, different uses of fire in science and in art, the Great Fire of Turku, and many more!

Descriptions of the performative sessions are available at https://aboagora.fi/programme/performative-sessions/

Our keynotes/AGORAs are:

  • Author and artist Rosa Liksom: “Homo Sapiens on the Earth”. Liksom, who was awarded the Finlandia Prize in 2011 and the Swedish Academy’s Nordic Prize in 2020, will reflect on the responsibility of the writer in the current environmental crisis.
  • Astrid Swan (songwriter, performer, researcher, and author) & Hanna Meretoja  (Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of SELMA, UTU): “D/other”. The session will begin with a solo performance of new music from Swan’s upcoming album D/other and songs from her previous album From the Bed and Beyond. The concert is followed by a dialogue between Swan and Meretoja, as they discuss living with cancer. The session is organized together with SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory.
  • Jules Rochielle Sievert (artist, Creative Director at NuLawLab, Northeastern University School of Law, NY, USA): “Finding Fire: A Radical Pedagogy that Combines Legal Education, Design and Law”. Sievert will talk about the work of NuLawLab, a program that draws upon the talents of artists and designers to identify and cultivate new approaches to transform legal education and the delivery of legal services.
  • David Bowman (Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science, Director of the Fire Centre Research Hub, University of Tasmania, Australia): “Fire Thinking, Fire Beings, and the End of the World as We Know It”. This talk will illustrate how the Earth system is shaped by fire, how we have evolved to become a unique fire species, and why a key step in navigating a pathway out of the ongoing global environmental crisis is to re-imagine our relationship with fire.

These four AGORA sessions are free of charge and open to all, but attending them requires advance registration. For details, see https://aboagora.fi/programme/agoras/


The symposium will be organized as a hybrid event, taking place both at the Sibelius Museum (Piispankatu 17, Turku) and online via livestream. By paying the registration fee, you will have access to all of the sessions and performances, and you may choose freely, whether to attend in person or online.

  • The registration fee is 20 € / for students and doctoral candidates 10 €.
  • Registration is open until August 11 at https://konsta.utu.fi/Default.aspx?tabid=88&tap=10820
  • As you register, you will be asked whether you plan to attend online or in person. We will contact you closer to the event to confirm/update your plans.

Please note that depending on the Covid-19 situation, we may need to limit the number of on-site participants in accordance with the restrictions in place at the time. We will adhere to the orders and guidelines of the Government and health authorities regarding physical distance, masks, and other relevant matters. We are monitoring the situation closely and reserve the right to any changes.

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page at https://aboagora.fi/frequently-asked-questions/ or contact us at .


ABOAGORA is organized by the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, the Åbo Akademi University Foundation and the Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences.

“The Five Rings,” the title of ABOAGORA’s thematic plan for 2019–2023, refers to The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi (c. 1584–1645), written in 1645. Musashi was a Japanese philosopher and rōnin – a samurai without a master. His book extends towards a philosophy of life, aiming at simplicity and no-nonsense. The Book of Five Rings (五輪書, Go Rin no Sho) is divided into five parts, each examining a different element of battle. The five ABOAGORA symposia of 2019–2023 delve into these elements: Earth (2019), Water (2020), Fire (2021), Wind (2022), and Void (2023).

In 2021, Turku celebrates the tenth anniversary of the city’s year as the European Capital of Culture. ABOAGORA: “Fire” is part of the anniversary programme.