TRANSEUROPA OPEN FESTIVAL

FlyerFrontIn collaboration with University of Turku and University of Applied Sciences, SELMA and our students are organizing a festival of arts, politics and cultures in Turku, October 21st 2017. Join us to explore the various facets of imagining, narrating and physically manifesting ‘the Other’ in contemporary European context in order to cha(lle)nge the hateful and dividing spirit.

Visit our FB site for the full program, venues and updates!

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Trauma, Memory, and Art: SELMA taking part in Change2017

 

”You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Change2017 has been a project connecting art and research in an exploratory and affective way. Organised by the Turku Philharmonic orchestra and musicologist Susanna Välimäki from the University of Turku, Change2017 has asked whether music can change the world, and how it could do that. Music has the power to communicate without spoken words, and during the lecture series it has been discussed, how we could approach the meaning of life and responsibility of humans in our culture and society. Themes have covered for example peace work and environmental questions.

SELMA was asked to take part in the series under the title Satyagraha, a term by Mahatma Gandhi referring to peaceful, non-violent opposition. Our discussion evening focused on the meaning of art in traumatic happenings, and the ways we remember trauma through artistic processes. Our evening was related to SELMA’s earlier projects, and particularly to our Travelling stories -workshop at Aboagora in 2016.

In Trauma, memory and art – spaces of encounter organized at the Turku city library 26.9.2017 six people met to share and discuss their experiences, memories and research. We focused particularly on how literature, poetry and narrativity could help in coping with encountering traumas, dealing with them and memorizing them. Our aim was connected to the concert organized in relation to this evening, “Sorrowful song” (Symphony no. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful songs op. 36) by Polish composer Henryk Goreckin (from 1976) that deals with the loss and sorrow of parents and children in the midst of wars.

The second floor of Turku city library was filled with people who listened intensively the whole discussion. Cultural Historian Maarit Leskelä-Kärki from SELMA started by speaking about sorrow, poetry and meaning of writing in the literary identity of Aino Kallas during the war years in the 1940s.

Poet Akhlad Al-Mudhafar read his poetry in English and in Finnish that recollects his experiences and memories as a refugee and the ways how writing has been a means to chace the memories and to deal with them

Literary scholar, literary therapist Päivi Kosonen told about Georges Perec and read parts of his autobiographical piece Ellis Island, that recollects the histories of those who immigrated to the US through the Migration process in Ellis Island in New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor of Comparative literature Hanna Meretoja discussed how concepts of trauma and cultural memory are present in literary history

 

 

 

Director and script writer, and activist Aziza Hossaini recollected her experiences as a child refugee and immigrant, and told about her film project Salaam Suomi, that studies the relationship between Afghan mothers and their daughters in a foreign country

 

 

 

 

 

Puppeteer and literary artist Laura Sillanpää told about her Other stories -project with asylum seekers and discussed the ways how art and play and theatre could help with encountering and with finding your story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akhlad Al-Mudhafar’s poem written for this occasion on trauma, writing and memory:

This is a complication

The fear surrounded me

My memories came from all directions

I heard echoes of my memories

I went to the shore hoping I can wash them away

Flowing like a river looking for an escape

But since the first kiss between my pen and papers

creativity exploded

and my vision became clearer

I started chasing my memories

Stepping into the unknown and facing their mysteries

and make beauty out of them

Like a lost sun in the universe looking for its earth

to give it warmth

 

They have stolen my colours

and driven me so far into the darkness

They threw the ancient night over me

But they were ignorant about its secret

They thought I was defeated

But they didn’t  know the dark suits me

I am the black raven

I solved the puzzle

and embraced agony

I kept my eyes closed

to see the light

I surrendered to fate

collecting the fallen feathers

 

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HANNAH ARENDT WORKSHOP

 

HAworkshop

The workshop will explore Hannah Arendt’s thinking particularly from the perspective of life narratives. The day will consist of a lecture by Professor Maria Tamboukou (University of East London) and other presentations by scholars working on Arendt. Workshop will be followed by book launch event.

Date & Venue: Tuesday 17 October 2017 at 11-15, Hovi, Artium

Please register for the seminar by sending an email to Nena Mocnik, nena.mocnik@utu.fi, by 13 October 2017.

PROGRAMME

11.00 Opening of the day (Hanna Meretoja and Maarit Leskelä-Kärki)

11.15-12.45 Prof. Maria Tamboukou (University of East London):

‘Who are you?’: narrative traces of uniqueness and plurality

12.45-13.30 Light lunch will be offered

13.30-14.10 Hanna Meretoja: Arendtian storytelling as a mode of non-subsumptive understanding

14.10-14.50 Aki-Elmeri Hyvönen: Understanding experience:  the limits and indispensability of narrative representation

At 15 Janus Hall: Book launch event

Kaisa Kaakinen: Comparative Literature and the Historical Imaginary: Reading Conrad, Weiss, Sebald. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Maarit Leskelä-Kärki: Toisten elämät. Kirjoituksia elämäkerroista. Avain, 2017.

Hanna Meretoja & Colin Davis (eds), Storytelling and Ethics: Literature, Visual Arts and the Power of Narrative. Routledge, 2017.

Nena Močnik: Sexuality After War: From Narrative to Embodied Research. Routledge, 2017.

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2

WITH LOVE, SELMA

I met Selma in spring, six years ago.  It was merely seven in the morning, and she was stirring dark and thick Turkish coffee in her tiny kitchen, while I quickly refreshed my face after a long night ride. An hour and a half later, I was about to meet a group of war rape survivors for a workshop.

As I was naive and enthusiastic about social change and active political participation, I was not exactly aware what I was going for. I met Selma for her story, instead I got her memory. And this memory is devastating; her testimony revealing too much of what in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina has been suppressed, denied and politically abused, that I was never able to call her by her real name in public. I substituted her name with what appears as one of the most common female names among Muslim community in the country, and only later I learnt that its origin comes from Arabic ‘salim‘ meaning peace. But there is nothing like peace in her life, in her mind, in her body. Every time we drink coffee we talk about garden and her grandkids. Because she has no words, and no language to describe what happened to her. “Nothing can describe the emotional heaviness but my body,” she would repeat again and again, “because the body, not the words, the body is where the battle was performed”. This memory of her was for me the invitation to start exploring and working with those telling bodies of survivors to find the words, and perhaps – how ambitious I was! – to develop a language that would capture their stories as they live and feel them. And they want them to be heard.

Six years ago I planned a quick stop, to collect the evidence about the mass war rapes that were happening in Balkans during the war in the 90s, to have a story to tell and perform afterwards. Weeks and months and years passed without me realizing I have never really left. The more time I spent with those women, the more I read and experienced, the more their traumatic memory imperceptibly embedded in my body too. But at one point, my body was full. There was no room left to witness another story. Survivors’ testimonies of abuse started to impact my visions, my mistrust in the world, the fear and the disgust. I needed to find the extension to my memory, to my body, the storage, where those stories would remain alive and heard. My initial despair transformed over time into engaged resistance to break down those toxic narratives that continuously, subconsciously but incredibly effectively contribute to damaging generations of girls and women around the world.

It’s July 2017, Finland is pleasant, green and warm, and I am writing an email to Selma. Still full of excitement about all the new around me, I am explaining her about my move to far North, away from never-ending conflict to almost-absolute peace. I am writing her how I finally found a word – experientiality! – that describes how to make sense of all those stories and memories I collect every time when I meet with her and the group. She comes back to me in her typical, sweet-bitter and cynical but motherish voice:

You see, you ran away from us, but Selma is after you! I told you, once you are dragged in, you can never escape from this. We are poisonous! Take care my dear, and come visit us soon again,

With love, Selma.

I will, dear Selma, because next year will just be full of stories to make new memories! And experientiality? This I need to learn.

Nena Močnik is the first post-doctoral researcher at the Selma Centre. She is an author of »Sexuality after War Rape: From Narrative to Embodied Research« (Routledge 2017). During her time in Finland, she works on her new research »I will not raise my child to kill your child: Motherhood, collective memory and the continuum of sexual violence in the aftermath of war In Fall Semester 2017 she is teaching the course Social Justice and Critical Performative Dialogues that combines experiential body-based learning, critical pedagogies and liberal arts. The social art projects designed by students will be presented in the frame of TransEuropa festival, October 21st, 2017 in Turku.

Nena Močnik will give the first SELMA lecture this autumn, entitled “I will not raise my child to kill your child.” Motherhood, collective memory and the continuum of sexual violence in the aftermath of war” (Thu 7.9. at 2 pm, Minerva, Art History seminar room E221) 

Finland

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SELMA’s Autumn 2017 programme

You are warmly welcome to attend SELMAs seminars, workshops and other events – information will be updated and you will find the most updated programme here

SELMAs panel Travelling texts at Aboagora in June 2016

Thu 7.9. at 2 pm, Minerva, Art History seminar room E221 (Univ. of Turku Sirkkala campus)
Lecture: Dr. Nena Mocnik (TIAS, SELMA; Turun yliopisto): “I will not raise my child to kill your child.” Motherhood, collective memory and the continuum of sexual violence in the aftermath of war

The lecture focuses on the questions of collective trauma in war-rape survivors’ families and its impact to reconciliation processes in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina. The initial premise is built on the current marginalized socio-political status of women survivors, now-mothers, and investigates how their testifying, or sharing their violent past through their storytelling might impact the ideas, perceptions, behavioral patterns and understanding of gender-based violence, cultural scripts of sexuality and violence among descendants and how this furthermore affects also unsuccessful reconciliation and peace-building in the region.

Ti 26.9.2017 klo 17-18.30, Turun kaupunginkirjaston pääkirjaston tietotori

Turun filharmonisen orkesterin Change2017-sarjaan kuuluva luento:

Trauma, muisti ja taide – kohtaamisen tiloja. Satyagraha

Lisätietoja: http://www.tfo.fi/fi/change2017

Vapaa pääsy

Akhlad Al-Mudhafar, runoilija
Aziza Hossaini, ohjaaja-käsikirjoittaja
Päivi Kosonen, kirjallisuustieteen dosentti, kirjallisuusterapeutti
Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, kulttuurihistorioitsija, dosentti
Hanna Meretoja, yleisen kirjallisuustieteen professori
Laura Sillanpää, nukketeatteritaiteilija, sanataiteilija

Tue 17.10. at 11am – 16pm (Sirkkala campus, location TBA)
Hannah Arendt Workshop

The workshop will explore Hannah Arendt and her thinking particularly from the perspective of life narratives. The day will consist of a lecture by professor Maria Tamboukou (University of East London) and other presentations by scholars working with Arendt. Further information will be updated during September.

Maria Tamboukous lecture is entitled ‘Who are you?’: narrative traces of uniqueness and plurality

Extra reading for the workshop (related to Tamboukou’s lecture in particular):

  • Kristeva Julia: ‘Life is a Narrative’. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
  • Arendt 1968: Men in Dark Times. New York: Harvest Books (the preface and the section on Rosa Luxemburg and Isak Dinesen are particularly relevant)

1.11. Tutkimustapaaminen yhteistyössä sosiaalitieteiden laitoksella toimivan “Kulttuuri ja vuorovaikutus” -tutkimusverkoston (KULTVA) ja Kulttuurin ja terveyden tutkimusyksikön (KTT) kanssa. Yhteisen seminaarin aiheena on kokemus ja kerronta.

Fri 17.11. 12 pm
Workshop: Historical Imagination, Futurity and Narrative Form

Dr. Kaisa Kaakinen (Comparative Literature, University of Turku): “Historical Biographies and Relational Imagination in Contemporary Literature”

Dr. Natalya Bekhta (Comparative Literature, University of Helsinki): “Imagining Alternative Futures: Ghosts and Saviours in Post-Soviet Fiction”

Round-table discussion:
After their individual lectures, Kaisa Kaakinen and Natalya Bekhta will discuss current methodological challenges in the comparative analysis of literary form and cultural imaginaries. The following topics will be addressed in the discussion, in dialogue with the questions from the audience: how historical narration and memorial forms intersect in literary narratives with emerging ways to imagine the future, how we should take into account both local and global contexts of literary production and reception in the age of globalization, and how we should respond to challenges of scale and (semi-)periphery in comparative studies.

 

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Lecture: Dr. Nena Mocnik (TIAS, SELMA; University of Turku): “I will not raise my child to kill your child.” Motherhood, collective memory and the continuum of sexual violence in the aftermath of war

Thursday, 7.9. at 2 pm, Minerva, Art History seminar room E221

Dr. Nena Mocnik, SELMA’s first postdoctoral researcher working at TIAS, focuses in her lecture on the questions of collective trauma in war-rape survivors’ families and its impact to reconciliation processes in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina. The initial premise is built on the current marginalized socio-political status of women survivors, now-mothers, and investigates how their testifying, or sharing their violent past through their storytelling might impact the ideas, perceptions, behavioral patterns and understanding of gender-based violence, cultural scripts of sexuality and violence among descendants and how this furthermore affects also unsuccessful reconciliation and peace-building in the region.

This study is the continuation of the lecturer’s previous work about narratives and social imaginary of war-rape survivors and is captured in forthcoming book “Sexuality after War Rape: From Narrative to Embodied Research” (Routledge, 2017).

(available here: https://www.routledge.com/Sexuality-after-War-Rape-Embodied-Research-in-the-Aftermath-of-Desire/Mocnik/p/book/9781138293694.)

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Seminaari: Kertomusten vaarat ja hyödyt

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Aika: Perjantai 19. 5. klo 11:15-17

Paikka: Turun yliopisto, Sirkkalan kampus / Minerva, Taidehistorian seminaarisali E221, Kaivokatu 12, 2. krs

Ohjelma:

Klo 11.15-12.55

Professori Hanna Meretoja, Turun yliopisto: Avaussanat

Hanna Meretoja: ”Kertomusten hyödyt ja vaarat: kuusi mittapuuta”

Dosentti Maria Mäkelä, Tampereen yliopisto: ”Varo kertomusta: 10 teesiä”

FT Jukka Mikkonen, Tampereen yliopisto: ”Kertomusten hyödyt: tulkinta vs. käyttö”

FM Ari-Elmeri Hyvönen, Jyväskylän yliopisto: ”Kertomukset ja politiikan teoria”

Klo 12.55-13.55 Lounas

Klo 13.55-15.00

FT Laura Karttunen, Tampereen yliopisto: ”Laaja ja kapea instrumentaalisuus Deweylla ja monitieteisessä kirjallisuusopetuksessa”

Ph.D. Kaisa Kaakinen, Turun yliopisto: ”Historiallisesta kerronnasta ja kertomusmuodon haasteista ylirajaisessa kaunokirjallisuudessa”

FM Jouni Teittinen, Turun yliopisto: ”Olipa kerran katastrofi: apokalyptisen fiktion ongelmista ja mahdollisuuksista”

15.00-15.30 Kahvi

15.30-16.30

Dosentti, kirjallisuusterapeutti Päivi Kosonen, Turun yliopisto: ”Kertomus kirjallisuusterapeutin työssä – mahdollisuudet ja vaarat”

Dosentti, erikoistutkija Johanna Kaakinen, Turun yliopisto: ”Kun lukijan sydän hyppää kurkkuun ja silmät pullistuvat päästä. Psykofysiologiset laboratoriomenetelmät luetun ymmärtämisen tutkimuksessa”

FT Anu Laukkanen, Turun yliopisto: ”Kertomukset taiteeseen osallistumisen vaikutusten evidenssinä”

16.30-17.00 Loppukeskustelu

Ilmoittaudu seminaariin 15.5. mennessä sähköpostitse osoitteeseen karika(at)utu.fi.

Järjestäjät: SELMA Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory, Turun yliopisto, ja Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies, Tampereen yliopisto

 

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