SELMA’s workshop “Travelling stories in the shadow of forced migration” at Aboagora in Turku at Sibelius-musem on June the 17th, was an affective combination of light, shadow, music, story fragments, monologues, poetry, and artistic-scholarly discussions. This year Aboagora had as its theme Fate, and it drew SELMA immediately to think of fate in the context of the present situation in Europe and at its borders. Like it is written in the program of Aboagora about the Norn of fate: What possibilities do we humans have in our lives and how are we bound by the past? As we knew that the students at the Department of Creative Writing had organized a project aiming at getting to know asylum seekers and to hear their stories, we constructed the session around these stories.
This was a culmination for the project “Other stories” and our joint discussions that have been going on through the spring months. It has been a challenging, thrilling and exciting experience, that really seems to combine all those elements that we regard important in SELMA’s aims: multidiscpilinary research, joint discussion and happenings with scholars, artists and other people outside academia, affective encounters, new openings.
This seems to be a start for a larger co-operation, and possible future project. First we aim to publish something about the workshop, and then continue discussing how we could combine our ideas to a larger European project concerning asylum seeker’s stories, artistic outcomes and digital storytelling. So, please, keep following us here on facebook and our blog. We welcome ideas and contacts from other European projects working with similar kinds of projects.
We want to warmly thank the organisers of Aboagora and our whole team, most of all Bahaulddin Rawi and Akhlad Al-Mudhafar, who were ready to share their stories and participate our discussion!
(pictures: Maarit Leskelä-Kärki and Kimi Kärki & Aboagora)