Reside / Sustain: Finnish & Russian experiences/initiatives/practices

What are the necessities and possibilities for environmental action and sustainable development in Russia and in Finland? How can residencies provide platforms for shared discussion, testing and translating the multiple aspects that are necessary regarding ecological action and change?

How to activate the field of participants, make ecological and environmental subject matters and specific topics relevant and how to navigate on the information landscape in Russia?

Project focuses on residency activity and its ecological possibilities - especially in Russia, but with a strong emphasis on connectivity and correspondence, shared thematic and collegial transparency. The pursuit is to look at how a residency organization can function as a platform to join interests together and activate practical solutions alongside the thematic thinking on environmental and ecological aspects that always connect with wider political and social aspects.


Project consists of collaboration between three individual practitioners that each bring forth in this project their specific areas of expertise as well as connections and contacts to a wider institutional framing. Miina Hujala is an artist and curator that has been curating the Finnish-Russian residency programme Connecting Points at HIAP (Helsinki International Artist programme) from 2016, she is also a curator of a display window art space called Alkovi in Helsinki (from 2009). Angelina Davydova is a journalist based in St.Petersburg who has written extensively on environmental and ecological questions and activity in contemporary Russia during several years (for instance in The Moscow Times and Kommersant) and a director of an NGO working on cooperation between Russia and the EU on environmental and climate issues. Adel Kim is a Moscow based curator currently conducting MA thesis research on the residency field in Russia (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences + Manchester University) and also active in the new Association of Residencies in Russia.

This project aims at developing environmental agency in regards to residencies while enabling and examining ecological activity in Russia. As residency organizations function mainly by offering (temporal) time and a space for working - mainly to artists, art field practitioners and researchers - they can be utilized as binging points of local aspects to wider perspectives, as they activate connectivity, also within international scope, as well multiple actual formulations of sustainability connected to the ways we travel, work, live and interact. Project centers on working during the years 2021-2023 on the thematic of the versatility of sustainable development that is examined further, consisting of building collegial connections between Finland and Russia.

Connecting the thinking of sustainable practices in regards to residencies to the exploration of the current residency scene in Russia is also a possibility to think about societal issues involved in the formation of artistic practices alongside institutional settings. The solutions of energy production, consumption, travel and sustainable livelihoods are part of the everyday realities of running a residency and depend upon the motivations of maintaining this kind of platform for artistic work. A residency is a temporal setting that provides additional connectivity, which benefits the dispersal of information.