Reside / Sustain: Finnish & Russian experiences/initiatives/practices
Reside / Sustain aims at examining and developing sustainability and environmental agency in regards to art and residencies while enabling ecological activity. 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 2021-2024 on the thematic of the versatility of sustainable development that is examined further, consisting of building collegial connections between the field practitioners from Finland and Russia.
Project focuses on artistic and residency activity and their ecological possibilities with a strong emphasis on connectivity and correspondence, shared thematic and collegial transparency. Moreover, it takes into consideration a broad understanding of sustainability, including also organizational and personal aspects. 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, ecological and further sustainability related aspects that always connect with wider political and social aspects. In addition, the project touches on how an organization can support its own operations and existence in the long run and residency workers could take care of themselves, sustaining their personal mental states.
In the current climate of hindered and difficult connectivity between Finnish and Russian art and environmental field practitioners, the project aims at mapping as well as activating and keeping up the exchange and discourse. The project includes voices of Russian art professionals to highlight common points, provide their perspectives and make mutual understanding and further cultural dialogue possible.
"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 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 and environmental/climate expert based in Berlin. She is a fellow with the program Media in Cooperation and Transition and a climate projects coordinator with the cross-border journalistic network n-ost (Berlin). She is also a co-host of a podcast the Eurasian Climate Brief and a member of the Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group. Angelina has been an observer with the UNFCCC since 2008.
Adel Kim is a Russian curator currently based in Helsinki who did MA thesis research on the residency field in Russia (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and Manchester University) and also co-organises in the new Association of Residencies in 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. If you wish to participate and collaborate with us do be in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org