ecology, economy, (aesth)etics
The previous events:
economy: nets to the future -event (29.10.2010) focused on the questions concerning the future modes and means of living in the Turku archipelago. In the beginning of the discussion the collective of architects Platforma 9.81 told about the Croatian archipelago, the rapid development of tourism there and the effects this has had on the local community and the environment. The other guest speaker, economist Paavo Järvensivu introduced degrowth-movement, which searches for alternatives for the current economic thinking that recognises only growth as the measure of development and well-being. The discussion was moderated by curator Tomas Träskman (YH Novia).
What can a living archipelago be like in the future, all year round? How do summer residents and tourists contribute to the local community? What makes the archipelago special as an alternative to urban life? How can the development of tourism answer the needs of the local community and environment? Which values can be identified as specific to the archipelago, other than those of economic growth?
The discussion brought up in particular the idea that tourism does not simply and necessarily just happen, but the local community can actively take part in its development. Mass tourism is hardly a risk here, but sailing boats and other forms of nautical tourism present a huge potential that could be focused on with further nature and culture services.
ecology: the sea of changes (3.9.2010), the first discussion in the series, focused on the changes affecting the co-existence of the environment and community, nature and culture in the archipelago: What does originality and locality mean, what is alien or other? How can change be understood as a positive potential and what does this imply in terms of preservation and conservation, biodiversity of nature, self-sustainability etc. Speakers included Swedish artist Elin Wikström, professor, marine biologist Erkki Leppäkoski (Åbo Akademi), and researcher of future Katriina Siivonen (Turku University), moderated by Tomas Träskman.
The question of locality was raised in both discussions: why are there no locals taking part in this discussion? Or, perhaps one should ask: who are the locals and who are allowed to speak as and for the locals? This entwines with a key question that appears to be hard to address: what can be the potential contribution of the part-time or summer-residents to the future of the area? And what are the values that make the archipelago special -- both for the permanent inhabitants and the visitors? This may suggest a serious alternative to the contemporary consumerist urban lifestyle, as long as the life in the islands is in careful balance with the environment as well as both the summer residents and tourists take these values with them back to the cities. As Professor Leppäkoski pointed out, why are migrating birds not only welcome annual visitors but actually considered our birds.