exploring inter-cultural connections in the north

Hen House, Altyre Estate. Photograph: Gina Wall 2023

The Project

We have gathered around the topic of the laavu and the shieling, under the shelter of shielin-bough which is a conceptual, physical and social space for thinking and learning together. Through shielin-bough we share inter-cultural insights about the Finnish laavu and the Scottish shieling. We have learned about the history of their use in their respective landscapes and the cultural practices which they have engendered. Throughout the project we have designed local activities in Finland and Scotland which supported student research, fieldwork and learning in innovative, immersive learning environments.
The ambition of this project is to bring people together, and we thank the Scottish Government’s Nordic and Arctic Unit for their generous support through the Arctic Connections Fund. The aim of this fund is to develop collaboration between Scottish and Arctic organisations, and our aim in applying to the fund was to build a relationship between the University of Lapland and The Glasgow School of Art which would foster a continuing partnership between us to the benefit of our students. We have succeeded in laying a strong foundation for this and we look forward to our continued work together through the Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design Network (ASAD).
It is a privilege to be involved in shielin-bough, a project which has enabled a space-between to emerge organically. We have populated this space with stories of place, cultural doings, re-imaginings, and most importantly, with time spent being-together. This has reminded us of the potency of sharing culture, along with the power of people imagining and creating together to find a place to sit with one another under the stars in the glow of firelight.
Coffee, at the Laavu, Meltosjärvi. Photograph: Ella Haavisto, 2022
Supported By:
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