The living archipelago of tomorrow?
Contemporary Art Archipelago (CAA) discussion event focused on the questions concerning the future modes and means of living in the Turku archipelago: 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?
Economy: Nets to the Future –event on Fri 29.10.2010 at the Archipelago Centre Korpoström brought together around 40 people, all actively involved in the development of the livelihoods in the archipelago – architects, planners, tourism and other local businesses, artists and others. The starting point was:
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?
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.
As so often, the question of locality was raised: 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 questions 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.
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).
Contemporary Art Archipelago (CAA) arranges a series of discussions that bring into dialogue critical perspectives of contemporary art, science and the everyday. The discussions address key questions concerning the future of the archipelago environment and community.
The first discussion on Ecology: the sea of changes 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? Speakers included Swedish artist Elin Wikström, professor of marine biology Erkki Leppäkoski (Åbo Akademi), and researcher of future Katriina Siivonen (Turku University), moderated by Tomas Träskman.
The next event (aesth)ethics: encounters with nature takes place in March 2011. Further details will follow.