We are the ILA-group – ILA being an abbreviation of Intra-living in the Anthropocene – a group and academic family of multidisciplinary scholars from the University of Lapland, Finland, exploring the current time of the Anthropocene by using feminist theories and methodological innovations.
Our ongoing research project, Envisioning Proximity Tourism with New Materialism, is funded by Academy of Finland between a time period of 1.9.2019-31.8.2023. In the project, we explore possibilities of proximity Tourism in the Arctic settings; a valuable alternative for global mass tourism that emphasizes local destinations, short distances and lower-carbon transport modes travel.
Our empirical work focuses on visiting forests in Finnish Lapland, especially Pyhä-Luosto national park. More specifically, we develop a methodological approach called participatory more-than-human ethnography that enables knowing with and learning from non-human-nature.
The project has potential to produce significant societal effects by advocating proximity tourism as an ecologically sound form of tourism. It provides a novel narrative that is based on mutual care between humans and other earthly creatures.
For tourism businesses, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers working in tourist organizations and regional councils, the project offers conceptual tools and practical examples of proximity tourism. This helps them to recognize the value of proximity tourism and to design innovative local products.
ILA-group members working in the project ”Envisioning Proximity Tourism with New Materialism”: Anu Valtonen, Emily Höckert, Tarja Salmela and Outi Rantala