Earth’S VOICE-exhibition

Cabins of Pyhä-Luosto National Park 16.9.2023-14.9.2024

Tourism industry has traditionally been developed to meet the needs of tourists and businesses. However, the escalating ecological crisis has put in question the responsibility and sustainability of the contemporary forms of tourism development. Outi Rantala, Professor of Tourism Research at the University of Lapland in Finland, welcomes the discussions that call for transformation of our understandings of tourism. 

Tourism development should be approached more from the local actors’ and biodiversity’s – humans’ and other species’ – perspectives.

Between 2019 and 2023, Rantala’s research group worked with a project on “Proximity Tourism”, funded by the Academy of Finland, drawing focus on the multispecies perspectives in Pyhä-Luosto National Park. The Earth’s voice exhibition – Maan ääni – is one of the outcomes based of this research. Researchers have explored, for example, the ideas of an untouched or touching landscape. How does a traveler experience the different temporalities and time scales of the national park, such as the ecology of rocks or the history of tourism? What does the growth of tourism look like from the mosses’ perspective? Or what kind of stories might the Siberian jays tell to their guests?

The exhibition was co-created by curator Pinja Metsäkoivu, photographers Antti Kurola and Antti Pakkanen, environmental artist Antti Stöckell, and the Intra-living in the Anthropocene -research group at the University of Lapland.

The Earth’s Voice – exhibition brings together social sciences and arts. The exhibition was opened 16.9.2023 in three wilderness huts in Karhunjuomalampi, Kapusta and Yli-Luosto along the paths of Pyhä-Luosto national park. For one year, these unlocked cabins serve as galleries where photographs and storybooks invite visitors to reflect on the relation between humans and nature and how human guests visit forests and paths.

We wanted to draw attention to different ways of experiencing ecological diversity. Nature is strongly present also in the exhibition materials: the wooden books are unique pieces made by a carpenter and the photos hang on the cabin walls in harmony with the surrounding environment, explains the curator of the exhibition, Pinja Metsäkoivu.

Environmental artist Antti Stöckell hopes that his art can gladden and inspire people who spend time in nature.

Antti Stöckell, Karhunjuomanlampi

My art is born in forests and stays there to be covered by snow or melt by the Spring sun. Often my audience consists of squirrels, hares, foxes, and birds. For this reason I see the visitors in the national park and these open huts as a great public.

Stöckell is an environmental artist, art educator, and university lecturer who during the past years has focused especially on the changes in winter through snow. While Stöckell’s environmental art and installations of snow evidently disappear in the winter landscapes, he documents the processes for future exhibitions and research. Winter and snow offer the artist not only an atelier and materials, but also a rich setting for art-based environmental learning and tourism services.

Antti Kurola, Yli-Luosto

Antti Kurola is a professional photographer and a dog sledge guide who enjoys being outdoors every day of the year.

I have become a photographer through different incidents. This journey started from capturing memories of outdoor life for myself and for my friends. Slowly I began to dedicate more and more time to photography and a hobby turned into an occupation. After more than 20 years, I see photography more as a dear hobby.

Antti Pakkanen, Kapusta

~ Life in human traces

Antti Pakkanen is a photographer and a sociologist who has worked both with social sciences and photography.

In the project at hand, Pakkanen focused on exploring the human traces in Pyhä-Luosto national park and how non-human species live with these traces and abandoned constructions.

Information about the exhibition:

Outi Rantala, professor
University of Lapland, Finland
+358 40 484 4202

Pinja Metsäkoivu, curator of the Voice of the Earth-exhibition
+358 40 012 8957

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