Keynote speakers and panelists

Keynote speakers and panelists are (changes still possible):
Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Keynote: What makes "Systemic Racism" Systemic?
Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 14.00-16.00

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is James B. Duke Professor of Sociology at Duke University, US. He describes himself as being trained in class analysis, political sociology, and sociology of development (globalization), but his work in the last 20 years has been in the area of race. Prof. Bonilla-Silva has published on racial theory, race and methodology, color-blind racism, the idea that race stratification in the USA is becoming Latin America-like, racial grammar, HWCUs, race and human rights, race and citizenship, whiteness, and the Obama phenomenon among other things. In all his work, he contends that racism is fundamentally about "racial domination," hence, racism is a collective and structural phenomenon in society. Among his many publications is the widely read book Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistance of Racial Inequality in the Americas . 

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Professor Emerita Gloria Wekker

KeynoteWhite Innocence: race and cherished self-narratives in the Netherlands
Tuesday 12 January 2021 at 14.00-16.00

Gloria Wekker is a social and cultural anthropologist with specializations in Gender Studies, Sexuality, African-American and Caribbean Studies. She was a professor in the Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of the Humanities, at Utrecht University, and since 2012 she is emerita. 
Her books include The Politics of Passion; Women's Sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora (2006; was awarded the Ruth Benedict Prize of American Anthropological Association in 2007), and White Innocence. Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race in the Netherlands (2016).
Wekker has advised the Dutch government on minority, health and women’s emancipation policies. In 2015 and 2016, she was a member of the Commission for Democratization and Decentralization and chair of the Diversity Commission at the University of Amsterdam. In 2017, she was elected one of the ten most influential Dutch academics by Science Guide, and she received the prestigious, governmental Joke Smit Prize for her life-long efforts on behalf of women’s emancipation. In 2019-2020, she occupies the King Willem Alexander Chair for Low Land Studies at the University of Liège, Belgium. 

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Get to know professor Wekker's work through "A Conversation with Gloria Wekker" (Jaffe, 2018)

Professor Anders Neergaard

Keynote: “Even in Sweden”: Exploring the Swedish Racial Formation, Theoretical Challenges and Dilemmas
Monday 11 January 2021 at 10.30-12.00

Anders Neergaard, professor in sociology at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), Linköping University. His research and publications span issues such as labour migration, inequality regimes, racial discrimination, trade unions, racist parties and structural racism. Recent publications include Dahlstedt, M., & Neergaard, A. (2019). Crisis of Solidarity? Changing Welfare and Migration Regimes in Sweden. Critical Sociology, 45(1), 121–135; Mulinari, D., & Neergaard, A. (2018). A contradiction in terms? Migrant activists in the Sweden Democrats party. Identities, 1–19. Schierup, C.-U., Ålund, A., & Neergaard, A. (2017). “Race” and the upsurge of antagonistic popular movements in Sweden. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 0(0), 1837–1854. Ålund, A., Schierup, C. U., & Neergaard, A. (Red.). (2017). Reimagineering the Nation. Essays on Twenty First Century Sweden. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

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Sámi artist Marja Helander

Keynote: The New Paths
Monday 11 January 2021 at 14.15-15.15

Marja Helander  is a Sámi photographer, video artist and film-maker with roots both in Helsinki and Utsjoki. In her work, she has studied various themes including her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Since 1992, Helander’s work has been exhibited in two dozen solo exhibitions and over 50 group exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

In her art, Marja Helander often builds from her own background between two cultures, the Finnish and the Sámi culture. What drives Marja as an artist is curiosity and the willingness to always learn something new. – This is why making video art and short films has been so inspiring after a long career in photography, Helander says. At the 2018 Tampere Film Festival, Marja Helander was awarded the Risto Jarva Prize for her film Eatnanvuloš lottit, Birds In The Earth. The Mänttä Art Festival has selected Marja Helander as the curator for the 2019 exhibition.

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Artist and researcher Sepideh Rahaa

Panel discussion: Arts as a way of decolonizing knowledge
Monday 11 January 2021 at 15.15-16.30

Sepideh Rahaa (b. Iran) is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher and educator based in Helsinki. Through her practice, she actively investigates and questions prevailing power structures, social norms and conventions while focusing on womanhood and everyday resistances. Currently she is pursuing her doctoral studies in contemporary art at Aalto University. Her practice and research interests are representation in contemporary art, silenced histories, decolonisation, Intersectional feminist politics, critical race studies and migration. Since 2015, Rahaa has been actively participating in debates and taking actions regarding the art politics in Finland by being a member at Third Space Collective (2015-), Globe Art Point (2016-, currently vice chairperson) and Nordic Network for Norm Critical Leadership (2018-) among other collaborations. Her aim is to initiate methods through contemporary art practice to create spaces for dialogue. She seeks these interests through collaborative projects such as A Dream That Came True?. Her current doctoral research and work is supported for multiple years by Koneen Säätiö.

Professor Mira Kallio-Tavin

Associate professor Mira Kallio-Tavin (Doctor of Arts), focuses her research on critical artistic and arts-based practices and research in questions of diversity, disability studies, social justice and critical animal studies. She has developed arts-based research methodology within pedagogy and social context and in relation to the questions of dialogue, community, ethics and philosophy of contemporary art, and its education beyond anthropocentricism. Her key research merits are with societally engaged critical arts-based and artistic research. She is the chair of disability studies in art education (DSAE) interest group in the NAEA (National Art Education Association) in the United States, World councilor of InSEA (International Society for Education Through Art), and the founder of the International DSAE conference. She is the author and editor of six books, and editor of journals Research in Art Education (principle editor) and The International Journal of Education through Art (editor). She is the Head of Research in the Department of Art in Aalto University, Finland.

Art Curator Abdullah Qureshi

Abdullah Qureshi is a Pakistani born artist, educator, and cultural producer. Within his practice, he is interested in using painting and collaborative methodologies to address personal histories, traumatic pasts, and childhood memories. Through his on-going doctoral project, entitled Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias, he examines formations of queer identity and resistance in Muslim migratory contexts.

Qureshi's work has been exhibited internationally, including at the National Gallery of Art, Islamabad; Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore; Rossi & Rossi, London; Uqbar, Berlin; Twelve Gates Arts, Philadelphia; and SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco. He has held numerous positions at cultural and educational institutions including British Council and the National College of Arts, Lahore, and conducted lectures, paper readings, and artist talks around the world, including at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU), Prague; Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki; PRAKSIS, Norway; NARS Foundation residency program and Residency Unlimited in New York, University of California, Irvine; Valand Academy, Gothenburg; Manchester Museum; and Fábrica de Arte Cubano, Havana.

In 2017, Qureshi received the Art and International Cooperation fellowship at Zurich University of the Arts, and in 2018, a research fellowship at the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research, Boston. In 2019, he joined the Center for Feminist Research, York University, Toronto as a visiting researcher, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate, supported by Kone Foundation, at Aalto University in Finland.