Post-Conference Symposium Day in Lapland

Join us in the Special Post-Conference Symposium Day at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi on the 14th of December. How to register, how to travel, and what exactly will be going on there? Find all the details below.
Why the Special Symposium?

Symposia are a great way to continue the message of the conference, which is why we are taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with the University of Lapland and organize this special event. We are happy to invite you to attend it on December 14th, the day after the main Conference, both on-site and online. The University of Lapland is located in the charming city of Rovaniemi, situated up north, approximately 810 km from Helsinki, right here

It seems most appropriate to head to the very north to discuss the concepts of "North" and "South", the relationship between them globally and locally, as well as the hegemonic struggle in this field. Here you can listen for yourself how Professor Laura Junka-Aikio, who will be one of the researchers from the political science area present on site, encourages you to take part in the symposium.

Please note: If you only want to take part in the Symposium Day, not the HEPP conference, email us at with the subject line: Symposium.


Across the globe and particularly in Europe ethnonationalism is on the rise: we take the opportunity to extend the HEPP conference in Helsinki, with its D.Rad project HUB on ethnonationalism, to the University of Lapland. The Symposium Day, on 14 December 2023, creates possibilities for meaningful engagement between the “North of the North” and the Global South on populism and hegemony struggles. Situated at Rovaniemi, right beside the Arctic Circle and 200 km below the Indigenous Sámi homeland region, University of Lapland is the EU’s northernmost university with a strong research focus on Northern and Arctic societies, politics and culture.  

In addition to providing an opportunity to address the conference theme in a Northern setting, the location effectively dislocates existing North/South binaries by highlighting the inherent relationality of such concepts. From the perspective of Rovaniemi and the province of Lapland, the capital city Helsinki is often imagined as part of the “rich and powerful South” whose relationship to  the Northern regions is characterized by asymmetric and colonial relations, whereas from the Sámi homeland region, it maybe Rovaniemi itself that is considered as representative of precisely such “South”.  And yet, both are also considered as part of the “Global North” in their relationship to the “Global South”.  

Keeping this multiplicity of North-South divisions and relations in mind, we invite you to engage in vivid conversation about the ways in which populism and hegemonic struggles articulate politics and society across the globe. Also the strategic identitary binary of North-South can be explored in multiple layers and deconstructed. As all binaries, it carries historical legacies, colonial dimensions of power relations that are subaltern or less spoken of. Enlightenment is present in different ways in the experiences of our two guests from the global south, one from the south of Argentina in Latin America and other from South Africa (and Nigeria). Their mutually enriching perspectives on conspiracy theories and emancipatory feminist populism will be coupled and carried forward by perspectives from Northern scholars working with questions of populism and hegemony in the Global or North of the North (tbc). 

The symposium consists of general sessions which engage scholars on themes that would be resonating people’s work to generate better understanding of the issue, both within and across different locations. The general sessions are complemented by workshops that are in the format of World Café – discussing shortly in a table on each issue, concept, binary or other. The idea is to have a table lead and rapporteurs who would be responsible for initiating and recording the discussions. These will be stored as text and video through the HEPP webpages and for wider audiences. We will have the table leads’ roundtable as part of the event. The symposium participants are invited to provide their insights prior to the event through written or video abstract format, and the themes or questions of the workshop will be chosen from these bottom up. The post-symposium dissemination includes reports of each table or theme at the World Café workshops with the list of participants to the Symposium.  

The issues to discuss across the North/South binaries are indicative of hegemonic struggles. Populism in many understandings is strongly present. We can also witness the emancipatory power of antagonistic debates, which have been a tool to confront issues in the North that have not been discussed before. Beside discourses of ethnonationalism, struggles over land, natural resources and environment are a particularly strong part of the equation in Northern and Arctic rural societies and communities – an aspect that is strongly present also in hegemonic struggles of the Global South. We also look forward to discussing how these various struggles have been reshaped across Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the new polarizations and challenges that have emerged in response. 

The idea of HEPPsinki extending the conference by a Symposium Day in Rovaniemi was to playfully engage with the idea of the binary of darkness/light that represents the idea of HEPP3 taking place at the lightest time of the year in Helsinki and HEPP4 in the darkest period. One never knows whether December will be the darkest period, however, as some years there is already snow, which changes the paradigm of darkness completely. In our deconstructive ethos, really want to contest the binary while also playing with it. 

Symposium Programme

Location: Fellman-sali, University of Lapland

9.00 - 9:10: Opening words by the organisers: TBA (University of Lapland), Virpi Salojärvi (University of Vaasa) & Dayei Oh (University of Helsinki). 

9:10 - 9:25: Laura Junka-Aikio (University of Lapland): Northern Populism (15 mins).

9:25 - 10:10:Emilia Palonen (University of Helsinki): A New Conjuncture for ‘Populism’: Hegemonic struggles in Finland and ethnonationalism in Europe and discussions, followed by comment/discussions, and open public discussion.  
Chair: Matti Pohjonen (University of Helsinki)
Comment: Mercedes Barros (CONICET Patagonia Norte)

10:10 - 11:50: Workshops in World Café format (list leads) 3x25 mins with each dilemma.* 

12:00 - 12:45: Lunch 

12:45-14:00:Roundtable in conversation on North and South:  Mikkel Berg-Nordlie (Oslo Metropolitan, Norway), Leena Suopajärvi (University of Lapland), Nafisa Yeasmin (University of Lapland & Arctic Immigrants ry)Mercedes Barros (CONICET Patagonia Norte, Argentina), Susan de Groot Heupner (Deakin, Australia).
Chair: Laura Junka-Aikio.

14:00 - 14:30: Coffee break 

14:30 - 15:30: Workshop-based roundtable (list rapporteurs)
Chair: Virpi Salojärvi
Rapporteur: Dayei Oh.

15:30 - 16:00: Closing discussion.

Departures with transport (also possible to walk circa 35 minutes)

17:00 - 18.30: City of Rovaniemi reception in Alaruokasen talo


(*) The World Café format: Short 3-minute introduction to workshop topics by a workshop leader and discussion around the table. Workshop leads, rapporteurs and topics to be announced, the discussion results will be reported and participants of the whole workshop will be listed in the minutes (unless they opt-out). 

Travelling and Accommodation

We need to keep in mind, that there are many others wanting to travel North in December; the pre-Christmas season is the busiest in Rovaniemi. This means that the prices go up quickly – please remember to book your trip an accommodation as early as you can!

There are multiple ways of getting to Rovaniemi in December. Here is a list of the most convenient ways to travel to Lapland and a few accommodation tips: 

A night train from Helsinki to Rovaniemi on Wednesday December 13, 2023. 

Departure at 19:29 Helsinki, Central Railway station. Arrival to Rovaniemi Central Railway station on Thursday December 14 at 7:20. 

The price for a one-way night train ticket in a cabin at the time of writing this invitation was 89 €. A train cabin accommodates two people and there are two separate beds, so the price for one passenger in a full cabin would be 44,5 €. However, if you were to travel alone in the cabin, the price would then be at least 89 € because the cabins are sold per cabin, not per passenger. The prices will go up when more tickets are sold and the travelling date approaches, so we recommend you to be fast. In the train you can get food from the restaurant car and there are also showers that passengers can use. 

The cancellation fee for the tickets is 20 € (if bought at the time of purchasing the tickets). 

If you decide to travel to Rovaniemi, you should get in contact with other attendees of the conference and symposium to share a cabin. We can help you in getting touch with other participants. 

You can get the night train tickets from the link here below. Remember to tick the box for the cabins at the night trains when searching for connections:  

There is also an instruction with screenshots below on how to book the tickets via the website of the train operator VR. Do the same when purchasing tickets for the return trip but remember to change the departure to Rovaniemi and destination to Helsinki. 

More information of night trains can be found here:  


Booking train tickets (with pictures):

  1. The symposium day is on December 14, 2023 so you should book your night train ticket for a train leaving in the evening of December 13.
    You can also book tickets for two passengers and the price will not go up. You can then sell the other half of the cabin for another attendee of the symposium. 

  1. When having hit the “search for journeys” button for the first time, the search engine shows tickets for seated places (seated places are not recommended for travelling overnight because they are really uncomfortable).
    Tick the box “Show cabin prices and night trains” to get the cabin prices. 

  1. Choose the train leaving at 19:29 from Helsinki. The price of 89 € would in this case be the same for both one or two passengers because the cabins are sold per cabin, not per passenger. 

Flights between Helsinki and Rovaniemi are operated daily by Finnair. You can book the tickets here: The prices at the moment of writing this invitation were around 140 euros for return tickets (without additional luggage). 

Buses operate between Helsinki and Rovaniemi. However, the bus ride can take almost 12 hours, so it will get exhausting to get there by bus. Bus tickets can be found from and  

Rovaniemi experiences a remarkably high amount of tourism and travel during the Christmas season and the cost of accommodation unfortunately will match that. At the time of writing, we envisage that the cost of a hotel night will likely be double that in Helsinki. Here is a list of some options close to the University of Lapland. The list includes some standard-priced hotels for the season, some expensive ones and a few affordable hostels and guesthouses.  
The expected prices are taken at the time of writing. Costs may increase and availability may diminish closer to the season, especially in Rovaniemi.

More affordable options with an expected cost of less than 100€ per night. The list includes shared dormitories and guesthouses.

Wherever Mini Hostel

Hostel Ibedcity

Guesthouse Arctic Heart

Hostel Café Koti


Mid-priced options with an expected cost of 200-300€ per night 

Hotel Rudolf

Scandic Hotels: Polar, Pohjanhovi and Rovaniemi City

Arctic City Hotel

Santa’s Hotels


More expensive options with an expected cost of 400€ or more per night. 

Haawe Boutique Apart Hotel

Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna


For more options you may also visit for additional options for accommodations as well as other activities in Rovaniemi and Lapland.