Night of Science at the Helsinki Collegium: Russia Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow & Open Offices

The Collegium's Night of Science program on January 12, 2023, invites guests to walk through the Collegium building and to learn about current research of our fellows.

The program includes an open office hour, a panel discussion on narratives of contemporary Russia and a screening of an excerpt from Adam Curtis’s film Russia 1985–1999: TraumaZone, to be followed by a discussion with fellows.



17:00–18:00: Open offices at the Collegium

Walk through the Collegium’s corridors, visit the open offices of our researchers and artists and get to know their projects! Address: Fabianinkatu 24 A, 2nd and 3rd floor.

Participating fellows: Mark AitkenHanne Appelqvist, Tom Cardwell, Kristin FerebeeTuomas Forsberg, Sergei MedvedevDanila Raskov, Anna Sokolova, and Svetlana Vetchinnikova

18:15–19:15: Narratives on Contemporary Russia

Venue: Common Room, Fabianinkatu 24 A, 3rd floor

Panel discussion with HCAS Fellows Sean GriffinSergei MedvedevAnna SokolovaMariëlle Wijermars, and HCAS Director Tuomas Forsberg

19:30–21:00: Re-living History – Looking back at Russia's Future: Screening of an episode from Adam Curtis's film Russia 1985–1999: TraumaZone

Venue: Common Room, 3rd floor (Fabianinkatu 24 A)

Film screening (55 minutes) and discussion with Sergei Medvedev, Anna Sokolova and Kone Art Fellow Mark Aitken

In his new BBC series Russia 1985-1999: TraumaZone (2022), the British documentary film-maker Adam Curtis tells the story of what happened in the former Soviet Union as first Communism, and then the new liberal democracy ostensibly installed there in the aftermath, collapsed. For over 30 years, Adam Curtis has been making polemical films that include All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (2011), and Can’t Get You Out Of My Head (2021).


Featured Speakers:

Mark Aitken is a Kone Foundation Arts Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium 2022/23. His current research and practice is a photo portrait series locating memory in Finnish landscapes, with special focus on Lapland and the intimate relationships people there have with nature.

Tuomas Forsberg is the Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He is on a leave of absence from Tampere University, where he is Professor of International Relations. His most recent research projects have dealt with psychological theories of foreign policy, Russia’s cultural statecraft and the war in Ukraine. 

Sean Griffin is an interdisciplinary scholar of Russia and Ukraine and Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium. His research focuses primarily on the history of the Orthodox Church and its role in the making of cultural memory: from the liturgy and chronicles of medieval Kyiv, to the blockbuster films and digital propaganda of modern Moscow. 

Sergei Medvedev is Professor at Charles University in Prague, Kone Foundation Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and author of the award-winning book The Return of the Russian Leviathan (Cambridge, 2020). He specializes in political history, memory politics and cultural studies.   

Anna Sokolova is a scholar of Soviet history working at the intersection of history and anthropology. Her previous research was related to Soviet death and funeral culture, and her current project focuses on everyday life in timber production workers’ settlement in late Soviet Karelia. She works as Kone Foundation Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. 

Mariëlle Wijermars’s research seeks to understand how (authoritarian) governments try to shape and control the dissemination of information. She has published extensively on Russia, drawing upon, among others, Political Communication, Media Studies, International Relations and Critical Internet Studies. She is currently a Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.