On the 3d of December, Kone Foundation announced the recipients of its 2020 grant call, and our research group received its largest grant for our new project FLOWISION.
“In the Changing “neighbournesses” of Finland funding programme’s now-ending, last thematic grant call, Sustainable Development, Russia, and Finland, the biggest grant went to Associate Professor in Russian Environmental Studies Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and the FLOWISION consortium’s project. The project’s researchers, journalists, and documentary filmmakers are aiming to make the flows of energy and waste visible. In so doing, they say, it is possible to reveal the political dimension of resource flows and to compare practices in Finland, Russia and elsewhere.
“In the project we have also wanted to listen intently to petrocultures that are seen as detrimental for mitigating climate change, i.e. to the ways that using oil is part of society and of our way of living. Trump’s USA and Russia are examples of what, from a European viewpoint, are often seen as petrocultures. And yet 75% of EU energy consumption involves fossil fuels, i.e. is based on oil, gas and coal.
In energy-poor countries such as Finland imported energy is not visible in the same way as it is, for example, in Russia, where fossil-fuel energy is indigenous and where oil in many senses greases the wheels of society. Energy-related materialities are more visible there, and it is thus possible to view them from the perspective of political power, too.
Once the project has begun, we will carry one trying to listen to these positive signals in what is generally considered the ‘dark side’ of the energy sector. Such listening offers a possibility for making the dark side of petroculture brighter. We believe that listening to these signals can help us as we aim for an energy transition, i.e. when we try to replace fossil energy with renewables.”
Besides Tynkkynen, also involved in the project are: doctoral researchers Elena Gorbacheva, Sakari Höysniemi, Sohvi Kangasluoma, and Teemu Oivo, along with postdoc researchers Olga Dovbysh, Dmitry Yagodin, and Margarita Zavadskaya. Providing the artistic-journalistic component are photojournalist Touko Hujanen, journalist Johannes Roviomaa and documentary film director Niko Väistö. From the Russian side, the project will be joined by Dr. Olga Bychkova, Head of STS Center at the EU SPb, and a doctoral student.