Conversations on the collaborations of researchers and musicians

Closing seminar of World Wide Women and Kyynelkanavat projects

Friday, 10 November 2023, 3pm – 6 pm, Helsinki Collegium, Common Room, Fabianinkatu 24A, 3rd floor

This event brings researchers and artists into conversation about producing knowledge together. Through live music and discussions, panelists will demonstrate the different modes of collaboration and offer insights from their experiences. They will discuss openly about their new discoveries, and the exciting as well as challenging moments of their work. They will address questions such as: how team members define their individual roles and agree on ways of working together towards the shared goal of the project? How do the academic and artistic sides of the project complement or differ from each other, what is the balance between them and what issues of power there might be? What have we learned from each other? Can the collaborations within our projects be used as models for future projects combining art and research?

Kyynelkanavat project on Parppeinvaara in Ilomantsi

This event presents two projects that include researcher-musical artist collaboration as a core element of knowledge production:

  • World Wide Women – Female Musicians Crossing Borders and Building Futures project (University of Helsinki) studies and supports women musicians in their own communities and in the globally connected music world.
  • Kyynelkanavat – Laments in Contemporary Finland project (University of Eastern Finland) approaches the lamenting tradition and its role in modern Finnish society through the perspectives of body, experience, religion, communality, emotions and affect.

Both of these projects have been funded by the Kone Foundation and are soon concluding. The event is organized in collaboration with Etnosoi! festival and the Helsinki Collegium.

World Wide Women project at the University of Helsinki, Topelia building

The primary language of the seminar is English, but questions from the audience are welcome also in Finnish. The program includes also short musical performances.

The event is free, no advance registration needed! Welcome!

Preliminary schedule

15.00 Opening words

15.10 World Wide Women – Female Musicians Crossing Borders and Building Futures

16.10 Coffee break

16.20 Kyynelkanavat – Laments in Contemporary Finland

17.20 Discussion between project teams and with the audience


World Wide Women

Jenni Hanikka is a flutist and singer who has studied Finnish folk music in Joensuu, Finland, and in Aarhus, Denmark. She has also studied music in India, Nepal, Russia, Mongolia, China, Borneo and Mali. Hanikka has worked as a musician in several bands and musical productions, also in theatre and dance productions, and as a soundscape composer.

Siboné Oroza is a Finnish-Bolivian ethnomusicologist and tango singer. Her doctoral thesis “When I’m on Stage, I Rule”: Cholita Futurism in Cochabamba, Bolivia (2023, University of Helsinki) focused on the music, ideas, and entrepreneurship of young Bolivian female artists who grew up in Quechua and Aymara culture. Together with Antti Nordin, she also produced a documentary film presenting the same topic.

Elina Seye is an ethnomusicologist and dance researcher affiliated with the University of Helsinki. Her doctoral thesis focused on Senegalese sabar dance events, and her postdoctoral project dealt with sabar dance in different performance contexts. Currently her research focuses on female musicians and dancers in Senegal and Mali as part of the World Wide Women project that she also leads.

Marjo Smolander is a kantele artist, folk musician, music pedagogue, composer, and music producer from Finland. She has master’s degrees from Sibelius Academy in Finland and Royal Academy of Music in Denmark. In her artistic work she has been focusing on transcultural projects in Finland, Senegal and Mali. She is the co-founder of the Sunuy Xale project that promotes children’s culture in Wolof language.


Elina Hytönen-Ng is a cultural researcher who holds a docent title in ethnomusicology at the University of Turku. She has been specialising on musical experiences and performance venues. Currently she is the primary investigator in the Kyynelkanavat project, a three year project funded by Kone foundation, focusing on lamenting rituals in contemporary Finnish society.

Emmi Kuittinen is a folk musician, singer and songwriter who specializes in the Karelian and Ingrian singing styles, also laments. In addition to the Kyynelkanavat project, she has been working on a project that studies through art the similarities between the Skolt Sami and Karelian cultures. Apart from artistic work, she has also worked as a teacher, producer and as a musician working in care homes.

Emilia Kallonen is a folk musician and music educator, who works as an artist in the Kyynelkanavat project in which she has been leading a lamenting circle. In addition to this she has also been studying the learning process of lamenting with Elina Hytönen-Ng.

Viliina Silvonen is a folklorist specialising in the Karelian lament tradition and its sprouts in Finland. She has studied the historical lamenting tradition via archival audio material, applying text, music and sound/voice analyses, and sensory ethnography, and contemporary lamenting using ethnographic methods and in collaboration with musician-lamenter Emmi Kuittinen.


Nina Öhman is a musicologist/ethnomusicologist studying women’s roles in music cultures, the singing voice, and American popular music. She is also interested in academically-based community engagement and collaborative research methods. Recently she has worked as a University Lecturer in Musicology at the Department of Philosophy, History and Arts, University of Helsinki. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Pennsylvania, and she currently works as a Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.