Learning from Doubt – student assignments presented


  • Emma de Carvalho: Island of Birds. Uunisaari.

  • Joonas Pulkkinen and Lauri Lähteenmäki: “Forest as a war victim – 1950’s as turning point of Finnish industrialization and Forest industry”. Source: SA-Kuva

  • Sonja Kilpeläinen: Scene of a Secret.

  • Zagros Manuchar: A Poem from a Former Child Soldier.

  • Anni Piiroinen: Troubled Waters.

  • K. Penttinen: The Road and I.

IHME Helsinki 2022 Commission Amar Kanwar’s  Learning from Doubt online course was attended by students of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts and sustainability science students of the University of Helsinki. Some of them continued the reflections that arose in the course in the form of their own final thesis. Learning from Doubt student assignments will be presented during Environmental Humanities Month on Thursday 3 November 2022 in an online event open for all. The task was to investigate alternative ways of evaluating and understanding their chosen environmental crime. In their assignments students have applied Kanwar’s method of doubt.

We are glad that Amar Kanwar’s course has continued to live on in the students’ works and that they can be seen by everyone. The Environmental Humanities Month programme will be updated in the Helsinki #ENVHUM Blog throughout the autumn.

The online event is on Zoom, in English, and requires registration.

Register latest by the day before the event to get a link to Zoom >>

Welcome to hear where Learning from Doubt has led in student assignments!

The programme of the event:

16:00 – 16:10 Opening words, Viktor Pal, Environmental Humanities Hub, University of Helsinki


16:10 – 16:30 Zagros Manuchar: A poem from a former child soldier

The poem.

The audio tape.

The former child soldier.

The artwork is just and about the read poem from a former child soldier.

Zagros Manuchar (b. 1990, Sulaymaniyah, Irak) is a Finnish filmmaker and artist whose works have been shown internationally in film festivals and Finnish culture institutes, among others. In his artistic work he has explored themes such as childhood, loneliness, violence and the necessity of being seen and loved. Having also taught arts for children and youth he holds BFA and MFA from The University of the Arts Helsinki, Academy of Fine Arts. Now during Amar Kanwar’s course he studied the plight of a child soldier; Manuchar met a former child soldier, a survivor, and eventually made a short film and audio tape about him (The poem from a former child soldier).


16:30 – 16:50 Emma de Carvalho: Island of Birds. Uunisaari.

Island of Birds. Uunisaari. is a short film by Emma de Carvalho. It explores how birdlife on the Uunisaari island in Helsinki has been affected by climate change. Through a conversation with her grandmother, as well as her own video footage and research, Emma explores what memory, evidence, crimes, and archives mean on this island.

Emma is a master’s student in the Contemporary Societies course at the University of Helsinki. Her interests are in art, film and writing.


16:50 – 17:10 Scott Williams and Spyriduola Fotinis: Echoes from the Past

Echoes from the Past is a multimedia exploration of how America’s history of colonialism affects and reflects the now and the future, with personal reflections about the creators’ communities.  Through a combination of historical research, legal cases, and current statements from various American Indian tribes, this project digs deep in the culture, language, and lives of pre-colonial people in the Northeastern United States.  It follows the creators’ journey in learning about their part in this crime and more broadly on how post-settlement people in America can increase their understanding and take meaningful action to remedy past wrongs.

Scott Williams is a master’s student in the Environmental Change and Global Sustainability programme at the University of Helsinki.  He studies environmental policy, with a focus on the behavior-action gap and stakeholder interactions in climate change.  Scott is part of the Indigenous Arts Reading Circle, a collaboration between the Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Helsinki to foster interdisciplinary communications on indigenous issues. Scott will be presenting his and Spyridoula’s work.

17:10 – 17:30 Break


17:30 – 17:50 Anni Piiroinen: Troubled waters

Finnish landscapes have been profoundly shaped by extensive peatland drainage. In this project I try to understand what drainage has meant by focusing on disturbed watery relations. As ditches have been dug in the name of progress, water in and around mires has been rearranged in dangerous ways. In these troubled waters, new things are moving, new processes unfolding, and existing relations of care and survival come under threat.

I’m a student in the Master’s Programme in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability at the University of Helsinki. I’m interested in finding novel ways to understand landscapes I thought I knew. I try to see how many different things, such as plants, machines and dreams of progress, intertwine again and again, shaping our environment in particular ways.

17:50 – 18:10 Sonja Kilpeläinen: Scene of a secret

Scene of a secret is a performance about the contradiction of loving a criminal. Performance explores how the perceived opposites of disappointment and gratitude live in one body. Performance is based on butoh practice.

Sonja Kilpeläinen is neuroscience master’s degree student at the University of Helsinki. Sonja is interested in the neuroscience and psychology of altered states of consciousness and how these states can impact the psychological health of individuals and communities. Sonja is also a movement artist and explores altered states of consciousness through methods of butoh, somatics and meditation.


18:10 – 18:30 Joonas Pulkkinen and Lauri Lähteenmäki: Forest as a war victim – 1950’s as turning point of Finnish industrialization and Forest industry

Forest as a war victim is conversation between two students of the Academy of Fine Arts which share common interest with the environmental history of Finnish forests.

Joonas Pulkkinen is second year MA student at the The Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies focused on art curating and mediating. In his essay Logged, cutted, torned, crashed, burnt, destroyed written as a part of the course Pulkkinen makes open questions based on Finnish Defence Forces archieves during II World War. Pulkkinen researches why destroyed forest has been a part of the documentation of Finnish Defence Forces photographers and how those photos have been described literally. Pulkkinen tries to understand the need of the documentation and also contexts around the condition of the Finnish forest before the war and in the post-war context of Finnish societal modernization and industrialization project.

Pulkkinen has invited another MA student from Academy of Fine Arts, Lauri Lähteenmäki to conversation related mentioned themes and Lähteenmäki’s own work and practice. In his MFA exhibition in Kuvan Kevät 2022 Lähteenmäki’s  photo book and exhibition Vihreän kullan kuume (Green Gold Fever, 2022). Lähteenmäki’s photo books is based on a media data collected from public news sources regarding the debate on forest use in Finland.

Joonas Pulkkinen is a second year MA student at the The Praxis Master’s Programme in Exhibition Studies focused on art curating and mediating in the The Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts. Before his studies he has studied aesthetics and practical philosophy in the University of Helsinki.