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Biotoopia 2021 conference: artists and scientist from 8 countries meet in Estonia

(Above: View of Viinistu, photo by Ivar Hütt)

First-ever Biotoopia hybrid-conference, taking place in Estonia and online August 26-28, offers visitors a mix of science, music, art and nature observations. The updated programme focused on connecting science and art with a goal to find solutions to the ecological and climate crises, hosts innovative science presentations and artists that fill the top-level art programme of the conference.

Visiting the international Biotoopia 2021 conference, in-person or online via Worksup platform, is recommended for anyone worried about the current state of the relationship of humans and nature. „Recently published IPCC report, but also the extreme weather events we all have endured during this summer, give us a clear message – we need a societal change to re-establish the harmony between mankind and nature. This task needs cooperation between all fields of life and this is one of the reasons we have brought innovative artists together with scientist and philosophers to discuss the possibility of bioharmony and the solutions for achieving it,” noted Mr. Peeter Laurits, artist and a curator of the conference.

Three-day programme of the conference offers various discussions on bioharmony-related philosophical and symbolic issues, but also the historical point-of-view. Music, installations, photos, and videos by the artists from USA, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Spain, Latvia, the Netherlands, and Finland make up the versatile art programme that reflects on the main topics of the conference. Philosophers, biologists, historians and cultural theorists take the stage to discuss the various sides of bioharmony – among them ecology and cognitive science researcher and philosopher Vicente Raja (Spain), artist Timur Si-Qin (USA/Germany), biologists and writer Andreas Weber (Germany), philosopher Ewa Domanska (Poland) and artists Nathalie Beekman (the Netherlands) and T.S. Anna (Latvia).

Estonia, as the birthplace of Biotoopia, welcomes on stage cultural theorists Rein Raud (Tallinn University), essayist and poet Hasso Krull, biologist Sirgi Saar (Tartu University), art theoretic Andrus Laansoo (Estonian Academy of Arts) and philosopher Margus Ott (Tallinn University). The moderators of the conference are Grete Arro and Marek Tamm from Tallinn University. The updated programme of the conference can be found here.

The top-level art programme brings unique music, magical installations whilst the conference itself gives us an opportunity to debate the state and possibilities of bioharmony with artists, scientists, and fellow visitors in Viinistu Art Harbor or online. “If you believe that change is necessary and not only that, but possible as well, and it could be led by art, natural sciences, and philosophy, Biotoopia is worth a visit. Change starts from the mindset and only after that spreads further. Giving it a new direction through mixing the best of the mentioned fields might be a way forward,” said Mr. Laurits.

3-day tickets of the on-site visit of the conference are almost sold out, 1-day tickets are still available. If you cannot come to Estonia for the conference this time, you can attend the event online by purchasing a ticket. All tickets are sold on the official website of the conference, www.biotoopia.ee until August 24 via Fienta platform. If you need transport from Tallinn to Viinistu, a bus has been organised for those interested both on the 26th and the 27th of August – information on it will be given after the ticket purchase has been completed.

Due to the restrictions set by the Government of Estonia, the visitors of the conference and those coming on the Tallinn-Viinistu bus need to present a document that certifies that they are either fully vaccinated, have tested negative for COVID or recovered from COVID (no longer than 6 months ago), at the entrance. Due to the logistics at Viinistu, rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) are not carried out, the visitors are kindly asked to get tested before arriving at the conference premises. RDT tests are valid up to 48 hours and CPR tests up to 72 hours. Should you feel ill of show symptoms or have been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, please stay home – you can attend the conference online. Conference follows the requirements put in place by the Government of Estonia for public events and will ensure the safety and wellbeing of the visitors.

The conference is organized by NGO Estonian Anthropocene Center. Biotoopia was given wings by its main sponsor Click & Grow. The conference is sponsored by Ecosh Life, producer of health products and ePPC, digital marketing agency and Wizon, process analytics company and supported by the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Culture, Enterprise Estonia via European Union Regional Development Fund and Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Guests are kindly welcomed by Viinistu Art Harbour in Viinistu, Kuusalu parish, Estonia.

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