<< Earth >> Forces – Meri Hietala and Aino Johansson

<<Earth>> Forces / <<Maan>> Puolustusvoimat is a multi- and transdisciplinary entity, a project intertwining art and activism. It stems from the planetary state of emergency of ecosystems, nature loss and the will to protect and cherish our home planet Earth. <<Earth>> Forces focus on concepts like security, non-violence, nurture, interspecies interaction, intergenerational change and sustainability. Through means of collectivity, ritualism and embodied practices in installation- and performance art they strive to find ways to strengthen and reawaken our relationship with nature and enforce nature conservation work. <<Earth>> Forces recent actions 2022 were at Spheres of Care by Wauhaus, Helsinki, Kasviaika Plöntutid residency, and Elojuhlat in Mustarinda, Hyrynsalmi.

Meri Hietala is a multidisciplinary artist, pedagogist and curator who creates performances, site specific installations, happenings and sound art. They are inspired by dreams, ancestral lineages, collective organisms and skins as borders.

Aino Johansson is a multidisciplinary visual- and performing artist, a forest activist, curator and environmental educator, who is at this moment inspired by butoh dance, love, interconnectedness and lichens.They convene, hold space, move, communicate and create.

<<Earth>> Forces are invited to be part of MAA-tila projects space´s 2023 program and during the residency we are working towards our new collective project in MAA-tila in September.

Our working methods include foraging wild herbs, whispering earth-friendly literature, creating planetary meditations, exercises and new rituals with roots in local traditions. We are learning endangered species and embroidering them into our uniforms, creating camps, dreaming and listening. We use embodied practices like butoh, somatic exercises and sleeping outside, while learning from and with nature on site.

We will work in the residency exploring the island and its context for the <<Earth>> Forces, to create a collective sanctuary in MAA-tila – a place of care, trust, open source sharing and experimenting following the idea of ecosocial education and sustainability that permeates all dimensions of life both human and nonhuman. We invite people from various ranges of professions and nature protection enthusiasts to share their experiences and viewpoints in talks and workshops. We hope to create an ecosystem of empowering processes for new collective dreams and diverse caring continuums.