The main objective of the research project “Making Spaces of Justice Across the East-West Divide” is to advance and create new spaces for knowledge production that crosscut a) the East-West divide and b) the boundaries between academia, art and activism.

We bring together scholars, artists and activists from Finland and Russia in new kinds of settings to jointly investigate migration & multiculturalism and the politics of gender & sexuality.

Cross-cultural and cross-sectoral knowledge production
By combining the spheres of academic research, art, and activism we can begin to deconstruct conventional ways of thinking and acting and find novel angles to questions of migration, gender and sexuality.

We take issue with the established patterns of academic knowledge production and advocate a co-creation of knowledge involving actors from various fields of society.

Through these efforts we also seek to respond to a growing demand for new approaches to research as well as for innovative ideas about how universities should communicate and connect with society.

The project will organize actions as well as analyze activities at a range of cultural and everyday sites where migration and politics of gender and sexuality can be critically investigated: schools, universities, museums, film and television, magazines, streets and public spaces.


Across the East-West Divide
Migration and politics of gender and sexuality are characteristically global issues that need to be addressed beyond the ‘nationally-bounded’ lens; yet at the same time they are also issues that are embedded in distinctive cultural, historical and political contexts.

Keeping this local-global dynamics in mind, this project probes into the ways in which migration, sexuality and gender are understood and debated in transnational, national and trans-local scales and what these understandings and debates can tell us about the boundaries and conditions of social justice in contemporary Finnish and Russian societies.

By unpacking the complex and contradictory meanings of migration, gender and sexuality through joint artistic, scholarly and activist engagements, this project is uniquely disposed to identify how symbolic and material hierarchies and disadvantages are produced and sustained but also how they might be concretely questioned and overcome.

The project is funded by the Kone Foundation.