Conversation: To Be With Human

Humans naturally empathize with other humans - but to what extent empathy across species requires possibilities for communication? One of the common understandings is that empathy is a capacity which makes humans understand & identify what the other is feeling, what is their situation and perspective, and why the others are acting in a certain way.

Today there are less non-domesticated animals than domesticated ones; the vertebrate wildlife counts for less than 3%, whereas animals we grow for eating is around 65%, and humans stand for the remaining 32% of the world’s vertebrate biomass. Coexisting with non-humans in today’s world involves realising that we position them within human structures, regulations and thoughts. Even when we think about non-humans we already position all of them into the human worldview.

This conversation session will investigate what are our chances to (re)establish a true communication and connection with other species? And can we, humans, reach the next level of empathy that potentially would enable us to understand the other organisms’ perspectives and support the coexistence? Is it possible to experience empathy towards species that are considered not cute or intelligent?
5 short presentations & actions on research and practice-based experiments will offer viewpoints into communication within and across species and its meaning for a development of empathy. These presentation are followed with open conversation. The language of the event is English.

Short presentations & actions by

Whale expert Rauno Lauhakangas :
It’s possible that the whales and other species use their voice like humans; for music and singing. This way we can achieve a common experience of being in the same sound scape.

Sauna-healer and expert in whisking traditions Maaria Alén : 
In Finnish folktradition, nature and knowledge on plants have been used from healing practices with whisking in sauna to connecting between parallel worlds and use of herbs as medicine. 

Toisissa Tiloissa / Other Spaces :
‘Avalokiteshvara in Action’ -  a participatory empathy action

Artist Antti Tenetz :
Do we need an ecologically and culturally diverse dialogue that creates evolutionary deep knowledge - a language that we need to survive in the changing world?

Researcher Andrea Traldi :
Without empathy we are artificially detached from presence and the unique information of a specific time and place.

The conversation is facilitated by Laura Beloff and Mari Keski-Korsu.