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May-Britt Öhman & Eva Charlotta Helsdotter (SE)

May-Britt Öhman & Eva Charlotta Helsdotter: No magic wands/ Ungreen windpower – Sámi and Scientific Perspectives on fossil dependent and environmentally destructive designs

Thursday 7.9. at 14-16:30
Location: Transportation to the site by bus. The departure point at klo 14:00, Turun taideakatemia, Linnankatu 54-60
Duration of the trip: 2-2,5h

The performance requires pre-booking. Pre-booking here.
Arrival and accessibility information will be updated at the bottom of the page.

There are no magic wands. The current ongoing so called “green transition” is in reality environmentally destructive, fossil dependent and also aggressively colonial. May-Britt Öhman and Eva Charlotta Helsdotter will discuss the case of wind power, currently massively promoted by environmentalists, governments and large companies as part of the “green” transition. However, windpower plants come with the need for massive extraction and use of resources; rare earth metals, lime stone, steel, all which demand more mines. The wings, due to leading edge erosion, are according to a recent study (A. Solberg, B-E. Rimereit and J. E. Weinbach, 2021) emitting hormone and fertility disturbing micro- and nano plastics (Bisphenol A) polluting surface water and in the long term also ground water. 

Windpower plants need large areas. In the more populated regions it is politically difficult to reach acceptance. Therefore, in Sweden and in Norway, wind power is installed in the Sámi reindeer herding territories, where the Sámi Indigenous land and water rights are still not acknowledged.

May-Britt Öhman is Associate Professor in Environmental History, PhD in History of Technology. Öhman leads the research group “Dálkke: Indigenous Climate Change Studies”, funded within the Swedish National Research Program on Climate Change,( FORMAS Dnr  2017-01923, 2019-0197, 2021-01723) and is a researcher at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism, CEMFOR, Uppsala University. She is Lule and Forest Sámi of the Lule River valley, and has also Tornedalian heritage. Öhman is by the Swedish government appointed expert of the Committee on Reindeer Lands – Renmarkskommittén (N 2021:02) 2022—2025, on the mandate of the National Sámi Association Same Ätnam. Öhman has over the last two decades contributed to the work with the establishment and development of the research field Indigenous Climate Change Studies, centering Indigenous peoples’ experiences, perspectives and epistemologies, through publications, organization of meetings, and the building of networks. 

Eva Charlotta Helsdotter has a PhD in Land and Water Resources Management and is an Associate Professor in Water Security. She has been an international research leader in land and water related research, e.g. in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Kenya and Tanzania and in national environmental and sustainability projects. She has investigated drinking water supplies and designed protection needed to ensure good water quality. Since 2009 she has been involved in several research projects on the Swedish side of Sámi territories. Helsdotter is a researcher at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism, CEMFOR, Uppsala University and part of the research group Dálkke: Indigenous Climate Change Studies.

Öhman and Helsdotter have collaborated since 2009, and together with filmmaker Petri Storlöpare produced several films;  about the Talvivaara mining disaster in Finland The Talvivaara mine – Water consequences  and the film Ungreen windpower: Sámi Indigenous and scientific perspectives on fossil dependent and environmentally destructive designs, 2021. Other films are available at the youtube channel for the research group “Dálkke: Indigenous Climate Change Studies”.

Our research work is funded by FORMAS, Dnr 2019-0197 within the Swedish National Research Program on Climate Change, and FORMAS Dnr 2021-01723. Dálkke: Indigenous Climate Change Studies, at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism (CEMFOR), Uppsala University