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Image: Sara Rylander

Relate North symposium and exhibition 2023

The Relate North Symposium 2023 has successfully concluded at Umeå University. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the artists, researchers, and academics who joined us in exploring the intricate dynamics of this years theme 'Beyond Borders.' Your contributions and insights have been invaluable in enriching our understanding of the roles and impacts of boundaries in our world. We look forward to continuing these important conversations and collaborations in the future.


The ASAD Network aims to identify and share innovative practices in learning, teaching, research and knowledge exchange in the fields of art, design and visual culture education. The network promotes cooperation and collaboration between academic institutions and communities with the purpose of working towards a shared understanding of critical issues relevant to people living in the North.

Every year, the Relate North Symposium & Exhibition attracts leading scholars and artists from around the circumpolar north to present research and debate issues of concern to arctic and subarctic regions through the lens of art and design. ASAD seek to investigate questions such as: How might design practices respond some of the challenges facing those living in northern and arctic areas today? What role might art play in chronicling and communicating issues important to people in the North? How might the visual arts represent a northern sense of place?
For further information about the ASAD Network visit https://www.asadnetwork.org/


People's lives and contextual understanding are governed and regulated to a great extent by borders and boundaries of various kinds, such as political, cultural, material, ideological and geographical divisions. A boundary can be physical in the form of an actual obstacle in the landscape, as well as mental beliefs grounded in our culture and social norms. Borders can thus limit us, but at the same time act as a catalyst for creative actions and resistance. Art has often served as a way for people to challenge, renegotiate, redefine and transgress boundaries. In a time characterized by political and environmental concerns, this theme is important to investigate – especially in relation to the unique context of the Arctic and circumpolar north.


Key Note this year was Lisbet Skragelid!

Blurring the boundaries between art and education

In this presentation, Lisbet Skregelid draws attention to her own research that is motivated by a long-lasting interest in the role of art in society and education. She will present what she calls pedagogy of dissensus, which is an educational approach using the dissensual characteristics of art as an experimental and affective force, and thus blurring the boundaries between art and education. Skregelid demonstrates the relevance of placing art in the centre of education by referring to how this pedagogy takes place in different contexts, ranging from educational practice in the art museum and teacher education to Skregelid´s own artistic research. In particular, she will refer to the ongoing project “My stunning stream – made with a little mischief” which is based on Skregelid´s running since March 2020. In the presentation, she draws attention to how the project challenges borders between art, education, research and lived practice and in what ways the project enables world-centredness and ecological awareness.

Artist Bio 

Lisbet Skregelid is a Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Agder, Norway. Here she leads the research group Art and Young People. She is engaged in questions regarding why art matters in society in general and in education in particular. Her research interests are within the expanded field of art education, and she has many years of praxis experience in this context. In recent years she has had extensive collaborations with artists in both teaching and research. Skregelid has written books, book chapters, and articles where she makes propositions for arts-based approaches to education and what she calls pedagogy of dissensus. In her latest research Skregelid´s own art practice is the point of departure for discussing art educational issues and questions related to sustainability.


Main organizers:

Timo Jokela, Professor of Art Education, Faculty of Art & Design and University of Lapland. Chair of Thematic Network of Arctic Sustainable Arts & Design
Lotta Lundstedt, Artistic associate professor, Department of Creative Studies, Umeå University
Glen Coutts, Professor of Applied Visual Arts (Education), Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland

Organising group, Umeå University:

Frida Marklund, Karin Ågren, Erik Sigurdson, Stina Westerlund, Hanna Ahrenby, Henrik Oja, Anders Lind, Sara Rylander, Sofie Weibull


Latest update: 2023-11-21