KULTVA is a network for researchers and students interested in the themes of culture and interaction. KULTVA cherishes community as well as encouragement and support for academic collaboration in addition to creative and critical research. While the focus of KULTVA lies in social sciences, we seek multidisciplinary conversations and collaboration between and across different methods, disciplines, and universities, as well as with communities and actors outside academia.
KULTVA is committed to the following values:
- Action over intention and connecting our scholarships with the struggle on the streets
- Community building
- Critical thinking and reflection as well as creativity in research
- Equality in practice, not just in statements
- Finding enthusiasm and joy in academic life while also ‘killing joy’, if said joy is based on implicitly or explicitly accepting the violence imparted onto others
- Openness to a multitude of experiences and hearing every voice
In building community, KULTVA recognizes that the university is not a neutral space but an institution that prioritizes certain experiences over others. This often creates multiple oppressions and an environment that perpetuates epistemic violence and unequal access to opportunities and resources. While marginalized persons are regularly “included” in the university through recruitment practices, the underlying structures of differential treatment remain unchanged. In such a context, KULTVA is committed to the work of dismantling hierarchies, examining and dismantling whiteness, and creating space to acknowledge and learn about problematic aspects within the history of academia.
As part of its academic activities, KULTVA aims to promote a sense of community at the University and beyond, and to create spaces for the joy of academic life, such as collective critical thinking and action. In doing so, KULTVA aims to unpack oppressive binaries and to address various inequalities of the academic culture related to e.g. race, gender, class, discipline, or methods. We hope to implement mechanisms allowing our community to address conflict and discomfort arising from unlearning these systems in a respectful, transformative way.
At the level of our network and our department, KULTVA practices prefiguration – aspiring to create here and now the types of communities and practices we want to see prevail in academia in the future. KULTVA especially aims to support marginalized persons, students, and early career researchers.
As concrete steps, KULTVA will
- commit to offer events both in Finnish and English
- adopt safer space guidelines in seminars and events
- plan how to promote antiracism in our events and within our network
- offer information on accessibility in event information and organise events in accessible spaces whenever possible
- invite speakers from different backgrounds
- organise events that bring out new and critical voices according to our values
- actively bring together students and researchers from different career stages