The upcoming meeting of the Geopolitics of the Forest Group will host artist and researcher Ignacio Acosta along with forest ecologist and historian Lars Östlund to discuss fires and land stewardship in the forests of Swedish Norrland. Ignacio will make a presentation based on his research focusing on “understanding Indigenous land stewardship” and “the negative impacts of the nation state disrupting traditional Indigenous ways of managing the land, where burning is one important aspect.” As expert respondent, Lars will co-moderate a follow-up conversation with Ignacio and the attending public along with group’s coordinator Clara West and chair Luis Berríos-Negrón.

Lars Östlund is Professor at SLU’s Department of Forest Ecology and Management. He is focusing on “forest history” where he works to try and understand the relationship between people and the forests from a long time perspective.

Ignacio Acosta is an artist and researcher based at Uppsala University’s Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism, working in territories under pressure from extractive industries. He leads a FORMAS funded project ‘Indigenous perspectives on forest fires, drought and climate change: Sápmi’ based at CEMFOR, Uppsala University. He is part of Traces of Nitrate, a UK AHRC funded collaborative visual research project based at the Royal College of Arts and the University of Brighton. Please see more on Ignacio’s project on forest and fires in Sápmi at:

More info on Ignacio’s research: 

  • 15.00 Welcome and introductions 
  • 15.10 Ignacio Acosta presents his research
  • 16.00 Fika/Coffee
  • 16.10 Follow-up conversation with expert respondent, Lars Östlund
  • 16.40 Discussion
  • 17.00 End

For more details contact UmArts research coordinator Clara West at

The Geopolitics of the Forest working group meets regularly to share their research on the geopolitics of the forest across art, architecture, political science and landscape ecology. The group are exploring how to develop holistic and interdisciplinary understandings of the human / forest relationship that can represent multiple, overlapping and conflicting interests. They aim to develop a shared critical space for new collaborative artistic research projects which deal with the ethical complexities of forestry in relation to the climate crisis, to reconsider the language and aesthetics of sustainability.

The meetings investigate multidisciplinary approaches to the human and nonhuman entanglements of the forest in Northern Sweden. Research questions investigate the ethical aesthetics of different kinds of woodlands and their material and geopolitical networks.

The Geopolitics of the Forest Working Group is chaired by Luis Berrios-Negron, UmArts Research Fellow in Art and Architecture. Members include: Gerd Aurell, artist; James B. Brown, architect; Sofia Johansson, curator; Toms Kokins, architect; Lars Östlund, forest historian; Edith Marie Pasquier, artist; Janina Priebe, political science; Moa Sandström, Sámi studies; Per Sandström, landscape ecologist, and many others who come to share their research, practices and ideas.