HUMANS & COCKRACHES - UNITE!
In collaboration w/ Fond Worapoj + Yang Xu + Samra Šabanovic
2018 / student organisation
HURSA (Humans, Unity and Roaches social club of Aalto University) is a community where Aalto people and various species of cockroaches, find common interests in interspecies politics, ecology, sustainability and social life. The idea of establishing the association is not only to conduct proximity of interspecies companionship but also to learn, live and understand the other in multiple ways within our current geological epoch. It is known that Cockroaches have lived on Earth for more than 320 million years. Insects represent an estimated 80% of the world’s biodiversity—billions of bugs are busily aerating soil, spreading seeds, pollinating flowers, and recycling organic matter. What can we learn from critters that have survived 3 mass extinction events? Can we coexist with the disobedient wild? How much control and comfort are we ready to surrender for the survival of our and other species?
The student organisation HURSA was founded to conduct activist design research. The organization was advertised throughout the Aalto University campus by using posters for humans in English and posters for cockroaches in Cockroachian (written by cockroaches walking through ink onto paper). A Facebook event and Instagram account were also used to advertise the values of HURSA and a sign-up event took place where anyone could join the association by filling out a questionnaire. During the sign-up event, people could get to know our organisation better through conversation and a brochure explaining the activities and benefits of such interspecies relationships and the stories of 3 founding members (Aleksi Heino / Toivo / Sammy McFlea)
The campaign and sign-up event provoked questions, talks, arguments. Reflections and dreams were shared on the possibilities and impossibilities of unconventional interspecies companionships.