Image of Amar Kanwar's IHME Helsinki Commission 2022 screen shot of a log in page, tree in a field

IHME Helsinki 2022

Screenshot of Amar Kanwar’s IHME Helsinki 2022 Commission, Learning from Doubt online course’s log in page.

Amar Kanwar: Learning from Doubt

If every moment contains the possibility of being alive and being dead then could an acute awareness of every moment also create an acute consciousness of living and dying? If a crime continues to occur regardless of the enormous evidence available then is the crime invisible or the evidence invisible or are both visible but not seen?” Amar Kanwar

The IHME Helsinki Commission 2022 Learning from Doubt by artist, film maker Amar Kanwar is an online, ten-week educational course based on and emerging from Kanwar´s art installation and exhibition The Sovereign Forest. Lessons learned from experiments on ecological sustainability with a unique rice seed bank in the village of Narisho in Odisha, India and the experiences gained during the making and exhibiting of The Sovereign Forest were integrated into the course.

IHME Helsinki Commissions are also realized abroad. We made it possible for The Sovereign Forest to continue in India during the pandemic. In addition, the Learning from Doubt course, customized for the local audience, took place in March 2023 in Nepal as part of the learning program of Photo Kathmandu festival.

We are also very happy to tell you that the course will take place for the second time, at the request of our partners, in Helsinki in September – October 2023 for five weeks! The course is once again implemented as a multidisciplinary university collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki and HELSUS, the Institute of Sustainability Science at the University of Helsinki. Read more!

Essay about the online course: What can contemporary art teach us about knowledge?

Joonas Pulkkinen, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts, Helsinki, has written an essay about the online course Learning from Doubt. In the essay, he analyses his own experience and unpacks the contents of the course. The essay was published on our website and on Voima online magazine. A shortened version appeared in Voima’s printed edition on 7 November 2022.

The essay unravels the contents of the course in several ways and links it to the current world situation. It offers readers access to the course, even if they have not attended it themselves. Pulkkinen also cites printed and online sources to provide some background on the course’s themes. Reading the essay gives us an idea of ​​the course as a work of art and of what Kanwar’s artistic method of doubt has taught him, but also of the situation of indigenous people in the Indian province of Odisha and of the struggle on behalf nature that is intrinsic to their belief systems.

Read the essay here

Learning from Doubt – student assignments


IHME Helsinki 2022 Commission Amar Kanwar’s  Learning from Doubt online course was attended by students of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts and sustainability science students of the University of Helsinki. Some of them continued the reflections that arose in the course in the form of their own final thesis. Learning from Doubt student assignments were presented during Environmental Humanities Month on Thursday 3 November 2022 in an online event open for all. The task was to investigate alternative ways of evaluating and understanding their chosen environmental crime. In their assignments students have applied Kanwar’s method of doubt.

We are glad that Amar Kanwar’s course has continued to live on in the students’ works and that they can be seen by everyone.

Learning from Doubt student assignments

Watch the recording of the online presentations of student assignments at IHME’s YouTube channel.

A very inspiring course – one of the best one I’ve taken in my degree. Such a great opportunity to learn first-hand from Amar and the other teachers.

Participant feedback in 2022

What is IHME?

We combine art, science, and climate work