Guest lecture by Trebbe Johnson: Embodied methods for encountering eco-emotions

House of Science and Letters (Tieteiden talo), Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki, lecture room 505

Värikkäitä kiviä ja lehtiä jonossa maata vasten.

American environmental author and activist Trebbe Johnson will visit Finland for the first time in November 2023. She has created embodied methods for facing difficult eco-emotions. The most well-known form of her work is the international Radical Joy for Hard Times movement, where wounded places are engaged with communally. This practice has spread around the world and is also relevant in relation to young people's eco-emotions. The method is an example of how engaging with grief can also create space for joy. During her visit, Trebbe Johnson also talks about her work from the perspective of young people and future generations. Communal, embodied and sometimes also ritual-like activities can be part of promoting planetary health and sustainable well-being.

The seminar is part of the Finnish Youth Research Society's Planetary youth research project. The seminar takes place through strong content-based expert cooperation with environmental researcher Panu Pihkala and Tunne ry's Environment and the future in mind project (in Finnish). They will present comments at the event. The language of the event is English and it is possible to join the lecture online. Registration information below.


15.45 Welcoming coffee (vegan)

16.15 Opening of the event

  • Dr. Panu Pihkala, University of Helsinki
  • Research Professor Sofia Laine, the Finnish Youth Research Society

16.20 Visiting lecture

  • Trebbe Johnson's keynote presentation “Punch Through the Avalanche” and discussion

17.10 Requested comments and discussion

  • Dr. Panu Pihkala, University of Helsinki: "Bridging Trebbe Johnson's work with Finnish contributions"
  • Hanna Rintala, Tunne ry.: "Engaging with eco-emotions"
  • Research Professor Sofia Laine, the Finnish Youth Research Society: "Planetary youth research and the support of social rituals and deep play in public spheres"

17.45 End of the event. Follow-up discussions at a nearby restaurant.

Registration and online participation

Registration has ended but you are welcome to follow the lecture online at The Zoom link will open shortly before the event.

The Zoom link will open on Wednesday at 16.00. Participants can therefore come on line shortly before the event starts at 16.15.

The seminar is free, but if you wish, you can make a voluntary donation to the Radical Joy movement.

Recording of the event

Please note that a recording will be made of the keynote speeches and pre-arranged comments. Please also note that the whole event will be streamed.

More information

Research Professor Sofia Laine

Environmental Researcher Panu Pihkala

Works by Trebbe Johnson

You can get a good introduction from the book Johnson, Trebbe. 2018. Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty in Earth's Broken Places. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Practical method booklet: Johnson, Trebbe. 2017. 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. [USA]: Radjoy Press.

The latest work (2023) takes you to deep questions about living in the middle of an environmental crisis and different emotions: Johnson, Trebbe. 2023. Fierce Consciousness: Surviving the Sorrows of Earth and Self. Calliope Books.

Photo: Sofia Laine.