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Archaeologist Dr Malgorzata Kot, Warsaw University

Malgorzata is a key team member, whose central role in the original research this project is based on gives us access to the archaeological documents, materials and sites in Poland. Her focus will be to work on the original research materials, with an emphasis on exploring the ‘leads’ that were not followed through, such as locating the missing skull, and investigating the second finch skull found on location.

Art curator Dr Taru Elfving, independent, Finland

Taru's expertise in curating multidisciplinary projects with a feminist ecocritical focus aligns closely with the overall aims and structure of this project, which seeks to foster such conversations between the team members. Her own research will focus on experimenting with methods and approaches to curating/facilitating discussion that is undisciplinary, and that takes place on location – in the key sites of the cave and forest, but also the space imagined on and around the skeletons of girl and bird.

The Finch Girl

Research team

Dr Katja Hilevaara, Goldsmiths University of London

As well as the leader and facilitator of the project, Katja will draw on her artistic expertise in performance art and creative critical writing. The overall shape of this research propject is based on her response to the story of the Finch Girl, foregrounding creative ideas that imagine different possibilities to the mystery of the finch skull in the girl’s mouth.

Folklorist Dr Frog, University of Helsinki

The relationship between the Finnish forest mythology and folklore is key and Frog’s expertise in this field was invaluable in the original project. His research focus will be on gathering evidence and examples of human/animal metamorphoses and connections in folklore, such as the girl that became a salmon that inspired the myth of Aino’s drowning in Kalevala.

Sound Artist Dr Nell Catchpole, Guildhall School of Musica and Drama

Drawing on her ecological sound art background, Dr Catchpole’s research will focus specifically on birdsong, and she will work closely with the ornithologist, developing the idea that the girl spoke ‘finch’, imagining what this might sound like and how this communication took/might take place. The outcome/s of this artistic research will be an original composition/sound art.

Artist Writer Dr Emily Orley, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Emily is passionate about using hybrid writing forms to document events and open them outwards. She is particularly interested in the use of Speculative Fabulation (Haraway) as a feminist and decolonial tool to dismantle traditional hierarchies of knowledge in new and creative ways, and this expertise is central to the critical contexts of this project. The outcome/s of this artistic research will be an original artwork..

Ornithologist (tbc)

The ornithologist will have expertise in birdsong, and there will be a close collaborative relationship with the sound artist to map out different kinds of calls, their meaning, and how these might translate to human voice, or other instruments as a communicative tool that could be shared. The research focus here will be in response to the speculations offered by the rest of the team, and their probabilities when applied to ornithological practices.

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