Getting ready for my first international conference on IR ... sleepless night ... early wake up ... flight from North to South - Rovaniemi to Helsinki - and then all the way to Warsaw Chopin Airport (being stunned by the rectangular landscape dominated by agricultural patterns) ... learning to use the local public transport ... finding the registration desk in beautiful main campus of Warsaw University to participate the third day of the 8th Pan European Conference on International Relations held in 18 - 21 of September ... and catching breath during a happy reunion with friends and colleagues near and far ... and finally searching my way to the Arctic International Relations Panel 3 - The Arctic of Regions or Globalization hosted by professor Lassi Heininen.
The session was held in the building for Faculties of Applied Linguistics and Modern Languages just a couple of blocks away from the main campus. Modern small scale lecture room with a lovely view to the roof tops of Warsaw gave nice surroundings for the event. What was announced in the very beginning by the chair, was that the three presentations where going to be very different in ways in which they approached the thematic of the session. Topics started from the arising polar imageries within geopolitics, where the hypothetical cab between what is planned and spoken, and what is done and taken into action was under debate; and continued with realized form of governance with more legally oriented terms. Being one of the three presenters was a friendly experience, with vivid comments and conversation. My fears of being completely out of the focus with my ideas on material agencies and economic performances were relieved by the responses given be the experts of Arctic policies and cultural heritage.
Being accurate with schedule enabled presenters and audience to move to evening program which took place outdoors in the Gardens of the New Library of the University of Warsaw. When the night was getting darker, guest were served with delicious traditional Polish dishes and funky jazz music played by the most charming band of elderly gentlemen. After getting well fed and relaxed I finally searched my way to the booked hotel just to find out that they were going (very politely) to upgrade me to five stars hotel in the very centre of the city. When the exhausting day was over and I was getting ready for the returning to North in the next morning, I didn't want to go to sleep but to enjoy the view where the Palace of Culture and Science was bathing in the light of the moon. Looking forward to return to Warsaw ...
Text by Joonas Vola