Finland-based multidisciplinary artist and scholar, Dr. Raisa Foster (b. 1976), has been focusing on the questions of eco-social justice for the past several years. She holds the titles of adjunct professor in dance pedagogy (University of the Arts Helsinki) and in social pedagogy, especially artistic research and practice (University of Eastern Finland). Currently, she is working as a university researcher at the University of Eastern Finland.
Originally a dance practitioner, Foster combines her expertise in body and movement with novel possibilities of digital media, creating accessible but conceptually stimulating total works of art. In her drawings, she is not interested in illustrating an "assumed reality" but in contrast, she is fascinated by the drawing process itself in trying to find an organic expression of the now, the presence.
After completing her Ph.D. in educational sciences at the University of Tampere in 2012, Foster strived even more in her artistic research, which involved studying the topic of otherness, including gender identity, (dis)ability, and interspecies empathy. Both public and private funders have extensively supported Foster's artistic research over the last 15 years. In 2015–2017 Foster was leading the Art-Eco research project on empathetic-ecological humanity, which was funded by Kone Foundation. Her performances and media works have been exhibited in Finland, Iceland, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the USA. Foster's film Sounds of Grey (2016) was an official selection of the Loikka on Tour program in 2018—2019, and her video work Lupina (2016) is in the collection of Tampere Art Museum. Foster has written several academic articles on the topics of recognition, contemporary art, dance, and ecosocial education.
She lives and works in Tampere, surrounded by the thousands of lakes and forests of Finland.