Value, art, experience, politics

Though science might take front and centre stage quite often in Svalbard, art certainly plays some interesting roles up here. There are long-standing artists residency programmes (for both Longyearbyen and Ny Alesund) and expedition trips (like The Arctic Circle or Cape Farewell) specifically for artists and art-science collaborations, which have attracted many to these shores,… Read More

Making is Connecting and Making Connections: Post conference thoughts of the RGS

At the end of August I attended the Royal Geographic Society (with IBG)’s annual conference in London. In preparation for, during and after the event I did a fair amount of reflecting on what the purpose of taking part in conferences are. I think it’s fair to say that academics put a fair amount of… Read More

12th June – Into the mountain

We log in via the visitors book, pass the security guy, don hard hats with the Statsbygg logo (the state construction arm of the Norwegian government) and file into the dank corridor (which must be the bit outside the mountain) and through the second metal door that has been unlocked for us. We descend as… Read More

31st May – Trying and research

I’ve had a day focussed on tourism today, one way or another. It’s actually ‘low season’ at the moment, between the busy snow-scooter, skiing – filled March and April and the summer season proper, although there are still visitors about here and there. So, like the tourist operators and service providers, I have been gearing… Read More

28th May – Everything’s political

(For anyone not of the right age and taste in music to get the Skunk Anansie reference, this blog title needs screaming loudly and with passion!) As mentioned last week, Environmental Protection is a big talking point in Svalbard, as is the future of coal mining here. The ‘paradox’ between the two, is perhaps no… Read More

Summer Svalbard Part 2: Petunia Bay Camp

From 2 -9th July I joined the KTH (Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology)/ Illinois University field course: Environment and Society in a changing Arctic on their trip to Petunia Bay (we named our camp ‘Avangostad’ in honor of the course leader/ benevolent dictator, Dag Avango). What an incredible and magical week this was! Coming into… Read More