Windows to the past and future

“Ruins challenge us to make sense of them, as they frame emptiness and dramatize the evanescence of meaning…we need to make them speak and militate for our theories”  Schönle, A. (2006 p. 652) Whilst the fascination with ruins in academia and beyond can be questioned for it’s potential for nostalgic views on troubled pasts through… Read More

14-16th June – Photography in Pyramiden

  ‘Pyramiden has captured a part of my heart – so many secrets, stories, such beauty… Diolch yn fawr!’ Samantha Saville, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK.   The guest book at The Tulip Hotel, Pyramiden, in which I attempted to sum up the impossible, has entries from 1987 up to 2000 (I guess some tourists found it… Read More

23rd May – Sensing value?

Quite a bit of the week’s discussions have been around cultural heritage, how that is defined, protected and managed in Svalbard. Time with my trusty field assistant is running out, so we went on an excursion to go and experience some local cultural heritage…or did we? Gruve (mine) 5 was built from 1957 and extracted… Read More

Persistent Memories of Pyramiden: book and field review

Right at the beginning of this blog I mentioned reviewing the book Persistent Memories: Pyramiden – a Soviet mining town in the High Arctic, by Hein Bjerk, Bjornar Olsen and Elin Andreassen, (2010). Now I have visited Pyramiden myself, I feel in a stronger position to say something about its subject matter as well as… Read More

Nordic Notes

Well we had an amazing little holiday travelling round the West of Iceland: lava fields, volcanic craters, natural springs, waterfalls, seals, a glacier, crazy mossy/ lunar looking landscapes, snow-topped mountains, a Viking… But the reason for being there – the Nordic Geographers Meeting, also far exceeded expectations. I’ve had a really good time there meeting… Read More

Venturing a little way North – to the Nordic Geographers Meeting

After what seems like a very, very long wait this year, summer has finally arrived in Mid-Wales, and it’s stunningly beautiful. You can kind of hear, smell, sense and see the relief and joy the sun and warmth brings. And we’re leaving. It feels exceptionally ‘wrong’! I’ve been planning this first set of Arctic trips… Read More

History, Memory and Green Imaginaries Symposium reflections

 Just before attending this event [1] I remember questioning why I was going. Sure it sounded interesting, but I had umpteen assignments, marking, supervisions, all sorts that were looming, should I really be going to a conference that I’m not presenting at? Well, I’m really glad I did, it was an inspiring day full of… Read More