25th June – Waste not want not

Scrap metal lined up for shipping in Pyramiden I have been thinking about ‘waste’ and its value quite a lot while in Svalbard. Pyramiden one might think is an extreme example. However, though teaming with things that are no longer in use for their original purpose, there is a significant amount that is not in… 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

Putting value theory into action?

Last month I presented a seminar on ‘Putting value theory into action’, in our Aberystwyth departmental seminar series ‘Dialogues in Human Geography’ alongside the imminently interesting Jon Brettell talking about puddles (yes, puddles!). It was a good challenge to finally bring together my thoughts on value and how to relate it to Svalbard. Presenting in… 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

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