The current climate crisis is transforming our world rapidly, with the most rapid transformations seen in the northern latitude. As the climate changes, it does not only alter habitats and livelihoods, but it affects entities in a much deeper way. The North Escaping captures this mental state which not only includes fear and anticipation of change, but also the loss of a certain world and the birth of a completely new one. Something is slipping away, slowly, and we are not sure what all this means.
A change in weather, ecosystems, agriculture, human settlements and cultures is ahead because of the redistribution of water, plants and animals (including people) across natural and artificial borders. We know that the North is already escaping, with the number of snow cover days decreasing, with new species entering the country from the south and the range of others narrowing in the north, and with children not learning to ski. It is not an overstatement to say that the way we answer to this change, how we ignore, resist or adapt, will be defining the future of existence of the northern cultures and livelihoods.
Under the umbrella of The North Escaping, the Bioart Society will organize a series of activities. This includes six transdisciplinary research residencies at the Ars Bioarctica residency program, accommodated with a public outreach program in Helsinki, and the production of artworks, workshops and events stemming from the residencies.
The aim of the residencies is to explore the current and approaching transformations in the North, to investigate the possible consequences of these developments, and how we can build cultural capacities to deal with them. The residencies call for the arts to work with design, architecture, natural sciences, humanities, engineering, indigenous stakeholders, the public at large – and other who feel they have a say in this – in transdisciplinary collaborations to develop new skills and knowledge.
The North Escaping is supported by Nordisk Kulturkontakt.
Photo: Björn Kröger