Arctic Action VII

What happened to us…?

September 12-22 - 2024

The Arctic is a vaste and unique area located on the top of the world. It is home to some of the world’s last great wildernesses. The Arctic is known for its remarkable wildlife, adapted and tough vegetation, natural resources, astonishing glacial landscapes and the extraordinary arctic light. Most of this land was first inhabited by an indigenous population, but is today also home for versatile communities spreading through different countries on the northernmost part of Earth.
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The Arctic’s average temperature has already risen at a rate of almost three times the global average, warming faster than any other region on Earth, suffering from amplified climate crisis effects while also trying to cope with the impacts from a growing global rush for resources, new shipping routes, and opportunities.
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What happens in the Arctic will influence the rest of our planet. Without urgent action to slash greenhouse gas emissions, the world will continue to feel the effects of a warming Arctic. For areas around the world this will mean rising sea levels, changing temperature and precipitation patterns, and more severe weather events.
In the Arctic, changes due to the climate crisis are already causing nature to break down, causing risks to the livelihoods, health and cultural identities of Indigenous and local communities. These changes, many of which are irreversible, will result in a very different Arctic than the one we have been used to.
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Svalbard is an archipelago in the high north under Norwegian sovereignty, but the land has never been inhabited by people who have lived since time immemorial, respectfully harvesting from nature. Today there is a Norwegian and a Russian settlement on the biggest island. About 2500 people are living in Longyearbyen, the Norwegian settlement. About one third of these are non Norwegians and are not allowed to vote and do not have the same social rights as the Norwegians even though they have been living here most of their lives. They feel like second and third range citizens. The right to vote was taken from the non Norwegians in 2022. The feeling of being displaced is upon them. The two biggest communities of non Norwegians are the Philippine- and the Thai communities.
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Throughout history the world has been served images of the Arctic from the eye of the exotic traveler or the colonialist explorer. There have always been great artists living and working in the Arctic, but they have not been given enough attention and a platform or a market to present their work as they often are considered local.
Arctic Action opens up for global and local artists to work together, sharing their experiences and their knowledge. Only the people living in the north for a long time, feeling the north, seeing the changes and knowing their culture can be trusted as a witness of the North. Only the people who have lived without rights and belonging or with oppression for a long time can talk about uncertainty, fear and displacement and what that does to a person or a community.
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Arctic Action VII is a platform for these topics. What happened to us…?
In which direction is the world moving…? The climate crises are the biggest challenge for humanity of all time…, with rising sea levels, changing temperature and precipitation patterns forcing people, communities and cultures to move. Simultaneously we are having wars in Ukraine and in Gaza killing innocent civilians every day.
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The seventh edition of Arctic Action will invite Indigenous artists and artists from the North, but also artists from Ukraine, Palestine and Thailand.
We are really excited and curious to see how the nomadic artists will relate to the concepts of climate, displacement, wilderness, ground, territory and space.
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The artists will soon be announced here…
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Supported by:

Nordic Culture Fund

KORO

Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter

Longyearbyen Lokalstyre

About

The idea of the project is to create a sustainable and innovative event showcasing major international artists representing different tendencies in performance art. In the first edition of the festival we decided to host one artist at the time for between 7 and 10 days. To give time to the artist to come closer to the environment, to better understand it, feel it and work in it. Then we wanted to produce a 7-10 days festival where all artists collectively were invited for a certain period of time. Maybe they will as a group working together better understand the landscape and understand their challenges, how to work with the unique nature and animal life, the stillness and silence conveyed, as well as the societal structure of the small settlements. For the seventh edition of Arctic Action we want to invite ten artists from the North to tell their stories from the North.

Objective

Our objective of Arctic Action is to profile it as an innovative and high quality event of live art on the international contemporary art scene and highlight its natural core themes, the relationship between man and nature and environmental protection.
It is our hope that the art works produced in the exceptional natural environment of Svalbard will stimulate a greater awareness on the fragility of our planet.

Curator

The curator of Arctic Action is Svalbard native, Stein Henningsen, who has an extensive network on the international scene of live art. Having been active internationally producing work in Italy, France, China, USA, Canada, Czeck Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and of course Norway, Henningsen has an established position on the contemporary live art scene.

Our Vision

Arctic Action is a different international live event focusing on the artists working within an ecological approach. Moreover, discussing issues on the relationship of sustainable development and its relation to art, as well as art’s relation to scientific research on the environment.

Environment

Through its specific location, Arctic Action will in a natural way and quite probably through the artists work highlight global environmental issues.
Being a protected ecologic zone Svalbard is a natural example of a sustainable future. Most issues related to our planets survival and sustainability is inter-connected with Svalbard in one way or another, exemplified by the Global Seed Vault. A performance art event in this specific location can be exemplary in highlighting these vital issues.
Sometimes an image can speak more than a 1000 words, and we believe that the images created at Arctic Action will do that. Integrating the human action and its surrounding environment. Although the awareness on these global issues for a sustainable future are rising around the world, we believe that Arctic Action through its production of convincing artist images will be able to strengthen and support this development.

Contact

Org. No 914 901 774
Org name:
ARCTIC ACTION ART

Contact address:
c/o Stein Henningsen
P. O. Box 732
9171 LONGYEARBYEN

+47 99582558

Partners

Nordic Culture Fund

Longyearbyen Lokalstyre, Korkpenger