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Paths to the new Arctic
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. (Arcum)
2015 (English)In: The new Arctic / [ed] Birgitta Evengård, Joan Nymand Larsen, Øyvind Paasche, Cham: Springer, 2015, 1-6 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the late eighteenth century explorers and scientists started venturing into the Arctic beyond areas that were already populated by Indigenous peoples and a smaller number of new settlers, and ultimately towards the North Pole. It was about as far as anyone could get from civilization at the time, and in many respects it remains this way to this day. What the first explorers saw had not yet been seen and recorded by Western civilization. They were the first to tell the stories and document the state of the Arctic – its physical landscape and Indigenous cultures. The prosaic descriptions are many and colourful, moving and poetic, and they also soon began to provide detailed accounts of the state of Indigenous living conditions. A shared feature in these first accounts, in prints and in paintings, is the descriptions of a harsh and barren landscape frozen in time; static and unchangeable, except for the swift sways in weather. Fanciful images of indigenous communities in isolated settlements, without any contact with “western civilization” came to shape the following generations perception of the Arctic. While the Arctic gradually became a place where new maps and lines drawn became a reality to outsiders, it was also, and had been for thousands of years, the homeland for many and diverse groups of indigenous peoples, surviving in at times unforgiving conditions while developing vibrant cultures, including strong traditions for adapting to changing conditions. The storytelling is today highly valued by itself and for its importance as a complement to science. And northern art has become more vibrant than ever as shown in some chapters here integrating the changes occurring on so many grounds. It is time for new images of the region to be established. With this book we wish these new images and the new knowledge constantly being produced to reach a broad audience as the interested general public as well as policy-makers and scientific colleagues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2015. 1-6 p.
Keyword [en]
New images, Indigenous peoples, Sustainability, Climate change, Global impacts
National Category
Social and Economic Geography Environmental Sciences Ethnology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114149DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-17602-4_1ISBN: 978-3-319-17601-7ISBN: 978-3-319-17602-4OAI: diva2:894278
Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-14 Last updated: 2016-05-12Bibliographically approved

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