Wednesday May 24, 2017

Register today


Week Ahead

The power of six

Libraries in Scandinavia, Greenland and New York want to help us make sense of the accelerating scientific and political changes in the Arctic
Providing clarity of thought, even when vision is not (Photo: Sermitsiaq)

Share this article

Facebook Google Twitter Mail

iAbout Press releases

As part of our continuing efforts to bring you as much information about our region as possible we offer readers a press release service that allows private firms, public agencies, non-governmental organisations and other groups to submit relevant press releases on our website.

All press releases in this section are published in their full length and have not been edited.

If you have a press release or other announcement you would like to have published, please send it to

We reserve the right to reject press releases we deem irrelevant or inappropriate. 

All material submitted to The Arctic Journal, including pictures and videos, will be assumed to be available for publication by The Arctic Journal and its related entities.

Each week, The Arctic Journal gets our readers ready for the week ahead by profiling some of the events we expect to be reading about in the coming days. If you have an event you think ought to be profiled in a coming week, please contact us.

Arctic Imagination involves the participation of the following libraries:

Det Kongelige Bibliotek/the Royal Danish Library
The New York Public Library
Kungliga Biblioteket/the National Library of Sweden
Stockholms Stadsbibliotek/Stockholm City Libraries
Nasjonalbiblioteket/the National Library of Norway
Nunatta Atuagaateqarfia/the Central Library of Greenland

The Consulate General of Denmark in New York is also involved with the project

Think about it: in the past hundred years, the Arctic has gone from being a place where outsiders travelled at their peril, to a place that, today, is mostly thought of by outsiders as place that is in dire need of human protection.

Typically, the rapid pace of change, and the challenges it poses, is viewed through the lens of the scientist, the lawmaker or the diplomat. Such upheaval, however, is not without its intellectual challenges. Who better to help sort that out than artists?

Such is the background for a collaboration between six libraries on two continents that are seeking to force audiences to consider not just how changes affect the Arctic, but also to project the dramatic changes in the region onto developments of a more global nature.

SEE RELATED: To thine own selfie be true

The project, titled Arctic Imagination, holds its next session this evening in Copenhagen, where it puts two authors, each with their own relationship to Greenland, on stage to discuss the country in terms of what is described as “a state of mind”.

Such depictions may be unnecessarily abstruse. One of the participants involved in tonight’s conversion, Sørine Steenholdt (above left), an young Greenlandic author, describes it more plainly: “The Arctic is the place where I come from, my home. I don’t think over it in my daily life. Maybe I take things for granted, but when I think about the future, I can get worried that things will never be the same again.”

Sitting across from her will be Kim Leine (above right), a Danish-Norwegian author who has received awards for his novels about Greenland, a place he lived for 15 years. The inside-outside perspective provides him a platform for becoming a modern chronicler of the country’s past and present. 

SEE RELATED: Landmark night for Nordic Council awards 

Their positions will be different, though perhaps not at odds. Such is the point the exercise, and will allow it to live up to its billing as an unusual co-operation that ponders the future of the region.

Previous sessions have sought to explain Arctic change in the narrative of the photographer and the architect. Later audiences will be introduced to the musician’s vision of the region.

Can the intellectual and practical be reconciled? Arctic Imagination will make the attempt: later this month, Laurent Fabius takes the stage in Copenhagen. The former French PM and foreign minister is perhaps best known for shepherding the negotiations that led to the landmark Paris Agreement during the 2015 UN climate summit in the French capital.