This year, we have focused on research and mediation of nuanced narratives about the North, its local and indigenous stories and critical artistic initiatives, as well as the role of arts and culture in peacemaking. Here are some selected projects from 2023.
Together with our partners in Bodø, we initiated an interdisciplinary project Threads devoted to indigenous artistic from Greenland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia. Artists Julie Hardenberg, Timimie Märak, Alisa Gorshenina and Marita Isobel Solberg took part in a residency in Nordland, and contributed to panel discussions and performative events at the Hamsun Center in Hamarøy and the Fram Museum in Oslo. Project results - poetry, photo essay, texts are documented in a catalog.
Rjukan Solarpunk Arts Festival
The arts and science festival in the legendary industrial town of Rjukan where the hydrogen production started. Arts festival and a PhD school Empowered futures funded by the Research Council of Norway. Energy transition and sustainable development in the climate crisis are central for the festival - which aims at community development in Telemark as well.
A Forest Tale
Film A Forest Tale produced during the AAI residency in Arkhangelsk, Pinega and Kenozero National Park, had its British premiere at the Pushkin House. Later on, the film was shown at the Open City Documentary Festival and at Nordover Art Center on Svalbard. Ruth Maclennan is an artist and researcher based in London and northern Scotland. Her art practice includes films, video installations, photographs, writing, drawing and interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects. For the past ten years Maclennan has been researching experiences of climate heating and geopolitics.
A new text Redesigning Cultural Identity in Euro-Arctic Russia analyzing the ways young artists and designers could be engaged in reconstruction of fragile cultural ecosystems of the North is published at the cutting-edge journal Critical Studies for Fashion and Beauty. The article discusses consequences of the hypercentralized knowledge production in a given context, and suggests collaborative methodology of dialogical knowledge production and creating new imaginaries through art and design.
The Arctic Art Institute was present at the convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Philadelphia on 30 November. The session titled Towards Decolonizing Eastern European and Eurasian Art and Material Culture: From the 1800s to the Present was led by Hanna Chuchvaha (University of Calgary) and Alla Myzelev (SUNY at Geneseo).
In 2024, we will be working on an article for a book that becomes a part of a Critical Studies series of Brill, a respected publisher with a great presence in the field of arts and humanities.
Next year, we are looking forward to projects in New York and Great Britain, a research residency in Vadsø (thanks to the Troms and Finnmark County Council), projects for Arctic Congress and Bodø European Capital of Culture, and much more.