A story about my failed attempt of shooting a wild reindeer, and of a successful hunt for petrol
This story is dedicated to my friend Yarkolana (Nikolay) Khorotetto, who was tragically found dead (link in Russian) in the tundra, probably killed just after my birthday in 2019. This story takes us 20 years back, to my journey in spring 2001 with young Yarkolana and Dennis to Ostrov Belyi, White Island in the Arctic Ocean. We were all unexperienced and adventurous, did not know how to honour the spirits on Yamal KheKhe, the most sacred site in the entire region. Almost we were punished for this, but only almost. It’s a story of a steep learning curve, of immediate Soviet heritage, and of the hunger for intellectual food in the tundra.
This was my first cold night ever in a chum in the Yamal tundra. It’s a story of ‘lesson learned’ early on in my fieldwork practice, that you need not only to be keen to participate in people’s life, but also be a good observer for the details. The price I had to pay for this in the end was a fever:(
Here are some photos from that day
I have been doing fieldwork with Yamal Nenets reindeer herders for more than 20 years now, and have noticed this year a change in their perception of the changes happening around them, maybe partially reinforced by corona virus.
Be it industrial expansion, the icing-over of pastures, outbreaks of diseases, methane holes in the tundra, the change of a political regime or other disasters – they have always given me the impression of incredible self-confidence that whatever comes, these tough enthusiastic nomadic reindeer herders will manage to face the challenge and continue their life. Continue reading ““CCC” – corona, climate change and conspiracy in the Yamal tundra”
Our anthropology colleague Prof Hannu Heikkinen from Oulu just sent this around. Seems to be a rather rare opportunity for a permanent job in Arctic Anthropology!
Arctic Interactions (ArcI) is a programme designed to achieve global leadership in the area of “Understanding and mitigating global change in the Arctic through fundamental studies at the interface between the natural and social sciences in the north”. These studies are aimed at weaving new discoveries and understanding into sustainable resource use, while informing those dedicated to mitigation and providing the information needed to help achieve sustainable communities throughout the North. The ArcI community in Oulu include 30 PIs linked to three research areas (www.oulu.fi/arci).
The tenure track position “Cultural histories and traditional knowledge of resource use” will strengthen the ArcI research area “Human-environmental relationship” (https://www.oulu.fi/kvantum/node/56116 ).
The research of the tenure track position should examine cultural histories and traditional environmental knowledge of natural resource use by using past records and data mining methods to identify key cultural conceptions and practices, that are focal to local communities to adapt to changing environmental condition and affect how the environment and its resources are used and understood. The position will be based at the Unit of History, Culture and Communication, the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu.
The tenure track position is open to highly talented individuals who hold a doctoral degree and have excellent potential for a successful scientific career. Based on the experience and competence, the successful applicant will be placed at the level of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor.
Our colleagues organise an interesting workshop during the Arctic Science Summit Week in Akureyri. If you go there anyway, this is surely worth checking out:
We would like to invite you to the 2-days gender-workshop during ASSW 2020 where natural sciences and social sciences share their experiences.
IASC & IASSA Workshop Gender in Polar Research –
Gendered field work conditions, epistemologies and legacies
Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in Akureyri, Iceland
29–30 March 2020
See the multi-faceted, exciting program via this link.
Please, do not hesitate to drop in any time, in case you do not have time to follow the full program.
We have prepared talks, arts and interactive elements and welcome you, in particular, to share in the afternoon your knowledge and experience in break out groups and the “walk of ideas”.
We welcome all participants of the Arctic Science Summit Week 2020 to a cross-disciplinary workshop to discuss and reflect on the gendered nature of Polar research.
The workshop will combine three strands of debate that have thus far not been discussed systematically:
- Doing science in the 21st century in a way that departs from but also pays careful attention to the history of exploration and colonial endeavours as “heroic” and masculine activities – while a masculine image still seems to dominate the methodologies and practices of Arctic and Polar research.
- The still existing gender gap when it comes to female researchers in hard sciences, their career prospects, and their sometimes difficult working conditions as women in the field. Critiques of the gender gap and gendered research work have thus far neglected the diversity aspects of queer and gender minority (LGBTQI) researchers. They face particular challenges while working in a still largely heteronormative research environment as it is described for research stations, vessels or tundra/taiga camps.
- The gendered composition of researchers as actors and the gendered spaces of conducting research, including the field sites, have an important impact on research interests, research design, research ethics and epistemology. The gender bias affects the research subject and methodology, and Polar research can learn from and communicate with other fields of science about how to ensure a high standard of equality, sensitivity to issues of marginalization, and ethical production of science.
LONG DESCRIPTION: https://gender-arctic.jimdofree.com/
The workshop is financially supported by IASC and organised by members of the “Gender in the Arctic” Working Group of IASSA.
With best regards and looking forward to you in Akureyri,
Gertrude Saxinger, IASC SHWG, IASSA
J. Otto Habeck, IAS SHWG, IASSA
Stephan Dudeck, IASSA
Katariina Kyrölä, IASSA
IASSA WG Gender in the Arctic
Our colleagues Gunhild Hoogensen Gjorv with Marc Lanteigne launched the Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security, of which they are the main editors, and where there are some chapters relevant for (and co-authored by) us. Gunhild said that the starting point for their approach to security is much broader than just hard dominant state approaches to security, focusing on security that matters to people on the ground. The basics is that feeling secure is first and foremost being free from worry. I think in this definition security as a concept is related pretty closely to well-being, another of our focuses. It would be interesting to explore the connections between the two more explicitly. The book has 42 authors, of which seven were at the launch during the Arctic Frontiers conference 2020 in Tromso. The contributions cover the whole range of security issues connected to the Arctic Council, communities and extractive industries, indigenous theoretical approaches to security, legal reform and security in Russia, and in all other Arctic countries, energy security, peace, and many other relevant topics.
Our colleagues from the library have alerted us to their colloquium, which is this year about the participation of knowledge-holders in the sharing and archiving practices that have transformed the role of libraries. Please see this announcement. The meeting is from 7-13 June 2020 in Quebec city. https://www.fourwav.es/view/1500/info/
All information professionals are invited to the Colloquy. Proposals on other subjects related to northern or polar information will also be considered.
Do librarians and archivists have a significant role in sharing Indigenous and non-Indigenous northern cultures? Do they still have a real impact in 2019 on the transmission of knowledge related to the polar world? How can the physical and virtual spaces of libraries and archive centres remain, in the era of information and communication technologies, essential places for sharing cultures and knowledge about the North and the Poles? The organizers invite you to submit papers on projects, services or thoughts related to these issues. Within the context of libraries and archives, the following sub-themes could be addressed:
- Cultural exchanges and connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous northern communities.
- Transmission of Indigenous and non-Indigenous northern traditional knowledge and practices.
- First Nations involvement in information management, preservation or dissemination.
- Reconciliation and decolonization of libraries and archives.
- Enhancement of heritage documents related to polar cultures and knowledge.
- Popularization of major social and environmental issues and democratization of scientific knowledge related to northern or polar territories.
- Establishing a culture of data preservation and sharing among northern or polar researchers.
- Interdisciplinary and intersectoral management of research data on northern or polar territories.
- Contributions from libraries or archive centres to foster the practice of interdisciplinarity in research on northern and polar territories.
This was one of the guiding topics discussed at the session hosted by our WOLLIE project during the Rovaniemi Arctic Spirit conference 2019. On the one hand, the session served as a meeting spot for all the project members, to introduce their preliminary results to a broader audience. On the other hand, we engaged more broadly with concepts and debates in Arctic youth research.
30 Oct, 14:00, Rovaniemi, Arktikum, 2nd floor, coffee room.
In this Wednesday Afternoon Coffee Chat (WACC) Florian Stammler will have a dialogue session with Aytalina Ivanova from Yakutsk reflecting on Arctic research agendas. What was supposed to be the first trip in a new multi-party consortium on scenarios of a changing Arctic became an example of how research agendas can – and should – change in response to the concerns of those people with whom we work in the field. During the first research trip, it turned out that rather than the project topic – people in the field were concerned about other things that are more immediately related to their future as a community. You are welcome to join and find out what worries people even more than the changing Arctic Climate. This WACC will feature impressive photos and videos from a very extreme environment on the shore of the Arctic Ocean, with nomads who unite tradition and innovation in very original ways. All welcome, coffee and biscuits will be served.