Arctic Voices: Expectations, Narratives and the Realities of Living with Extractive industries: new publication

Arctic Voices: Expectations, Narratives and the Realities of Living with Extractive industries in the Far North (Edited by Emma Wilson and Florian Stammler ) is the name of a new special issue.
It has been ages ago that we ran a conference session “People and the Extractive Industries” and a doctoral course in Rovaniemi in December 2013 in our Uarctic Thematic Network with some very good presentations on local perceptions and impacts of extractive EXIS_coverimageindustrial development in the Arctic. Out of this we thought we could publish a good volume as a special issue in some journal. It was mostly thanks to my colleague Emma Wilson that this actually happened, and “only” two years after the initial conference and course took place, we now have a full special section of a dedicated extractive industries journal, volume 3 issue one of “The Extractive Industries and Society”. I think that’s not too bad a turnover time for an entire publication process from scratch to published, including numerous editorial tasks, reviews, improvements, corrections, and negotiations with the journal and the authors. We ended up bringing together a whole set of really interesting papers, including on Greenland, on Norwegian extractive industrial settings, on Arctic Russia, on the Canadian Arctic, so we sort of reached the aim of “circumpolarity” at least to some extent with this collection. All of the articles in one way or the other address the relation between large scale governance and local situations on those places where big industry meets local livelihoods. That’s why we called the publication “Arctic Voices“. Many of the articles are open access, so we hope and aim for a wide distribution of the collection. If you have problems accessing papers, please let me know. And of course comments and discussions on any of the topics raised are warmly welcome!

The Mining Situation in Sweden from an Environmental Perspective – a Few Examples

Mountain landscape

Foreign, as well as Swedish based mining companies, prospect and exploit – as in drilling – for stones and minerals like never before in Sweden. The country is in at least the local newspapers presented as a Klondike, full of treasures just waiting to be ‘picked up’.

Abandoned and Closed Mines in Sweden – a Neglected Problem?

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Arctic city-communities and the extractive industries: urbanisation, industrial livelihoods and sustainability-considerations

The extractive industries working group (EIWG) of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA)

Gazprom Kindergarten in Novyi Urengoy, Yamal, Russia.
Gazprom Kindergarten in Novyi Urengoy, Yamal, Russia.

and the Uarctic Thematic Network on Arctic Extractive Industries start their  course in the Pan-Arctic PhD programme on Arctic Extractive industries next Monday until Friday. We have a very nice group of instructors and students alike, with participants from Canada, Norway, Austria, Finland, Russia, Denmark, UK if I remember correctly. A detailed programme and reading list can be found here on our PhD programme website.

People and Gold in Finnish Lapland

As a part of our advanced course on the anthropological study of resources in the North we screen a rare film tomorrow

Thursday, 18 April at 16:30 in the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi, in the POLARIUM room.

Kultajoki, Vesa & Volker working with the Dredge, see http://www.arctic-heartbeat.fi/finnish/Trailers/Kultajoki/Kultajoki.htm
Kultajoki, Vesa & Volker working with the Dredge, see http://www.arctic-heartbeat.fi/finnish/Trailers/Kultajoki/Kultajoki.htm

Kultajoki – Gold River is a careful portrait of several individual characters who found their dedication in small scale private gold washing in Finnish Lapland. Most of the mining publicity is usually about big projects, multinational companies and enourmous social and environmental impacts. But in fact worldwide there is also a lot of small scale resource development. I remember that from earlier anthropological talks about gold diggers in West Africa , and of course Julie Cruikshank’s formidable work on the Klondike Gold Rush narratives, which is chapter four in “The Social Life of Stories” .

The film Kultajoki has not unlike Julie’s work a life history approach for exploring the relations of particular people to gold and the river, as resources in northern Finland. We find out how the relation between people and their environment among small scale gold washers is so intimate that the resource and its occurance in nature determines not only a particular way of life and engaging with the environment, but also shapes these people’s personalities profoundly. The film was shot during long term field trips with the main

characters on a zero-budget basis, and therefore does not have to conform to the usual commercial cinema or TV adventure requirements that media companies nowadays have. Everybody is welcome to joint if you happen to be in or want to come to Rovaniemi at that time. Bernd Bartusevics, the director of the film, will be present himself and be happy to answer your questions as well.

Mining and local people in the North

Some of our team were recently at the Jokkmokk winter conference, which is held in connection to the famous Jokkmokk winter market, an important event in the Sámi yearly cycle for the last 400 years.The Jokkmokk winter market has been held already more than 400 years. Now mining comes closer to this place too, causing hot debates

The Jokkmokk winter market has been held already more than 400 years. Now mining comes closer to this place too, causing hot debates

 

At the conference which had a very policy and environmentalist NGO-related character, a

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