The Arctic enters Nordiska museet

By on June 26, 2019

People have lived in the Arctic for thousands of years. Today, it is home to four million people. This part of the world faces challenges affecting us all. Nordiska museet’s upcoming major exhibition, The Arctic – while the ice is melting, allows visitors to meet people from some of the world’s coldest places, where the environment and living conditions are changing at a rapid pace.

The Arctic – while the ice is melting depicts people’s everyday life in a dramatic landscape, interpreted in a grand artistic and architectural space by the artist- and design duo MUSEEA. The highlight of the exhibition is a huge block of ice, with a deep crack between then and now. Here visitors meet the history and future of ice – but above all the people who live in the Arctic of today, through photographs, films and voices. Everyday life from the past is portrayed through key objects; something as simple as a needle for example, to be able to sew, was a matter of life and death. This exhibition presents knowledge about survival skills in the cold – like how to keep your feet warm, how to get vitamin C without fresh vegetables, what clothing materials are the most waterproof – and tells forgotten stories of the origin of the world.

– In the past, the Arctic used to be a remote cultural and geographic area that few had a relationship with. Today we are all affected by the changes that are taking place here. With this exhibition we want to talk about, and with, the people who live under the harsh conditions of the climate, where global warming is happening so fast. The Arctic – while the ice is melting brings together a spectrum of knowledge and voices about life in the Arctic thanks to collaborations with Nordic partners as well as Stockholm University, says Sanne Houby-Nielsen, Director of Nordiska museet, in Stockholm.

The exhibition covers parts of the Arctic located in the Nordic region: Qaanaaq in Greenland, Vatnajökull in Iceland, Rovaniemi in Finland, Narvik in Norway and Arjeplog and Abisko in Sweden – but also touches the east and west of the Arctic like the Clyde River in Canada and Jamal in Russia. With the help of great inventiveness and adaptability, people in the Arctic have developed ways to live and interact with the cold and the ice under constantly changing conditions.

The Arctic – while the ice is melting opens on October 10, 2019. The exhibition is produced by Nordiska museet and based on the museum’s collections with loans from Aarhus University in Denmark, Greenland National Museum and Archives, KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Copenhagen National Museum, the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the Norwegian Polar Institute, the National Historical Museums/Skokloster Castle in Sweden, the Museum of World Culture/the Museum of Ethnography Museum in Sweden and private collections.

The exhibition stems from the collaborative research on the subject People in the Arctic in the light of climate change led by Lotten Gustafsson Reinius, Hallwyl Visiting Professor of Ethnology at Nordiska museet and Stockholm University.

Nordiska museet collaborates with exhibition designers MUSEEA. Documentary photographer Camilla Andersen has created footage for the short films produced by the museum in collaboration with local communities and researchers.

The project is partly financed by the Nordic Culture Fund and FORMAS, the Research Council for Sustainable Development.

Culture | The Arctic enters Nordiska museet