With Covid-19 and the climate crisis changing our way of life, trying to make sense of the world can seem impossible right now. And so, the British Museum is encouraging you to take this unique opportunity to pause, reflect and look at our world from new perspectives.
The British Museum are currently hosting Arctic: culture and climate, an exhibition taking a close look the polar region’s history, culture and weather.
As the museum’s doors temporarily close, visitors can head online to explore this important and surprisingly diverse part of our planet. As part of a programme of events running alongside the exhibition, you will be able to discover more about the indigenous people, their culture and their relationship to the landscape.
Theatre company, Border Crossings, will be celebrating the cultural diversity of the Arctic, and its importance to us all, in a special online event.
Magnetic North will invite you to meet the indigenous people who live alongside the melting ice and experience the climate crisis in ways that most of us could never imagine. You will hear stories from extraordinary Arctic artists, poets and musicians, streamed directly from the Museum’s Great Court.
Music and traditions of the Arctic
The whole event will be brought together with music by indigenous Sámi band Vassvik, who capture the resonance of the Arctic and place the other participants in a ritualised and trance like soundscape. Led by Torgeir Vassvik, a keeper and renewer of the coastal music tradition and identity, the band use yoik and overtone singing with drumming, traditional instruments, and natural sounds.
The event will include inspirational voices such as Caitlyn Baikie (Top 5 Indigenous leaders under 30 to watch, CBC 2015) and Hivshu (whose name means The Voice of Arctic), to discuss climate change and the current situation in the Arctic.
Alongside them will be Tlingit storytelling from Ishmael Angaluuk Hope; performance poetry by Inuk author and spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge; entrancing and powerful Greenlandic mask dancing from Elisabeth Heilmann Blind; and contemporary and political performance artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory.
Award-winning Arctic photographer Kiliii Yuyan, will illuminate Magnetic North with film and photographs showing the hidden stories of polar regions, wilderness and indigenous communities.
Informed by ancestry that is both Nanai/Hèzhé (Siberian Native) and Chinese American, Yuyan explores the human relationship to the natural world from different cultural perspectives. His images offer another layer in this richly interwoven melée of artforms.
Arctic: culture and climate is the first major exhibition on the history of the Arctic and its indigenous peoples, through the lens of climate change and weather. The Arctic has been home to resilient communities for nearly 30,000 years. Cultures that have lived with the opportunities and challenges of one of the most dramatic environments on the planet.
Today, climate change is transforming the Arctic at the fastest rate in human history. Arctic: culture and climate is the first exhibition to look at the whole circumpolar region. The exhibition reveals how Arctic peoples have adapted to climate variability in the past, and meet the challenges of global climate change today.
The exhibition will be running until 21st February 2021, so you will still be able to visit once the museum has reopened.
For more unusual and fascinating online events, take a look here.
When: 3rd December 2020, 6.30pm
£: Tickets are free. Register for the event here
More info: www.britishmuseum.org