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Arctic Geopolitics and Autonomy

Arctic Geopolitics and Autonomy

A new book, Arctic Politics and Autonomy reveals that Arctic peoples have a tradition of technological experiment. They are now using digital technologies to be leaders in the transition to a low carbon economy, while powerful multinational and state interests race to secure oil and gas reserves.

Book cover
Photo: Matthew Biederman

Michael Bravo and Nicola Triscott (eds.)
Published by Hatje Cantz at £16.99

Creative Commons publishing for the Arctic

This book is being made available to readers across the Arctic immediately and at no cost. The book can be downloaded for free.

Extracts from the book

“In the face of global environmental change, there is a grave danger that the autonomy of ordinary people who actually live in the Arctic is being sidelined by much more powerful strategic interests”.

“Representations [of the Arctic] are overwhelmingly fixated with striking images of polar bears, to the exclusion of any political complexities”.

“There is an enormous gulf separating the experience of those who live in the Arctic and those who do not but are employed to advise or lobby for regulating it”.

“As well as being a source of imagination and survival, technology then, when wrongly used, has created a deep structural legacy that has excluded indigenous peoples from full political and economic participation”.

“Eva Aaritak, now the Premier of Nunavut, coined the term ikiaqqivik for “Internet” in the Inuktitute language, meaning “travelling through layers”.

“Spaces of tundra, coast, and sea are the Inuit Arctic, and in the new logic of the cross-platform digital world not being digitally connected means economic marginalization. No wonder Kunuk’s (Zacharis Kunuk, winner of Camera ‘Or, Cannes Film Festival, 2001) top priority is to have a full media centre capability at his traditional camp.”

The authors

  • Michael Bravo (Cambridge University) is an engineer, anthropologist, and cultural historian. He has spent 30 years visiting the Arctic and working with Inuit artists and leaders in Northern Canada. His advice on Arctic governance is regularly sought after by international conservation and political organizations.
  • Lassi Heininen is an internationally recognized authority on the geopolitics of the Arctic and globalization. His work is widely read in academic, policy, and political circles.
  • Marko Peljhan (Slovenia) and Matthew Biederman (Canada) are internationally renowned artists developing a zero-carbon mobile habitat for the Arctic. Their inexpensive airborne instrument arrays can enable indigenous people to monitor the environmental impact of multinational mining developments.
  • Katarina Soukup has worked with Igloolik Isuma, the award-winning Inuit owned video production company.
  • Nicola Triscott is director of Arts Catalyst (U.K.), leading innovators in contemporary arts-science collaborations.
  • David Turnbull is a leading theorist of technology and sustainability. He has designed and built sustainable housing, and is currently exploring how to design for diversity as a property that emerges over time.

Book availability

Michael Bravo and Nicola Triscott, Arctic Geopolitics and Autonomy, Hatje Cantz 2011.

Download for free.

Book available to purchase on Amazon or at Hatje Cantz.