Northerners face unique challenges. Even many global concerns, such as climate change, affect us differently because of our particular climate, geography, history and culture. Therefore, we require unique solutions.
On Sept. 5-8, the Anchorage Museum hosts the Next North Symposium, an in-depth discussion of the primary issues facing the circumpolar North today. Participants include prominent scientists, architects, anthropologists, artists and indigenous culture bearers from around the globe. The symposium is a collaboration between the Anchorage Museum, Art Gallery of Alberta and Alaska Design Forum.
The symposium connects communities internationally to identify key issues, determine shared goals and create concrete plans for collaborative research and public engagement. Session topics include village relocation, sustainable living, cold-climate housing and resource development.
At 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 the public is invited to a free talk by Subhankar Banerjee, a world-renowned author, photographer and activist from Seattle who spent 14 months in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He presents his observations of climate change in the Arctic and discusses the battles being fought over the land's resources. His presentation is followed by an art performance from Iñupiaq Eskimo artist Allison Warden. The performance addresses the clash occurring in her homeland between traditional values and modern survival.
The Next North Symposium is part of the Anchorage Museum's multi-year Northern Initiative project, which will bring together community leaders with experts in many fields to address the challenges of living in the North and develop creative solutions. The project also will include exhibitions and public events designed to bring forth new ideas.