IceBerg Riders| 49mins
Director: Ap Verheggen & Svebor Kranjc | Producer: Svebor Kranjc
Focus Years: 2012 | Country: Netherlands
The IceBerg Riders project was very successful in drawing attention worldwide to a more positive approach to the challenges of climate change. Two large sculptures were placed on an iceberg in the bay of Uummannaq, West Greenland in a creative and playful way. The 'warm' winters prevent the local Eskimos from traveling the sea ice on their dog sledges and hunt the animals of the Arctic. In no more than four years, the temperature of the water has risen so rapidly that the sea ice has become unreliable, if indeed it is there at all. The way out of this predicament for the local people is to find a new way of living and thus, adapt the culture that they have relied on for a long time. To help visualise the choices and inherent dilemmas that such change will bring about, two large sculptures were built and placed on an iceberg, depicting dog sledge riders. Normally the riders decide when their journey will start and whence it will lead. For the two riders in the art project, the context had changed and nature would decide their itinerary. GPS equipment attached to the sculptures allowed a world-wide audience to track the journey of the iceberg on the internet. Indeed nature did decide the itinerary, because where normally the sizeable iceberg that carried the sculptures would survive for some three or four years sailing the Baffin Sea offshore West Greenland, its journey ended surprisingly only after two months when it melted and vanished in the 'warm' waters of Uummannaq bay. The project brought the intricate link between climate and culture in a dramatic Arctic setting to the attention of many by the unprecedented publicity it has generated.