International Master Class on Media and the Arctic in Tampere addresses the changes taking place in the circumpolar regions from global, environmental and visual perspectives.
“In this Anthropocene epoch, we have to face the facts. The Arctic is connected to the existence and future of the whole planet. That is why we chose it as the theme of our first Master Class”, says Professor Arja Rosenholm of the Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC). Founded in 2017, the centre is an international meeting place that brings together novel forms of teaching, research, and events.
The Master Class assembled 45 participants from around the world with diverse backgrounds. University students, postgraduate students and journalists from Finland, Belgium, Russia, Germany, Namibia, Canada and New Zealand have discussed and experienced themes related to Arctic environment, history and economy. Several specialists on Arctic environmental journalism, global connections and visual representations of the Arctic have shared their expertise.
“The titles of our event are Arctic and media. We pay attention to the Arctic environment and to what we humans are doing in it. Through media we ask critical questions about the way we talk about the Arctic regions, about the ways we represent it”, Arja Rosenholm explains.
Before enrolling in the Master Class, most students saw the Arctic as region of snow, without people.
“Yet there are big cities in the Arctic region, and people live their everyday lives there much like we do anywhere else. We want to address these preconceptions and misperceptions by producing and analysing visual images.”
The organisers wanted to make the Master Class multidisciplinary, because different viewpoints help to gain new insights. PhD student Zoë Martos has enjoyed this integrated approach.
“The class has been amazing. It is great to work with other students from the circumpolar north, and hear experts talk about the environmental, global and visual perspectives on the Arctic. There is so much interplay between the different themes, and here we have been able to dive deep into all of them."
New viewpoints are inspiring.
“I have lived in the Canadian Arctic for the past five years and I find it fascinating to hear experts talking about Canada and the other Arctic countries.”
Arja Rosenholm is happy to see that the participants are creating new connections, not only in their minds, but also in concrete terms. There are already new projects brewing.
The Master Class week concludes with a panel discussion on Arctic myths and realities. The panel will be streamed online on Friday, November 30 at 13:00 hours.
Top of page: Master Class students created their own visual representations of the Arctic landscape. Photo (c) Saara Tuominen.
End of page: Professor Arja Rosenholm (middle) discusses posters prepared by the Master Class participants. Photo (c) Satu Seppä.