At the Center of Periphery: Social Justice and Social Action in the Arctic

Organized by the Anchorage Museum, Alaska 24. August 2016

Friday, October 7, 15:30-17:00

Location: Eyri, Harpa Second Level

Climate has become the principal narrative for the Arctic, but cultural, social, political, and economic changes are also greatly affecting the lives of residents.

Issues of access and rights to land and resource, questions of cultural vitality, including language retention and the intergenerational transfer of Indigenous knowledge, disparities in health outcomes, the quest for greater self-determination, and immigration are some of the many forces shaping the lifeways and movement of people in the Arctic.  Today’s North is full of differing views of land and place held by travelers and hosts, colonizers, immigrants and original inhabitants.

 In these contemporary places, ideas around social justice and social action prompt new ways of thinking.  Artists, activists, culture bearers, environmentalists, scientists, researchers, and others work to reconcile diverse and contested perspectives.  Globalization of Northern places prompts discussions of indigenous knowledge, technologies, religions, sacred sites, social structures, relationships, wildlife, ecosystems, and economies.

 As a staged authenticity is built for tourism, Arctic places are at risk of being a consumer product that is exhaustible, but through diverse perspectives and rich conversations about possible futures, the Arctic can claim a much more powerful and empowered narrative.


  • Julie Decker, Director, CEO, Anchorage Museum 


  • Ronald Broglio, Associate Professor, Arizona State University
  • Marek Ranis, artist
  • Mara Kimmel, Senior Fellow, Institute of the North, Alaska
  • Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson, artists
  • Robert Templer, Professor of Practice and Director of the Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery at Central European University