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living conditions

21 July 2017

I am hosting a documentary crew for the channel Arte, a public frenco-german TV channel. They are making a series called habiter le monde.

In each episode, Philippe Simay travels in the world to meet people who live in atypical places. With this idea : how does the environment, the way we build our houses, the general organisation of our cities or villages represent our way of living ? And our way of seeing ourselves in the world. Philippe is a philosopher, specialized in architecture and urbanism, so this series is a mix of discovering new places in the world, and questioning our relationship to the world.

For this new season, they prepare an episode in Ny-Ålesund. This scientific base brings a lot of very interesting questions. Unlike the other episodes, this one would be slightly different. Usually, they go to places where men have been living for centuries, places that have a rich past, a folklore, a very specific architecture. In Ny-Ålesund, of course there is a rich history, but it’s quite different. Also, there is a Norwegian type of architecture, that is already representative of the way people live. Yet, this base, being international, and mainly existing for the purpose of scientific research brings another type of questioning. They are interested in the international scientific community and how everything works up there. How do you achieve to make a very remote place in the world feel like home. How do you succeed in creating a sense of community ? How do you see your environment ? Especially, being people who study it. How do they feel when they can witness, year after year, the effects of global warming in their environment. Ny-Ålesund is one of the most remote places in the world, yet, it is directly connected to the rest of the world and we hope to show how the rest of the civilisation is impacting this allegedly remote and wild place.

We have taken them along on our fjord count for seabirds.

Pictures by Maarten Loonen and Anne Schumacher

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pollution? living conditions kittiwakes at glacier

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