Testing Grounds Episode 6: ‘Narsaq International Research Station – Who Defines Progress?’ now available

Episode 6: Narsaq International Research Station – Who Defines "Progress"? Testing Grounds

Please note: this episode features brief mentions of suicide, alcoholism and violence.

What does “progress” mean in an age of climate crisis? Who should define it? And how can the process of defining it be made more inclusive and democratic?

Narsaq International Research Station (NIRS) is NAARCA’s Greenlandic partner. It’s an independent non-profit research platform with a focus on cultural and scientific research in South Greenland.

In this episode, Lise Autogena, an artist and founder of NIRS, outlines some of the tensions at play in Narsaq, and in Greenland more broadly. Here, the climate crisis is dramatically disrupting people’s ways of life, and simultaneously opening up opportunities for the exploitation of globally-prized natural resources. Indeed, the community of Narsaq is itself at the centre of a fierce dispute over a proposed mine.

Lise introduces us to our contributors, filmmaker Inuk Jørgensen and community psychologist Peter Berliner. In different but overlapping ways, Inuk and Peter are both engaged with exploring visions of “progress” in a Greenlandic context. They explore how Inuit values can help make the process of defining progress more inclusive, respectful and productive.

Find out more:

Narsaq International Research Station

Credits: Testing Grounds is produced and edited by Katie Revell and includes original music by Loris S. Sarid and artwork by Jagoda Sadowska. With thanks to Alex Marrs and the rest of the NAARCA team.

A captioned version of this episode is available on YouTube.

Featured in this episode:

Inuk Jørgensen (he/him)

Inuk is an award-winning short film director from Greenland. As an Indigenous filmmaker, Inuk is focused on personal stories that touch upon the identity, history, and culture of the Greenlandic Inuit people.

Peter Berliner (he/him)
Community Psychologist

Peter is Professor of Arctic Community Psychology at Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland, and co-founder of the “Siunissaq” art and community programme.

Lise Autogena (she/her)
Founder, Narsaq International Research Station

Lise Autogena is an artist and Professor of Cross-Disciplinary Art and Head of the Art, Design and Media Research Centre (ADMRC) at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). In 2020 Autogena established the non-profit organisation Narsaq International Research Station (NIRS), which hosts scientific and cultural research projects in South Greenland. The organisation facilitates collaborations with local residents, schools and organisations to ensure that new knowledge developed in the Narsaq region is shared, communicated, and made accessible to the local community.

Katie Revell (she/her)

Katie Revell is a Glasgow-based freelance audio producer and (lapsed!) filmmaker with a particular interest in food, climate change, and relationships to the land. She grew up on the southeast coast of Scotland and has also lived in Germany, India and the USA. Since 2016, Katie has been part of the team behind the award-winning Farmerama Radio podcast, which shares the voices of regenerative and agroecological farmers in the UK and beyond. Katie was lead producer of Farmerama’s first series, Cereal, which explored the history of bread and profiled the UK’s “new grains movement”. She also co-produced Landed, a personal exploration of land ownership and colonial legacy told by a farmer’s son as he returns home to his family farm. Katie believes passionately in the need for creative responses to climate change, and is delighted to be on the NAARCA team.

Images provided by Narsaq International Research Station.

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