Fjord Haven

Tags: Sunand Prasad

Into the second half of the expedition the focus has moved on from assimilating masses of experience and information about the geography and culture of these parts, to what our own response to climate change might be. 46 is a lot of people to relate to but there are some interesting discussions happening at mealtimes, or in the bar or walks. Some of the musicians, like KT Tunstall, are already very conscious of their carbon footprint, reducing flying to a minimum and following a gold standard offset scheme. We don’t need an outpouring of climate change related songs and artworks; it could be embarrassing. The experience of this voyage is such a visual and sensory feast that its impressions will certainly influence people’s work, though not necessarily as climate change. Works like previous Cape Farewell expeditioner Ian McEwan’s forthcoming novel on climate change will be rare, and that is fine. What many in this crew have is access to a huge global audience that they are able to inspire. They are in a strong position to communicate not only the urgency of the condition we are in but also the huge scope for action that almost everyone in the world has, both collectively and individually.

We sail into Uummannaq Fjord and anchor off shore because there is already a vessel in Uummannaq harbour. This is Ludvig’s home town and he has organised a visit to a children’s home and a gig for the musicians in the evening in a hotel; sort of a Glastonbury in Uummannaq with this line-up. The care provided in the home is a fantastic testament to compassion, intelligence and dedication and reminds me of MacIntyre Schools for whom we designed buildings in the early days of the practice. Feeding the huskies is a big moment in the day and their howling will be one of the indelible memories of this trip. It happens to be special day and there are visitors from the town to listen to Greenlandic songs from both the kids and a brilliant local choir just back fro a foreign tour. Cakes and delicacies like raw seal liver and dried whale meat are laid out for us to sample.

Read on at The Architect’s Journal website.

Sunand Prasad on an Arctic expedition to raise awareness of the affects of global warming
Sunand Prasad on the top deck with Northern Lights. Photo: Nathan Gallagher