Artists and writers have an important role to play and it is vital that they are fully engaged in these (climate) issues

Northern Lights

Sunand Prasad and Northern Lights
Sunand Prasad and Northern Lights as we return along Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Big Fjord).

Late Breaking Dispatch

Snapshots as of 10:35 pm (boat time)
In the open sea west of Greenland, 71 degrees latitude

In each town there are wooden houses painted Bahamas hot pink, primary blue, creamsicle orange, cherry red, canary yellow, fluorescent green… scattered across rock hills climbing up from the black sea. A local boy who, seeing all the cameras (there are people taking pictures of people taking pictures of people taking pictures of the ice, all being filmed by people taking film of the people taking pictures of people) took off his shoes on the beach and ran into a long thin creek reaching out the sea, breaking the thin film of ice with his bare feet. All of a sudden pretending not to see the cameras, kicking up water at his little brother, they ambled off down the beach. A little speaker around his neck playing tin-y distorted rap, staccato syllables whipped away by the wind coming off the meringue topped icebergs standing silent just off the shore. Black meat hanging on nails outside wooden shacks. Dogs are chained up on the rocky hills between the houses howling together from every edge of town like the call to prayer, and outnumber the people behind the coloured doors. We walk around like time travelers in our winter space suits while the locals skid by in runners and t-shirts.
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Cabin chaos

Cabin chaos (representing the general state of the boat). Matt Wainwright edits video for the website hours before we leave the Grigory Mikheev in Kangerlussuaq.

World’s first Arctic beatbox battle

Shlomo prepares for the world's first Arctic beatbox battle. Photo: Nathan Gallagher
Shlomo prepares for the world’s first Arctic beatbox battle.

Returning South

The complete 2008 Disko Bay Expedition crew. Photo: Nathan Gallagher

The Wainwright’s (plus Ryuichi)

Investigating the affects of global warming - Some of the crew

Matt, Chris and Martha Wainwright – by strange coincidence over 15% of the crew were Wainwright’s (and weren’t related).

Heroes and Thieves

Vanessa Carlton performs Heroes and Thieves, backed by Shlomo, on the bridge of the Grigory Mikheev as we return south to Kangerlussuaq.

Robyn Hitchcock on deck

Robyn Hitchcock playing guitar aboard the Grigory Mikheev
Robyn Hitchcock on the deck of the Grigory Mikheev as we return South towards Kangerlussuaq.

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Sam Collins

Ryuichi Sakamoto with Sam Collins discussing how climate change affects the Arctic
Ryuichi Sakamoto with Sam Collins.

Paradise Lost

This is the story of Paradise lost,
Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe…

Jude Kelly directs Paradise Lost on a climate change expedition
Jude Kelly directs Paradise Lost in the ship’s mess.

Paradise Lost in the Restaurant

Crew perform Paradise Lost on a global warming expedition
Leslie Feist, Lemn Sissay and Ruth Little performing Paradise Lost.

We’ve spent the morning popping in and out of the restaurant for a read through of Paradise Lost – everyone read a few lines. Not looked at the text for more than a decade but feels the natural thing to do here and now as we sail south back to port. A couple of my posts have referred to people’s anxieties about the Baffin Boot sized carbon footprint that coming on this trip entails. Sin and redemption are so woven into western culture that we shouldn’t be surprised that we frame these questions about individual responsibility in terms of sin and the pursuit of redemption. A few years ago Patriarch Bartholemew (leader of the orthodox church) announced that environmental harm was a sin (the Pope followed suit soon after). Of course they have a natural advantage over science and policy people when it comes to finding a language that seems to have the right kind of scale: they’ve been phrasemaking on the big questions for centuries.
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Phytoplankton and Aurora Borealis

Journalist Quentin Cooper is onboard reporting the effects of global warming in the Arctic

BBC Radio 4 The Material World journalist Quentin Cooper photographed at midnight as he watches phytoplankton dancing in the wash of the Grigory Mikheev, against a backdrop of Northern Lights.