Of Islands and Whales, with Bathsheba Demuth#
In the waters along the Bering Strait, bowhead whales have been known to three kinds of hunters over the past two centuries: Indigenous Yupik and Inupiaq whalers, capitalist commercial whalers, and communist industrial whalers. Each imagined different normative relationships with whales, tied to visions of time, history, and the future—and oriented around visions of deep human connection, or fundamental human separation from ecological context. Are human beings part of an archipelago of life that includes whales, or an island apart? This talk looks to oral histories, logbooks, and personal experiences to see how such ideas shaped interactions between people and whales, and what we can discern of whales’ own answers—and what both mean for living on a flourishing planet today.
Session with Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq#
KINSHIP: World as Archipelago
Bathsheba Demuth #
Bathsheba is writer and environmental historian specialising in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her interest in northern places and cultures began when she moved to the Yukon, where she trained huskies for several years. She is interested in how the histories of people, ideas, and ecologies intersect. She is author of the prize-winning book Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait. She is currently the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Environment and Society at Brown University.
Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq #
Angaangaq is a shaman, traditional healer, storyteller and carrier of the Qilaut (wind drum). His family belongs to the traditional healers from Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland. His engagement with environmental and indigenous issues has brought him to more than 70 countries worldwide. His spiritual task - given by his mother - is to “melt the ice in the heart of men”.