Climate change and its impact on us

The Arctic – While the Ice is Melting

Our museums play a crucial role in preserving history and culture. Nordiska museet has put together a very powerful exhibition called The Arctic – While the Ice is Melting.

In the bright light of the North Star, where meridians come together and time zones come to an end. Home to four million people, this is where the Arctic begins. For thousands of years, people here have lived with the ice. Now this is changing.

Nordiska museet’s Great Hall has made room for the life and changing conditions of the Arctic region. In The Arctic – While the Ice Is Melting, you will encounter the history and future of the ice. And above all, the people who live in the Arctic today; through objects, photos, design, artwork, films and projections. The exhibition will be on display during 2021.

A walk through an iceberg

The central element of the exhibition is a mock-up of a giant iceberg, with a deep rift between past and present. It was created together with the design-duo MUSEEA. As a visitor, you can walk into the iceberg and through the rift. You will encounter narratives and objects linking the present to the past; connecting science to mythology. It presents a multi-faceted, poetic story about the past and future of the ice as well as the daily lives of people in the Arctic.

Discover contemporary films from the Arctic

The exhibition includes ten documentary films in which you meet people from various places in the Arctic: Qaanaaq in Greenland, Vatnajökull in Iceland, Näätämö (Neidenelva in Norwegian) in Finland, Svalbard in Norway and Abisko, Arjeplog, Laevas and Nautanen in Sweden. The exhibition also covers Arctic locations to the east and west: Clyde River in Canada and Yamal in Russia. Nordiska museet produced most of the films, together with documentary filmmaker Camilla Andersen, with support from the Nordic Culture Fund.

An exhibition based upon three years of research

The exhibition is based upon three years of preparatory work led by Lotten Gustafsson Reinius. She divided her time as a visiting scholar from the Hallwyl museum between Stockholm University and Nordiska museet.

In addition to the exhibition, the project has resulted in a multidisciplinary anthology titled Arctic Traces: Nature and Culture in Motion. Nordiska museets förlag published the title in spring 2020.

Visiting the exhibition

The exhibition space is arranged by theme. In different themed sections, you can learn more about what the Arctic is; how climate change is affecting the region; the resources the Arctic has to offer; how people have lived, travelled and dressed in the Arctic through the years.

You will also learn about the relationship between human and ice. What has it been like through the ages and what is it like today – while the ice is melting? At an interactive station in the Great Hall, you can make a climate pledge to your future self.

The exhibition highlights how climate change affects the Arctic and its nature, people and animals. Visitors are given the opportunity to make a climate pledge (13.3)