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Daily Archives: 11. October 2016 − News & Stories


New book: Ice Bear. The Cul­tu­ral Histo­ry of an Arc­tic Icon by Micha­el Engel­hard

Micha­el Engelhard’s new book Ice Bear. The Cul­tu­ral Histo­ry of an Arc­tic Icon is about to be released in Novem­ber. It throws light on the king of the arc­tic seen from a cul­tu­ral histo­ry per­spec­ti­ve and surely deser­ves to be announ­ced here with this descrip­ti­on with is writ­ten and com­pi­led by its aut­hor.

Ice Bear
The Cul­tu­ral Histo­ry of an Arc­tic Icon

By MICHA­EL ENGEL­HARD

NATU­RAL HISTO­RY
288 pp., 170 illus., 145 in color, 8 x 10 in. $29.95 paper­back, Novem­ber 2016

Prime Arc­tic pre­d­a­tor and nomad of the sea ice and tun­dra, the polar bear endu­res as a source of won­der, ter­ror, and fasci­na­ti­on. Humans have seen it
as spi­rit gui­de and fan­ged enemy, as tra­de good and moral meta­phor, as food source and sym­bol of eco­lo­gi­cal cri­sis. Eight thousand years of arti­facts attest to its cha­ris­ma, and to the frau­ght rela­ti­ons­hips bet­ween our two spe­ci­es. In the White Bear, we ack­now­ledge the magic of wild­ness: it is both genui­nely its­elf and a screen for our ima­gi­na­ti­on.

Ice Bear traces and illu­mi­na­tes this intert­wi­ned histo­ry. From Inu­it shamans to Jean Har­low loun­ging on a bears­kin rug, from the cubs trai­ned to pull sleds toward the North Pole to cuddly super­star Knut, it all comes to life in the­se pages. With meti­cu­lous rese­arch and more than 160 illus­tra­ti­ons, the aut­hor brings into focus this power­ful and elu­si­ve ani­mal. Doing so, he del­ves into the sto­ries we tell about Nature—and about ourselves—hoping for a future in which such tales still mat­ter.

MICHA­EL ENGEL­HARD works as a wil­der­ness gui­de in Arc­tic Alas­ka and holds an MA in cul­tu­ral anthro­po­lo­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Fair­banks. His books inclu­de a recent essay collec­tion, Ame­ri­can Wild: Explo­ra­ti­ons from the Grand Can­yon to the Arc­tic Oce­an. His wri­ting has also appeared in Sier­ra, Out­side, Audu­bon, Natio­nal Wild­life, Natio­nal Parks, High Coun­try News, and the San Fran­cis­co Chro­ni­cle.

“Engelhard’s thought-pro­vo­king ico­no­gra­phy explo­res in depth the mul­ti­tu­de of cul­tu­ral roles play­ed by the polar bear.”
David Fox, Ancho­ra­ge Press

“Engel­hard wea­ves tog­e­ther the dis­pa­ra­te pie­ces of our eclec­tic social and cul­tu­ral fasci­na­ti­on with polar bears. A tapes­try of images reve­als our com­plex attach­ment to this Arc­tic icon.”
Andrew Dero­cher, aut­hor of Polar Bears: A Com­ple­te Gui­de to their Bio­lo­gy and Beha­vi­or

Ice Bear. The Cul­tu­ral Histo­ry of an Arc­tic Icon by Micha­el Engel­hard.

Cover image: Ice Bear. The Cultural History of an Arctic Icon by Michael Engelhard

Source: Micha­el Engel­hard

Old coal mines clo­sed

Coal mining has always been an important part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, though of decre­a­sing impor­t­ance today. The signi­fi­can­ce of coal mining is immedia­te­ly visi­ble for every visi­tor to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, as old coal mines can be seen in many pla­ces near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Some of the­se old mines, such as mine 2B abo­ve Nyby­en, local­ly known as julenis­se­gruve (San­ta Claus mine), are popu­lar sites for walks both for locals and visi­tors. The old mining instal­la­ti­ons are inte­res­ting, often with sce­nic views, and fasci­na­ting for pho­to­graph­ers.

The oppor­tu­nities have recent­ly been great­ly redu­ced. Parts of the roof of a con­veyor belt of mine 6 in Advent­da­len have col­lap­sed and the who­le mining faci­li­ty at mine 6 has been clo­sed to the public.
It is said that it will be made acces­si­ble again after dan­ge­rous parts have been remo­ved or secu­red. Lar­ge parts are still inta­ct. But the­re is cur­r­ent­ly no time plan and nobo­dy can say when the mine will be ope­ned again for visi­tors. The dif­fi­cult eco­no­mic situa­ti­on of the mining com­pa­ny, Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni, does not make it easier. At least ever­y­bo­dy invol­ved is awa­re of the high his­to­ri­cal and tou­ris­tic value of the old mining instal­la­ti­ons, which are part­ly pro­tec­ted as part of the cul­tu­ral heri­ta­ge. This means that several aut­ho­ri­ties have to be invol­ved in any work to clean up or secu­re the mines, some­thing that is unli­kely to speed up the pro­cess.

Cur­r­ent­ly, mine 1A (“Ame­ri­can mine”, abo­ve the church), 2B (“San­ta Claus mine”, abo­ve Nyby­en), 5 (Enda­len) and 6 (bet­ween Toda­len and Bol­terda­len) are clo­sed until fur­ther noti­ce.

At least, mine 3 is cur­r­ent­ly acces­si­ble as a muse­um for gui­ded groups.

Mine 2B (“San­ta Claus mine”) near Lon­gye­ar­by­en is amongst the old mines which are now clo­sed for visi­tors.

Mine 2B, Longyearbyen

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

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